Category Archives: Redskins/NFL

"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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What the L.A. Rams uniforms ought to look like

I’ve always had a soft spot for the L.A. Rams. My neighbor J.J. was a big Rams fan, having moved from Southern California to Northern Virginia the same time we arrived from New Jersey. He moved to Michigan though when I was 8 and became a straight ticket Detroit sports fan, while I eventually did the same with D.C. The move back to Los Angeles was announced on J.J.’s birthday.

I don’t have any strong feelings about St. Louis, well maybe one (just don’t click), and it did produce one of the greatest Americans of our or anyone elses lifetimes, Yogi Berra. It always felt weird though that the Rams were there and not in L.A.

About five years ago, I got wind of the movement Bring Back the Los Angeles Rams and the real possibility that the Rams could someday play their home games in the Southern California sunshine again. Back then I blogged a lot more and when the Rams came to play D.C., I floated the idea of the Rams heading back and adopting a yellow jersey and mocked something up back then.

In what turned out to be their final game in St. Louis, the Rams wore yellow “color rush rash” uniforms. The all yellow below the helmet was excessive but a yellow jersey looks sweet, so here is what I’d like to see them go with as their primary design:


The early L.A. Rams started a bit of a precedent with yellow uniforms that the Lakers and Kings later embraced. The upside of the yellow jerseys is they could probably wear them on the road most of the time too, creating some excellent color vs. color matchups even better than the 1994 throwbacks games.

For their secondary jersey, I’m advocating the blue jersey/yellow pants combination they wore for 20 years.


Lastly, for an alternate, making a white/blue combo that is reminiscent of the Fearsome Foursome era, but with the modern Ram horns on the jersey. They could theme it with the fourth game of the year or something. I don’t like the look as much as the other ones, but I gather there is an attachment to it for some Rams fans. I like it when teams in the same city have similar colors and that look works really well with a Dodgers cap too, though the others are good enough.


One common change, that I haven’t depicted as well as since I’m getting used to the poorly named free graphics program GIMP (miss you PhotoShop) is Northwestern-stripes on the socks, an homage to sleeve stripes of the past. The 50th L.A. season patch is based off of the 40th season patch and modified from a Bring Back the Los Angeles Rams graphic. Primary sources for the graphics are Gridiron Uniform Database, & the NFL.

By the way, the Rams started in Cleveland, moving after winning the 1945 NFL Championship to Los Angeles. Vince Guerrieri, a former colleague of mine, recently appeared on the Railbird’s Nest podcast to talk about their first city and departure.

As for St. Louis, they are probably done with the NFL, but should a team ever return, I have something in mind for them too. Call them the St. Louis Archers and have it similar to the early 2000 Rams uniforms and colors.

St. Louis Archers

I didn’t quite round off the sleeve arches, but you get the idea.

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UniWatch: DC is 14th best dressed sports city

Once again, Paul Lukas of UniWatch has ranked the uniforms of the big 4 sports leagues and is now organizing it by city. In the past, I’ve tabulated those rankings myself, so I’m glad he spared me the work.

Lukas broke the rankings into two tiers — 3 or more team cities and 2 team cities. He also considered the venues of the teams as part of the overall aesthetic.

D.C. (Nationals, Capitals, Redskins, Wizards) came in 14th (again) out of 20 3 or more cities. Here’s the UniWatch list:

San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose
New York/New Jersey
St. Louis
Los Angeles/Anaheim
Twin Cities
Tampa/St. Petersburg

Wait – no way are we worse than Miami, the Twin Cities, St. Louis (who won’t be on the three team list after the Rams move back to L.A. or perhaps London if that fails), Dallas or Toronto. So, at worst we’re #9. No bonus points for everybody wearing a shade of red at least some of the time either?

That isn’t to say that our teams could use some improvement. The Nats need to drop the front numbers and reinstate the interlocking DC and navy road cap. “Capitals” needs to be capitalized and some more red on the road whites is in order. The Wizards stand out despite the limited palette of a basketball jersey, but how about some block numbers? The Redskins, well that’s a whole thread of it’s own, but I’ll suggest they return to burgundy pants with the white jerseys. The ketchup and mustard look has grown on me though.

UPDATED: On DC Sports Bog (The Post), Clinton Yates defended DC’s uniforms.

