Grapevine: The Passport Program Comes to DC

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2 for 1 drink specials at 42 DC venues

 

DC Beer reported:

‘Well this is an interesting idea.  The Passport Program is coming to DC, and it’s bringing hot, hot deals all summer long.  Folks who buy a passport get two drinks for the price of one at 42 local venues from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Every stop you make, you get a stamp in your passport, meaning that you can’t double up on your visits, but you should try more new places anyway…while drinking two-for-one drinks.  Just remember what the passport people say: be sure to tip on the price of two drinks.

May 20th, they’re throwing a kickoff party at Suburbia from 5 to 8.   Just register at the link and you’re well on your way to a boozier summer.’

Press release and participating venues:

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Stars and Bars: Jim Beam Bonded Returns @ Harold Black — 3/23/15

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Theo Rutherford of Jim Beam

Bourbon lovers and media had a chance to taste Jim Beam’s new Pre-Prohibition Style Rye whiskey and the return of their Bonded bourbon at a most apt venue. Harold Black, a speakeasy-style bar tucked away in Eastern Market (above Acqua Al 2).

The friendly staff at Harold Black mixed four agreeable cocktails designed for this event, showcasing the two bourbons. The Gingerly brought out the best in the Rye and the Blueberry Hill, with mashed blueberries, proved to be a fine complement to the Bonded.

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Theo Rutherford, of Jim Beam, hosted a brief tutorial for guests to learn how to properly drink bourbon. It involves proper breathing and ample use of smell. Guests then were given the ingredients and tools to make their own ‘delicious’ cocktail. Mine was not Harold Black quality, but I was happy with it.

The overall old-timey, Prohibition theme was well done throughout the speakeasy; in the decor, the lighting, and the attire of the bartenders and organizers.

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Stars and Bars: The Return of The Passenger?, 2/8/15

The Passenger - God Save the District

Update: Fritz Hahn, bar sage of the Washington Post, reports on Jan. 15 that the Passenger is holding a pop-up in its former neighbor Bar 7 (1015 Seventh St. NW, DC) on Sunday, Feb. 8 from 7pm-1am. Apparently, Tom Brown will hold a series of pop-ups.

“Brown promises live-band karaoke with the Hari Karaoke Band, a special cocktail menu and possibly tiki drinks in Bar 7’s lower-level lounge,” Fritz says.

Personally I don’t see the point. Tom could just go work at another joint and make his cocktails there while waiting for a new space for the Passenger?

The Twitter account of The Passenger, the popular DC cocktail bar that closed New Year’s Eve, suggests it may return to a new location faster than many anticipated.

Via Twitter, the afternoon of Tuesday, Jan. 13: “Mark Sunday, February 8th on your calendar! Deets forthcoming. #wemissyou”

Many mourned the passing of The Passenger, founded by DC mixologist Derek Brown, when it announced last fall it would close its old location (1021 7th St. NW, DC) on Dec. 31, 2014. For the previous five years, the bar sat on a block long-scheduled for demolition. Its inventive cocktails, dive bar atmosphere and gracious ambience appealed to a wide audience, including myself — and I’m a beer guy. I visited the bar on its last day around dinnertime and I found things as congenial and the cocktails as tasty as ever.

Derek Brown went on to co-found three new bars outside the Shaw metro station but vowed his brother Tom Brown, the popular and friendly face usually behind the bar at The Passenger, would reestablish the bar in a new location, hopefully in the Shaw neighboorhood.

It appears The Passenger may indeed already have found a new home?

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: 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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Food Park: Copycat Co. Enters the H Street Fray

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H Street NE continues to bolster its choices of restaurants and bars with an almost endless stream of openings in the last couple months.

A bar crawl is in order, especially if the streetcar ever decides to open.

One intriguing concept comes from Devin Gong, from Barmini, in the form of a cocktail bar slash pot sticker and dumpling restaurant.

Copycat Co opened less than a week ago and it immediately fits into the electic Atlas District/H St NE scene.

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