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We gave you a heads up the last time cult-inspiring California beers were spotted in D.C. Well, a few rare bottles have made it into the District again. Connecticut Avenue Wine & Spirits beverage consultant Al K. Lo has managed to get his hands on some Lost Abbey.
Lost Abbey is a Belgian abbey-style brewing project headed by Tomme Arthur. The brewery is a spin-off of the Pizza Port brewpubs in southern California, which brew and distribute under the label of Port Brewing. As complicated as all that sounds, you only need to know that their brews were good enough to demand expansion to several locations as well as a production brewery, and are hard to find on the East Coast.
Available Lost Abbey bottles, in very short supply, are: (1) The Angel’s Share, a complex strong dark ale barrel-aged in bourbon barrels for a minimum of 12 months; (2) Red Barn Ale, a refreshing farmhouse ale brewed with Belgian Saison yeast and spiced with organic ginger, orange peels, black pepper, and grains of paradise; (3) Inferno Ale, a sweet, spicy, golden Belgian-style strong ale; and (4) Hop 15, a hophead-pleasing Double IPA with 15 varieties of hops each added to the beer at 15 minute intervals. (Unlike the others, Hope 15 is technically a Port Brewing beer.)
How did Connecticut Avenue Wine & Spirits manage this feat, you ask? Apparently by partnering with Jocelyn Cambier, an independent importer whose name has been ringing in our ears. J. Cambier Imports, Inc., specializes in bringing French and Canadian beers to deserving bars and shops in the U.S., or so we were told last month by Luc Bellerive, co-owner of La Trou du Diable. Pizzeria Paradiso’s Greg Jasgur also credits Cambier for some of the French-Canadian newbies on his beer list.
It appears as though Cambier is getting into what The Lagerheads call “domestic importing” in a recent interview we did with Mike Kuykendall for East Coast Beer Cast. If that’s true, D.C. has a bright future ahead and will likely be seeing more rare beer around town. Bring it on!