While Lukas is SO VERY WRONG on D.C.’s ranking, he did get something right that too many area MSM’s don’t:

I also considered lumping Baltimore and DC into one metro area. But after consulting with several fans from both cities, I decided to treat them as separate entities. This meant that DC made the primary list of 20 big-market cities and Baltimore was relegated to the list of two-team cities.

As for other cities…Chicago would be my #1. Too many NFL teams messed up their uniforms and hold their city back. I’m looking at you Eagles and Broncos. Oh and when the Rams head back to L.A., they should add some gold jerseys.

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BeltwayLand Beer 4 years in plus Riggo, Red Bull vs. Old Ox; minus Chocolate City

Welcome to the Winter 2015 update of BetlwayLand Beer – a long time coming.

UPDATE: It seems like every time I publish one of these posts, a few items come up not long after. Rather than wait, I’ve added them throughout the post. Prost!

It’s already been four years since Port City Brewing Co. opened (and almost five since we heard about it), returning a production brewery to the immediate Washington, D.C. area – inside the Beltway for the first time since there has been a Beltway. Sure, Loudoun and Frederick counties have had breweries for a while, but this was closer to home. Port City opened on January 30, 2011 as Alexandria’s first brewery in a century and was followed by several more locals, including DC Brau, the first production brewery in the District since Heurich closed in 1956. They seem friendly:

There is growth throughout the region that’s hard to keep up with, but now there is contraction as well.


Back in July, @map408psu and I wondered aloud on Twitter if there was a craft beer bubble.

Since then, t Chocolate City was closed effective December 31. @SeanMMcNally had another take:

Chocolate City becomes the first of the class of 2011 to fold. I never got to try it.


Riggo, one of the most beloved DC athletes ever wants to expand his television presence with a show called Brew Stories:

The pilot was shot at Port City. I posted this on tumblr and twitter and DC Sports Bog’s Scott Allen picked it up. Too bad he had to cram his favorite, DC-hating baseball team into it.


Oh look, a multi-national corporation is being obnoxious with a small privately-owned business (WJLA) in another category:

So, I guess I’ll be hating on the Red Bull NY soccer team a little more during D.C. United’s season. Old Ox is named after the road that goes through Loudoun County.


Backup goalie, Andrew Dykstra, is a home-brewer and his latest is Achilles Pale Ale (The Post). May none of his bottles rupture like his tendon.

I tried two DC Brau special editions, The Tradition which is their DC United themed beer. By the time I found some is not at its freshest and did not provide any luck in the playoffs as the black & red fell to Red Bull New York. A stadium was secured though, so that’s good news. I’ll give the beer another shot next summer if it is still produced.

The Penn Quarter Porter, which I had out at Chadwick’s in Old Town, was a pretty special beer though. The chocolate and coffee flavors are smooth, but not overwhelming. If I see a six pack, I’m buying one to take home.

There is some bad news though —

DC Brau has stopped giving away free samples though, scapegoating bad apples (The Post) abusing the previous system.

Speaking of apples…


The packaging is a bit much but Bold Rock (Wintergreen, Va.) has a pretty tasty hard cider. I’ve gotten it several times and will continue to do so, especially if I wind up skiing Wintergreen this winter.


As far as I know, there isn’t a beer map for Verizon Center like there is for Nationals Park. This ought to be rectified; does The Nationals Review like hockey or basketball? Local beers are sold there, but the most recent list is from 2013, so it may be out of date.


The great Vince Guerrieri wrote about a brewery bus in Cleveland recently and I thought, DC needs one of those. Sure enough, I soon learned of DC Brew Tours. Reston Limousine does it too, but not as often. Oh and DC Brew Tours, work on that SEO, it was hard to find you.


What’s brewing in Northern Virginia: Old Bust Head, Heritage Brewing and BadWolf BrewingThe Post
How to make a day of visiting breweries in the Western suburbs.

I think I mentioned it before, but Old Bust Head doesn’t have a winter seasonal next year called something like “school closed” or something they are doing it wrong because Fauquier is always the first school system to close for winter weather.

h/t @dcsportschick

Hey, John Taylor’s sharing a byline there.


March 7 is the DC Brewers Ball at National Building Museum. Might not be the optimum weekend for touring the local breweries which I was considering. We’ll see.


