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Where Spotted: Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor Deli, 1529 Connecticut Ave. NW
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Gold Coast: Since we have no production brewery (yet), D.C. is something of an unclaimed market for craft beer. That’s why we enjoy what’s likely the biggest selection in the country. But there’s always a next frontier, and the West Coast is filled with many vaunted brews that don’t regularly make it this far east. San Diego’s AleSmith is one of them. Its brewing prowess is exemplified in Wee Heavy, a big supper of a scotch ale. Rich, velvety, and deepened by a hint of smoked malt, it towers to 10 percent alcohol by volume.
No Pain, No Gain: AleSmith has no distribution deal in D.C., but the city’s friendly sales laws allow shops to obtain it through feats of shipping and paperwork. It takes time and money, so you’ll pay a premium. Limited quantities means the selection’s always changing, but you can usually find something from the fetishized California trinity of AleSmith-Lost Abbey-Russian River.