City Desk

The Beer Issue Is Here!

Beer. Beer. Beer! Pick up this week's City Paper in a box near you (or read the website) to get the latest on beer and D.C. In this week's cover story, Tammy Tuck tries to find out why craft beer in the District is so damn high:

Ask craft-beer folks about prices and they tend to stress their product’s artisan quality. Of course you can find some cheaper swill, the logic goes. But it’ll be made with rice or corn instead of barley and other fine grains. A can of National Bohemian, for instance, will set you back just $3 at Smoke & Barrel—and a mere $2 at the Raven. To craft devotees, that’s like opting for a McDonald’s burger.

“You can buy a very cheap hamburger, one that’s full of flour, oatmeal, and soy protein, but it’s not a hamburger,” says Jim Caruso, CEO of Flying Dog Brewing Company. “If you want a steak burger, you pay for a steak burger. They are two entirely different products. The former is produced to be as inexpensive as possible. It’s a commodity. It’s automated.”

And yet, sanctimony about quality will only take you so far. A pint of the popular Belgian-style ale Flying Dog Raging Bitch from Caruso’s Frederick, Md. brewery costs $7 at Meridian Pint. Go to Baltimore, pull up a stool at Magerk’s Pub, and you can slurp down a pint of the same superb suds for just $5.

Why is good beer so frickin’ expensive in this town?

Young & Hungry's Chris Shott explores the beer-as-cooking-ingredient craze spreading across the city:

Around town, you find beer in all sorts of dishes, both good and bad. I once made the horrendous mistake of ordering the Corona-battered fish and chips at Grand Central in Adams Morgan; it isn’t particularly appealing, but on second thought, it’s probably better than actually drinking a beer that watered-down. And I have previously penned several scathing lines on the Argonaut’s ill-conceived chocolate stout chicken wings—which, I discovered during a recent visit, are no longer on the menu. Far better: the Argo’s signature honey-drizzled onion rings, battered in the house “Booty” beer.

If beer isn't your cup of tea, then perhaps Loose Lips Alan Suderman has what you're looking for. LL visits the Reeves Center—a government building that was the site of two city workers' romantic rendezvous last year—and he finds lots of random things in now-empty office spaces:

Things LL found left laying out in plain sight included: A bottle of prescription cholesterol pills; a 2004 performance review of a senior street sign installer (“Supervisors are concerned about [the employee’s] lack of job interest”); and a thick file marked “New Convention Center Hotel.”

Photos by Darrow Montgomery

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