Category Archives: BeltwayLand

The greater Washington D.C. area which I define as the District, Arlington and Fairfax counties in Virginia and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland all of which the Capital Beltway resides in.

"Port City Oktoberfest display at supermarket"

BeltwayLand beer & beyond: Too early and hot for Oktoberfest

The first regional Oktoberfest beers were released earlier in the month. It’s about 100 degrees out now and still the heart of gin and tonic season, so like everybody else I’m thinking TOO SOON. And I love Oktoberfest beers, marzen is my favorite style.

My most extensive review of regional Oktoberfests was from 2014 selections, so check that out. I may have to stockpile some and save them for the right weather since they disappear so quickly.

Virginia’s excellent tourism web site has a list of several Oktoberfests celebrations, evergreen Craft Beer information and blog posts.

I’ll keep expanding theleave the (last season’s harvest) pumpkin beer coverage to of others (Mental Floss) because good stuff is still coming in:

But what, there’s more. There’s Gemütlichkeit!

Yes, that IS my new favorite word!

Enjoy local beer while watching others exercise

District Drafts local/regional beer stand
While we await Oktoberfest and dream of a different kind involving the NL East leading Washington Nationals, check out the Nationals Park beer map, a service from The Nationals Review.

As for football season, Baltimore-fan boy Scott Allen noted that Jack Kent Cooke Stadium FedEx Field will serve craft including John Riggins 4&1, a pilsner brewed by EscutcheonBrew in Wincester. First, the stadium details, from Chicken and waffles, Redskins ‘Hog Dog’ and more craft beer coming to FedEx Field (DC Sports Bog, The Post):

After adding a craft beer cart on the main concourse last year, Bloyer said the Redskins are making a “much bigger push” with craft beer this season. The tasting was held in a rebranded space on the club level called the Craft Haus, which will feature 8-10 rotating taps throughout the season. Elysian’s Space Dust IPA, Devils Backbone’s Vienna Lager, Flying Dog’s The Truth Imperial IPA, Bell’s Two Hearted Ale and Escutcheon Brewing Co.’s 4th and 1 Pilsner (John Riggins’s beer) were among the beers available Wednesday.

Riggo’s beer got an extensive profile from the Bog as well: Loosen up with Redskins legend John Riggins’s new beer.

Riggo of course, has a history with the golden beverage and tried to start a beer television show.

We’ll check in with the Verizon Center beer situation next time.

Bicycling and beer – what could go wrong!

Father's Day beers at Port City

Moving on from drinking beer while others exercise, let’s talk about combining the two (safely!).That GitHub W&OD beer map is updated with some of the new breweries. Washingtonian has a map for the whole DC region as well on: 24 DC-Area Breweries You Can Bike To

I stopped at Vienna’s Caboose Brewing Co. a while back for a taste.
Caboose Brewing, Vienna, Va.

I tried the Crossroads Lager. Tasty, but the flavor is milder than I would have expected given the color. The pub, transformed a boring old warehouse at the end of Mill Street into an appealing space and patio. It’s right off the W&0D.

Port City, while not on the W&OD, isn’t far from the Holmes Run and Eisenhower Avenue trails either. It’s quicker for me to bike there than drive and me and another friend celebrated Father’s Day for a little bit as shown above. They have a Pedals ‘n Pints ride on Saturday, August 20 at 10:45 a.m.. I might go.

Devils Backbone has a 75-miles long ride between their facilities (WSLS), but more about them later.

I will probably check out New District Brewing, right by the eastern terminus of the W&OD. They’ve got a sign now too.

Remember, be responsible.

Beer issues

Washingtonian and Northern Virginia magazines published their beer issues recently. The region has come a long way since 2011.

Beer NowNorthern Virginia Magazine
“a directory with more than 50 breweries, half of which are expected to open within the next year.”

Emphasis added

Washingtonian is gradually adding beer stories to their web site (easiest way to see the newest search for “beer“), but go ahead and get started with these too:

How Loudoun County Became a Beer-Head’s Mecca

Best Job Ever: The Smithsonian Is Hiring a Craft Beer Historian

Of course, we can’t forget our friends at The Post

A deal with the Devil?

Devil's Backbone display

April brought news that Devil’s Backbone, the Virginia brewer that had the foresight to make a really good, accessible lager was getting in bed with AmBev.

Sell out? Sure, but that’s kind of goal of a lot of enterprises — getting rewarded for what you built.

If you are big craft community believer, the sale is worrisome because AmBev can undercut other craft brewers. $9.99 a sixpack is a lot more inviting than $11.99 or higher. That’s already happening where I shop. If you just like Devil’s Backbone (especially Vienna Lager) good news – it’s cheaper!

The inevitable shake-out of the beer boom is coming one way or another and it’s kind of surprising big beer is just making it’s move. A whole generation is entering the marketplace as local/regional craft beer drinkers, so what else will the big multinationals do?

Devi’s Backbone is in limbo right now as the transaction isn’t completed. They aren’t independent anymore and got kicked out of competing in a beer festival they are hosting.

Amid deal with Anheuser-Busch, craft brewery gets kicked out of its own festivalThe Post

Festival results are starting to come in, I’ll link to them soon.

And then there is this:

BeltwayLand Brewing twitter list

The ever-growing Twitter list of breweries from D.C., Northern Virginia and a little bit of Maryland.

That’s all for now, prost!

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Widening I-66 between exits 67 and 71

Bi-partisan legislators want to widen I-66 between exits 67 and 71

VIRGINIA I-66Finally! After a lot of the talk about putting tolls on Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway, a group of bipartisan elected official are proposing what I’ve wanted for that corridor for years.

Northern Virginia legislators say widen I-66, don’t toll itThe Post

State Sens. Chap Petersen (D), Jill Vogel (R), Richard Black (R), Jennifer Wexton (D), Jeremy McPike (D), along with Dels. Michael Webert (R) and David Bulova (D) all signed the letter, which was released Wednesday. The group represent communities outside of the Beltway.

In the letter they say the state should widen I-66 inside the Beltway where it meets up the Dulles Toll Road. That section of roadway is a huge choke point for Northern Virginia commuters. Their request would modify the McAuliffe administration’s current proposal to begin tolling I-66 inside the Beltway instead of widening it.

The group says that according to estimates by the Virginia Department of Transportation, it would cost $122 million to widen a four-mile section from Mile 67 (West Falls Church) to Mile 71 (Ballston).

Back in 2005, I suggested the same. I was commuting from Pentagon City to Tysons daily (2001 – 2007) and then from Ballston to Tysons (2010 – 2013), using that four mile stretch they propose to widen.

Traffic study shows why I-66 is a messThe Post

This article notes that the biggest choke point is the section is between exists 67 and 71. My anecdotal observations suggest that a number of cars, probably statistically significant only use that portion of I-66. Not having to change lanes the whole way would help all traffic flow smoother. Put up some helpful overhead signs and I think the situation can be improved without great expense or expanding the roadway’s footprint significantly or at all.

It just makes a lot of sense, much more than a money grab that tolls would be. Making the widening happen, along with the growing Silver Line should provide some relief for the corridor and prepare it growth on other end of it.

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