Where In Town: Connecticut Avenue Wine & Liquor, 1529 Connecticut Ave. NW
Price: $8.99/16 ounces
A Farewell to Ales
I’m sad to say that just as D.C.’s brewing scene is coming of age—with Bluejacket, Right Proper Brewing, Hellbender Brewing, and Atlas Brew Works poised to open in the coming year or so—it’s time for me to pack my beers and go. I’ll be moving to New York, but I still think the District is the best place in the country to drink beer. Is it the Pizzeria Paradisos, the Meridian Pints, and the ChurchKeys that make this place so special? They help—but the main factor, I think, is the city’s lax distribution laws and the resulting unrivaled wealth of out-of-market kegs, bottles, and cans. For a final brew in this town, I splurged on Surly’s Abrasive Ale, one of America’s most-hyped double India pale ales. Good luck finding it anywhere else within a thousand-mile radius. It usually isn’t sold outside Minnesota.
Abrasive assaults the nose with American hop aromas: an appetizing mixture of pine, mango, passionfruit, and orange. Each sip oozes mellow caramel and resin, leading to shockingly bold, mouth-drying, almost woody notes of orange peel and grapefruit pith. It might not be perfection, but it’s perfectly good. And, like moving to a new city, this beer is bittersweet.
Photo by Daniel Fromson