City Desk

Chatter: Fire in the Wholesale

beerissueFor her piece in last week’s Beer Issue, Jessica Sidman reported on the ongoing efforts of local alcohol wholesalers to tighten a loophole that allows shops, bars, and restaurants to import some products without going through a middleman, as well as for local breweries to self-distribute. While readers like Dno appreciated the beer and wine variety that has resulted from those rules, dave b argued that “one would think that cutting out the middleman would lead to lower prices for local D.C. beers. That doesn’t seem to be the case.” Sean B agreed: “Not just for local D.C. beers, but any beer for that matter...Pay more for beer here than pretty much anywhere else I’ve been to in the States.”

There’s a good reason those rare, out-of-state brews are so pricey, Nick argued. “Many of these beers are being bought at retail prices in other states. So there is still a middleman. In fact there are two middlemen in the local distributor and the store selling it. A friend of mine used to drive to North Carolina to pick up vanloads of beer for a beer bar in D.C. I’m sure it would be much cheaper if it was available from a distributor.”

Reader Chris got in the final word: “Nick, of course the beer might be cheaper if it was available from a distributor. However, there’s good chance that the beer in question would not be available for years, if ever, in the D.C. marketplace...The distributors just want to ensure complete and total control over the city with their legal oligopoly which will only hurt consumers despite what their paid spokesmen say.”

On Twitter, user @sharrowsDC called Jonathan L. Fischer’s profile of homebrewer Mike Stein “part-History Detectives, part-CSI and all #dcbeer." @SandwichJack, meanwhile, cracked the joke we resisted making ourselves. “A brewer named Stein? Too perfect.”

The Shadow Knows

Judging by the comments on last week’s Loose Lips column, millionaire furniture magnate Pete Ross has one advantage in his challenge to shadow Sen. Paul Strauss: He’s not his opponent. “Anyone would be better than the clown prince of D.C. politics: Paul Strauss,” wrote ABS. “Better to dissolve the whole sham delegation and move on with it. They do nothing and now they might even get paid for it.”

While some readers criticized D.C.’s current shadow delegation for failing to make much progress obtaining voting rights for the District, DCNative pointed to a problem with the D.C. Council: “At this point the District should cease all efforts at equal representation until our elected officials stop voiding the ‘will of the people’ by overturning referendums. First they overturn term limits, now it appears that an elected attorney general will be overturned.”

’Roo Awakening

Mary Kong-DeVito’s Are You Gonna Eat That? column on kangaroo steaks drew some Aussie expats to the comments section. While Kong-DeVito suggested pairing the grilled marsupial with shrimp, knackers wrote, “They’d have to be prawns, love, for a dinky di Aussie surf and turf... Seriously, though, roo is a great meat—I’m glad to hear it’s available now in D.C. Although very lean, ground roo also makes excellent burgers. Just don’t cook ’em long. If you can find some ostrich too, then serve them together to eat the Australian coat of arms.”

Yum? Apparently so. “I have long enjoyed informing my American chums that we serve our national coat of arms on a plate, usually with sauce and chips,” wrote Robert Whale. “They are usually horrified!”

Department of Corrections

Last week’s events listings contained two editing errors. An entry in the D.C. Beer Week listings provided an inaccurate date and time for the Coast to Coast Tap Takeover at RFD; the event took place Aug. 14 at 2 p.m., not Aug. 13 at 3 p.m. And a City Lights pick for an exhibit about D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood contained a misleading photo; the image came from the previous exhibition in the museum’s “Investigating Where We Live” series and depicted a home in Anacostia.

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