Author: Tina Caputo

The Flavor of Water: Craft producers find distinguishing flavors in an often-overlooked ingredient.

Water is key in both brewing and distilling, yet you rarely see it mentioned in marketing materials or on back-label copy. Instead, producers tout their use of “the finest organic Cascade hops,” “hand-picked Chardonnay grapes from the Napa Valley,” or some other prestigious-sounding ingredient. Most brewers and distillers use water that’s readily available to them, says Bill Owens, founder and president of the American Distilling Institute, because few have the time or resources to have their water analyzed in a lab to determine its mineral content. Some will manipulate the chemistry of their water, as brewers do when attempting...

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Last Call: The Columbia Room (Washington, D.C.)

Take a walk down Blagden Alley in Washington, D.C., and you might think you took a wrong turn. Could there really be a bar among the commercial alleyway’s unmarked brick buildings? Keep going, and liquid rewards await at The Columbia Room, Derek Brown’s temple to superbly crafted cocktails. The bar originally opened in 2010 as a 10-seat space within a speakeasy, and was reimagined in 2016 when Brown moved it to a 2,400-square-foot building in D.C.’s Shaw district. It’s now comprised of three distinct areas—the Tasting Room, Spirits Library, and Punch Garden—each offering a different experience. “I think the...

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The Crawl: Washington, D.C.

No matter which side of the aisle you’re on, politics in our nation’s capital can drive a person to drink. Fortunately, there are plenty of great places to do just that in Washington, D.C. The city was once known as the domain of buttoned-down bars and stodgy steakhouses, but thanks to an influx of millennials in recent years, D.C. has become a hotbed of epicurean innovation and variety. The District is also home to a vibrant craft brewing and distilling scene, so there are lots of intriguing local libations to explore.   U Street Corridor This historic neighborhood has...

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Going Green: Legalized marijuana brings challenges and opportunities to the alcohol beverage industry.

“Well-balanced, flavorful, and mild.” “Citrus-like, fruity.” “Great with dessert.” These may sound like descriptors from the latest Wine Spectator, but they’re actually excerpts from cannabis reviews, published last September in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper. What was once almost unimaginable in the United States has come to pass: Pot has gone mainstream. In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first U.S. states to legalize recreational cannabis; Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia followed in 2014. The November 2016 election added California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maine to the list. As more states vote to legalize recreational cannabis, the alcohol...

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March/April 2018

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