Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 1, 2014

Posts in "Drink"

July 25, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Quaff of the Week: 3 Stars Danny Greene

 Roll Call After Dark Quaff of the Week: 3 Stars Danny Greene

A glass of the 3 Stars Danny Greene, here with its friend, Boundary Road’s cheesesteak lunch. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Cleveland has certainly gotten its props lately, scoring the 2016 Republican National Convention and the return of LeBron James to the Cavaliers. If one is looking for further evidence of Cleveland Rising, look no further than D.C.-based 3 Stars Brewing Company’s Danny Greene, an American Double/Imperial IPA.

Greene, an Irish-American mobster in Cleveland in the 1970s, has enjoyed a mini-boomlet of fame himself, even though he’s been dead since the Disco Era. Partial credit must be due to 3 Stars co-owner Dave Coleman, a Cleveland native.

As far as the beer goes, I’m happy to report it’s good for all occasions, whether at a leisurely weekday lunch accompanied by a cheesesteak and fries at Boundary Road or on a weekend bender at a 3 Stars summer jam.

For context on Greene and his time, Cleveland Magazine has a great treatment from 1978 in the wake of Greene’s murder. There’s also a gritty crime movie from 2011 by Jonathan Hensleigh, “Kill The Irishman,” starring Ray Stevenson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken.

By Jason Dick Posted at 9:30 a.m.

July 18, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Quaff of the Week: Dead Rise Summer Ale

 Roll Call After Dark Quaff of the Week: Dead Rise Summer Ale

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

If it’s summer in the capital region, it’s time for beer, crabs and Old Bay. And sometimes, it’s good to combine as many as possible in one package, such as Flying Dog Brewery’s Dead Rise Summer Ale.

The Frederick, Md.-based brewer’s latest mad scientist concoction, complete with Ralph Steadman bottle art, has been popping up more and more in Washington. I purchased my latest six pack at Hayden’s Liquor Store at Eastern Market, and partook of a flowing tap at Kelly’s Irish Times on Thursday.

For those counting themselves at Old Bay skeptics, give it a whirl. The celery salt brininess makes a nice baseline in the peppy ale. For those who can’t get enough Old Bay, you won’t need Roll Call After Dark’s encouragement to potentially overdo it with your table full of steamed blue crab by adding Dead Rise as your beverage of choice.

And if you’d like to go to the source, you’re in luck! This Saturday, Flying Dog is hosting its outdoor music/beer drinking session at its Frederick facility, with musical guests Lucero.

Questions? Flying Dog has an FAQ page for all your Old Bay-laced beer curiosity.

By Jason Dick Posted at 2:01 p.m.
Drink, Eat

July 17, 2014

Roll Call After Dark Tunes of the Week: ‘Women & Work’ by Lucero

“Come on out tonight,” could be the unofficial motto for good-timing Memphis band Lucero, a band dedicated equally to touring and defying easy classification. Country? Sure. Punk? Why not. Roadhouse? Yeah.

You can fulfill their request — words from the “Downtown” track of their “Women & Work” album — a couple of different ways this weekend. On Saturday, Lucero plays at Saturday’s Summer Sessions at Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Md. General admission is $25. If you can’t make that, head over to Dewey Beach, Del., where they’ll be playing at the Bottle & Cork on Sunday.

Notice a theme in the venues? That’s right, my friend — fermented spirits!

July 14, 2014

Priorities, Priorities: In D.C., Yoga More Expensive, Beer More Available

atlas002 091713 2 445x307 Priorities, Priorities: In D.C., Yoga More Expensive, Beer More Available

Coming soon to a brewery near you, beer-drinking on the premises! (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

How’s this for a city motto: Washington, D.C., where the yoga’s expensive and the beer is easy!

That might need a little work, but that’s the gist of the fiscal 2015 D.C. spending plan that is on a glide path now that the D.C. Council has over-ridden Mayor Vincent Gray’s veto of its $10.6 billion spending plan. That plan raised taxes on health club memberships and cut funding for a streetcar project, but contained language that allows D.C. burgeoning breweries to sell beer for on-site consumption, according to my Roll Call colleague Hannah Hess.

