November 29, 2011

Drink Locally

Two seemingly unrelated facts that I promise to tie together:

1. I like beer. Really, I do.
2. It's almost my birthday yet, because Beth and Mia will be so busy over the next couple of weeks rehearsing and performing, Beth took me out for my birthday on Saturday.

We left early on Saturday - like 80 year olds would on a date - and headed to Alexandria. For those of you not familiar with the Greater Monkeytown Area, Alexandria is a very old town that sits on the Potomac River just a stones throw from Monkeytown itself. Our destination? Port City Brewing Company. It sat in a nondescript warehouse in a nondescript area of a regularly descript town. When we got inside, we were greeted by a pretty large crowd and some very enthusiastic Port City employees eager to give us all kinds of beer to try. Sure, twist my arm. After trying a few varieties, we took the tour. And two very related facts that surprised me were shared:

1. Port City is less than a year old.
2. Before Port City's arrival, there were no breweries in the DC area.

The tour was impressive, the people who ran the joint were even more so, and the beer was, of course, excellent. Afterwards, Beth and I drove into Old Town Alexandria, walked around, reminisced about past homecoming and prom dates we'd had in the area, then ate wonderful tapas. And then the Great Thanksgiving Cold (which wasn't so great) hit me so we went home around the time 80 year olds would.

I learned several moderately related things from my trip to Port City:

1. Finding something that you love (beer) and pursuing it (beer) has to be a damn fine job.
2. The closer you are (geographically and emotionally) to something you consume, the more you appreciate it. Regardless of the fact that Coors is shitty beer, kicking back with a Coors that was mass produced in a giant factory hundreds of miles away doesn't seem nearly as satisfying as opening a bottle of beer that a few folks took a lot of care and patience to make just down the street.
3. It's easy to say you'd like to do that whole eat local thing but harder to actually follow through. It takes two to tango - someone to produce and someone to consume. It should be easier for small businesses to produce things that support their immediate community.

So, yeah, I got all that from a trip to a kick-ass brewery. Well, that and a nifty buzz.

Posted by Chris at November 29, 2011 7:20 AM

Next stop ... brewing your own!

Give it a shot ... it's a fantastic hobby and easier than you think. :)

Posted by: Jase at November 29, 2011 9:37 AM

Awesome! :) Good to know for when the Boy moves here, too... You should go tasting with him sometime.

Posted by: alektra at November 29, 2011 9:54 AM

Coors? Please tell me that was a random example, and that you would never actually consume that crap.

One of my college buddies is in the brewing business with Harpoon Brewing up in Boston. The job is as cool as you are thinking it is.

Posted by: COD at November 29, 2011 9:57 AM

There is an awesome Thai restaurant on King St Asian Bistro that I still think about. Gotta get back to DC. So much fun
Happy almost Birthday

Posted by: greenie at November 29, 2011 10:09 AM

We have lots of great microbreweries around should totally bring the fam for a visit ;) It's only like...completely on the other side of the continent :P

Posted by: Heather at November 29, 2011 4:19 PM

Did you eat at La Tasca? We loved La Tasca when we lived in Alexandria. My son was buddies with one of the waiters.

There is tons of local brew here in San Diego and we love it. So much better than mass produced brew.

Posted by: Annie at November 29, 2011 10:32 PM

I'm with Jase, you should really try brewing your own! There are sites where you can go and order kits that include everything you need. It requires patience and attention to detail, but it isn't hard at all!

Posted by: Elizabeth at November 30, 2011 9:26 AM

My husband would agree! His beer of choice is Stone IPA brewed in Escondido, San Diego county, essentially, our home. We have quite a few microbreweries out here, so local is good! Glad you had a good early birthday:)

Posted by: Shannon at November 30, 2011 11:07 AM

It's hard for me to put into words how happy brewing your own beer would make you. I'm sure Beth could use a hint of something to buy you for Christmas, so there you go. And everyone wins (as soon as you figure out how to make beer that doesn't suck, which will happen more quickly than you think, trust me)!

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at December 1, 2011 4:26 PM