It would be hard to match last year’s success when DC & VA beers cleaned up, but there were some high achievers in 2014 too:

Raspberry Stout Hardywood Park Craft Brewery American-Style Fruit Beer Richmond, Va.
Schwartz Bier Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Outpost German-Style Schwarzbier Lexington, Va.
Rauchbier Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant – Annapolis Belgian-Style Witbier Annapolis, Md.
Amber Waves Ale Capitol City Brewing Co. American-Style Amber/Red Ale Arlington, Va.
Old Virginia Dark Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Outpost American-Style Dark Lager Lexington, Va.
Turbo Cougar Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Outpost Bock Lexington, Va.
Belgian IPA Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant – Rockville American-Belgo-Style Ale Rockville, Md.
Belgian IPA Union Craft Brewing American-Belgo-Style Ale Baltimore, Md.
The Citizen DC Brau Brewing Co. Belgian- and French-Style Ale Washington, D.C.
Alt Bier Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Basecamp German-Style Altbier Roseland, Va.
Hydraulion Red/td> Three Notch’d Brewing Co. Irish-Style Red Ale Charlottesville, Va.
Sweet Baby Jesus! DuClaw Brewing Co. Chocolate Beer Rosedale, Md.
Danzig Devils Backbone Brewing Co. – Basecamp Baltic-Style Porter
Gold Heavy Seas Beer Golden or Blonde Ale Baltimore, Md.


I’ll still ask, even at this late date — did everybody have (a) good Oktoberfest(s)? It’s my favorite beer season.

Like the Washington Nationals, the local ones did not last as long into October as I would like. I did not make it out to any events either, but I sampled four regional Oktoberfest beers:

Rhinofest by Lost Rhino – Probably the best, a little sweetness, but not overpowering. My wife liked it the most. It was about $10 for a 30 oz bottle though.
Corcoran Brewery (half-growler) – good, if I lived out in Loudoun County, I’d be inclined to get a half-growler if I were having a few people over.
Port City Brewing Co. – As always, it sold out too soon – I only got one six pack of it. I never saw it in stores, only at the brewery.
DC Brau – I bought a couple at the penultimate Nats game and enjoyed them. Not surprisingly, this was the hoppiest of the four area ‘fests. It paired well with a half-smoke though.

Flying Dog also makes an Oktoberfest, Dogtoberfest, but I didn’t get it this year. There may still be some sixpacks of their Old Bay-infused Dead Rise beer at Van Dorn Safeway and the Vienna Giant, by the way.

Outside of the region, I sampled the following:

Great Lakes Brewing Co. (Cleveland)
Shinerfest (Texas)
Harpoon (New England)
Leingkugel (Wisconsin)
Saranac (New York State)

Great Lakes was my favorite of the four, but Shiner and Leinie are pretty special. Harpoon and Saranac are also solid choices.

I had Samuel Adams Oktoberfest somewhere too, on draft, but can’t remember where. It’s not my favorite and Yuengling Oktoberfest was surprisingly disappointing last year. There may be some sixpacks of Old Dominion, formerly of this region, but now from Delaware, floating around. Leingkugel made it well into the New Year.

Next year, my wife and I will make it to a fest and report back on it.


Frederick’s Flying Dog, which is conspicuously a Maryland beer (well, for a Colorado-owned company), is setting up shop across the Potomac in Lucketts (Loudoun Times):

…Gov. Terry McAuliffe stood in front of a crowd to announce the first commercial hops processing facility would be heading to Black Hops Farm in Lucketts…the same farm was announced as the home to Farmworks, a farm beer operation run by Frederick, Md.-based Flying Dog Brewery.

Coming summer 2015, Farmworks Brewery will take 5 acres of property and is expected to include a 15-barrel brewhouse, cellar, coolshop and tasting room.

The hops processing facility will be located at another location on the farm.

“I’m pretty excited about the fact that there will be more great beer in Virginia,” said Jonathan Staples, the owner of the farm located on the west side of Route 15, north of Lucketts.

Loudoun County has two distillers (which I’ll blog about soon), several breweries and dozens of wineries.

This post has been in the works for months and by the time I get to the next one, it’ll probably be beer & half-smokes at Nationals Park time.

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