Thursday, April 5, 2007

A beer lover's paradise!

Earlier this year, me and my officemates went to a conference in Northern Virginia. One evening we headed into D.C. to find beer Mecca. It’s a bit tricky to locate, and even trickier to park at especially if we had been driving instead of getting dropped off ;) The “upstairs” was closed to a private tasting. You enter the downstairs through this somewhat hidden door you pass on the way to the “upstairs”. It feels like a secret place that only you know about. Downstairs it’s dimly lit with dark wood everywhere. There were a few kitchy video game consoles, but the rest of the place was decorated with old beer cans on shelves behind plexi-glass. There were easily over 1000 seemingly different cans from all over the world.

We were seated at a simple wooden table and our server brought us the food menu and beer menu. The food menu was only a single page and had normal pub fare (though the food was great… I had an excellent fish and chips and Mark had an awesome burger that tasted like it was grilled on a Weber somewhere on the roof). The beer menu on the other hand is absolutely OVERWHELMING. It is easily 20 pages long with 8 point font; probably several hundred different beers in 12 and 22oz. bottles. Beers from all over the world. Exotic beers, and common beers (I recall seeing things like MGD, Bud, Rolling Rock, etc.) I started with a few Belgian beers that I let the server recommend. He was a young guy with straight unevenly cut dirty blond hair, dark rimmed glasses and facial hair that was trying desperately to be a goatee. He seemed to know every beer on the menu; clearly an impossibility, but it was clear that the Brick encouraged their servers to know the beers. I spent a lot of time dreaming about how being a server there would be an INCREDIBLE job for a young single male. After the Belgians, I had to have a Lagunitas Maximus, and I wrapped up the evening with a not particularly memorable beer (I think an IPA) from Bell’s in Michigan. We cabbed back to NoVA ending our pilgrimage, but I know that wasn’t the last time I’ll be back.