Stars and Bars: Imbibe Names Derek Brown ‘Bartender of the Year’

DC cocktail mogul Derek Brown was named 2015 Bartender of the Year by Imbibe magazine Tuesday.

Derek currently is best known as the common partner in a string of bars by the Shaw metro station along 7th Street NW in Shaw: Mockingbird Hill (1843 7th St. NW, DC), Southern Efficiency (1841 7th St. NW, DC) and Eat the Rich (1839 7th St. NW, DC).

On New Year’s Day, Derek closed the Passenger and the Columbia Room (1021 7th St. NW, DC), previously located in Mount Vernon Square. Those low-key and high-end establishments respectively served to make him a household name in the DC bar scene over the past five years.

In a profile video posted by Imbibe (above), Derek says, “Cocktails are truly a conversation with the world. When I think about cocktails, I think about how they connect to nature; I think about how they connect to history; and I think about how they connect to the people who made them and the time they were living in.”

Imbibe, based in Portland, Ore., is a bimonthly magazine covering the gamut of the U.S. bar scene. “From wine, spirits and beer to coffee and tea, Imbibe celebrates the world in a glass. We feature the world’s top drink destinations, recipes and in-depth stories covering the people, places and flavors of liquid culture,” the magazine says on its Facebook.

Congratulations, Derek!

Stars and Bars: Opening Celebration @ One Eight Distilling, 1/8/15

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One Eight Distilling, DC’s second distillery (after New Columbia Distillers LLC, makers of Green Hat Gin), will official open its doors on Saturday, Jan. 10.

But before then, One Eight will host preview night on Thursday, Jan. 8. So you can visit One Eight on 1/8…

From 7-10pm, the distillery will host a celebration for its grand opening, featuring “after-hours tours, food from Dirty South Deli and a cash bar featuring District Made Vodka and Rock Creek White Whiskey cocktails–produced in partnership with Union Kitchen,” according to One Eight.

The distillery invites us to its facilities at 1135 Okie St. NE, DC, for drinking, mingling and shopping. Guests will be able to purchase bottles from the first batches of the distillery’s vodka and whiskey. The celebration is 21 and over only and does not involve any tickets. Simply show up!

Starting Saturday, Jan. 10, One Eight will open with free tours each week from 1-4pm. For more information, visit http://www.oneeightdistilling.com.

Stars and Bars: 2014 Hilly Award Winners

Peregrine Espresso
Peregrine Espresso – Winner of Cafe/Coffee Shop of the Year

The 2014 Hilly Awards are in the books. There were no real surprises from the list of winners of this annual event celebrating Capitol Hill businesses.

The biggest winner was Rose’s Luxury, winning three awards including Restaurant of the Year (as predicted).

Beuchert’s Saloon won Bar/Tavern of the Year for the second year in a row. The last time I went there was in 2013, so I need to make a point to visit again.

Here is a sampling of the 2014 Hill Award winners and runners-up.

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Stars and Bars: DC Embraces Hellbender Brewing Co.

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Glen’s Garden Market (2001 S St NW, DC) today began offering Red Line Ale from the Hellbender Brewing Co. (5788 2nd St NE, DC).

Named after the popular transit line of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the Red Line Ale has been quickly popping up around town in places that I’ve visited like Pizzeria Paradiso and Maddy’s Bar and Grille, generally distinguishing itself as a very quaffable and visible offering from the newest DC brewery. (You can visit the brewery’s website for a full list of where Hellbender beers are currently on tap.)

I paid a visit recently to Hellbender Brewing, which barely sits within the District line in a quiet office park not too far from the Fort Totten Metro Station. The brewery is clean, new and pleasant, and its tasting room is large although it feels a bit like a campground cafeteria or a snack bar on a suburban college campus somewhere.

When I was there last week, Hellbender was offering three of its beers — Red Line Ale, EFT IPA and Grampus Smoked Nut Brown. All three of them were pretty darn good, and this is coming from a fellow who doesn’t enjoy too many brown ales.

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Stars and Bars: Repeal Day @ Jack Rose Dining Saloon, 12/5/14

Prohibition officers raiding

On Jan. 16, 1919, Congress amended the Constitution to outlaw alcohol in the United States under the 18th Amendment.

The ensuing Prohibition lasted for 13 years, during which alcohol remained available through underground and criminal operations.

Franklin D. Roosevelt vowed to repeal Prohibition. On Dec. 5, 1933 Utah became the last state to vote in favor of a repeal, giving the United States the three-quarters majority required to overturn Prohibition as federal law. (However, alcohol sales did not resume in DC until March 1, 1934!)

In DC, our cocktail crowd observed Repeal Day with an impressive zeal each year. This year, the biggest Repeal Day party likely will be found today at Jack Rose Dining Saloon (2007 18th St. NW, DC), which will host its 4th annual 1930’s-inspired party from 5pm-close today.

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Don’t Miss: Hoppy Holidays Beer Festival @ Union Market, 12/6/14

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This Saturday, Drink the District hosts the Hoppy Holidays Beer Festival at Union Market’s Dock 5.

It’s your chance to get in one more day of all-you-can-drink beer before the crowds start heading out-of-town for the holidays.

There are three 3-hour sessions to choose from. Each session will include food trucks (like CapMac and RitoLoco – food costs extra), a DJ and over 50 beers, including offerings from Devil’s Backbone, Victory, Atlas Brew Works and Bluepoint.

Happy Holidays!

 

Hoppy Holidays Beer Festival
Dock 5 at Union Market (1309 5th St NE)
Saturday, December 6
Three sessions: 12-3pm; 4:30-7:30pm; 9pm-12am
$40
21+

Stars and Bars: 3 Stars Holiday Extravaganza @ 3 Stars Brewing Co., 12/14/14

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Tickets are running low for the third annual 3 Stars Holiday Extravaganza, hosted by the 3 Stars Brewing Co. (6400 Chillum Place NW, DC) at its brewery, the company reported today. Tickets are available online at the brewery’s website.

The brewery is promising music, food, beer and art for attendees. For $10, guests receive a custom glass and a first beer. Music will be provided by DJ Keenan Orr and DJ Smudge.

Participants include Rappahannock River Oysters, Green Hat Gin, The Fainting Goat, Sloppy Mama’s Barbeque, Dirty South Deli, Whistle Pig Straight Rye Whiskey and many others, according to 3 Stars.

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3 Stars Holiday Extravaganza
3 Stars Brewing Co.
Sunday, Dec. 14
1-6pm
$10
21+