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Following his surprising departure from Brasserie Beck last month, Bill Catron has already found a new home. The former beer “sommelier” has taken a position at de vinos in Adams Morgan, where he will do for the beer/wine store what he did for his former boss, Robert Wiedmaier, at Beck: He’ll turn de vinos into a Belgian beer destination.
“I thought, ‘Why wouldn’t I put [Belgian beer list] in de vinos and make it affordable?'” Catron says during a phone interview.
Catron believes there are enough shops where beer drinkers can pick up a bomber or five of American microbrews, so it only made sense to give de vinos a different identity. He already has 100 Belgians in store and should have 300 different brands by next week. Catron will keep some American microbrews in stock for those loyal de vinos customers who just can’t make the switch to Belgian beers.
De vinos owner George Aguilar contacted Catron about the full-time position shortly after the beer man left Beck. The two men have known each other for years. Aguilar and his wife used to be regular patrons at Beck. “He was always telling me, ‘If you ever leave this place, let me know,'” Catron says.
How long Catron, one of the few Americans to be knighted by the La Chevalerie du Fourquet des Brasseurs, will ultimate stay at de vinos is anyone’s guess. “My heart,” the 33-year-old says, “lies with a beer program within a restaurant. I do like doing [the work at de vinos], but ultimately I think i will have to go back and follow that [restaurant] route.”