Get the message? Drink more beer, work out less! Right?

By Jason Dick Posted at 5:53 p.m.

June 30, 2014

Washington’s Independence Day Patriotic Palooza

fireworks 008 070413 289x335 Washingtons Independence Day Patriotic Palooza

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Independence Day in Washington is like Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pa., a patriotic palooza. As if the stakes couldn’t be higher on the grandest stage at the capital of the free world, we could, possibly, be treated to yacht rock legend Michael McDonald singing “Sweet Freedom” with the Muppets as a follow-up act.

Of all the major holidays, D.C. really shines (or smokes, or swelters) on Independence Day, with the capital city coming alive with fireworks, concerts, Major League Baseball and even a fairground with midway rides.

Sure, the National Mall is the big gathering spot in D.C. for watching the fireworks come Friday evening, with the temporary concert venue on the West Front of the Capitol all set to blast tunes from everyone from McDonald to the Muppets to Frankie Valli for the Capitol Fourth celebration. What a fool believes! But the Mall and the Capitol grounds are not the only places to watch the pyrotechnics, not by a long shot.

Any higher ground vantage point, whether it’s Meridian Hill Park or the Iwo Jima Marine Corps Monument in Rosslyn, Va., or the roof of a pal’s apartment building will offer all the views with fewer sweaty souls jostling for precious few spots.

The fireworks and Capitol Fourth are a small component of the festivities, though.

The Washington Nationals, fresh from a Midwestern road swing in Milwaukee and Chicago, are back for a homestead against the Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles. On Friday, the Nats will play the Cubs in an 11:05 a.m. game that will feature lots and lots of flags and many beer cans emblazoned with Old Glory. Fireworks are usually to be had. Such an early game lets everyone get out in plenty of time to find their ways to the Mall, Capitol or that pal’s apartment building.

And let’s not forget about the D.C. Capital Fair at beloved RFK Stadium, which started June 27 and extends through Sunday. We might not be a state or have a vote in Congress, but we’ve got a fair, complete with a ferris wheel, a petting zoo and wolf show (no word on whether Nats outfielder Jayson Werth will be attending) and illusionists, hypnotists and plenty of greasy food. This week through Thursday, the fair runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Starting Friday and going through Sunday, it runs from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Yacht rock, baseball, things blowing up in the night sky, fried food and carnies. What’s more American than that?

June 18, 2014

Which Koch Brother Wanted to Date Marla Maples?

Do you know which Koch brother wanted to date Marla Maples, but thought better of it after Donald Trump picked her up?

How about which Koch brother donned a “Captain Koch” costume at the Wichita Gridiron Club?

Do you know which Koch brother wrote a play that provided source material for the film “Shakespeare in Love?”

How about which Koch brother opened up a bookstore, a John Birch Society bookstore?

Did you even know there were four Koch brothers? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., only talks about two of them, Charles and David, while leaving Bill and Frederick largely out of the equation.

Mother Jones Senior Editor Daniel Schulman tells the tale of the K-Bros masterfully in his new book “Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers Became America’s Most Powerful and Private Dynasty,” and he’ll drop by Roll Call Book Club on Thursday night to discuss not just the history of the Koch family and its behemoth Koch Industries, but the people behind it.

Be prepared. These folks play hard ball, especially with one another for control of a vast enterprise. How else to explain the Koch brother who subpoenaed his own mother, after she’d had a stroke, to testify in a lawsuit?

Drop by our free event at Hill Center at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, starting at 6 p.m. Wine, snacks and books included. Register at Hill Center’s website.

June 17, 2014

D.C. Noshes Its Way to’s Foodie List

Meal Ticket 4 101912 445x295 D.C. Noshes Its Way to Livability.coms Foodie List

Local oysters and beer. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s good to know all this eating isn’t going to waste: Washington, D.C., has landed itself on’s list of Top Ten Foodie Cities for 2014.

Livability, the list-tastic media venture that loves to compile best downtowns, kid-friendly places and etc., likes to spread the wealth around in the list of Foodie fave towns and cities. In previous iterations, they kept the criteria to smaller cities and highlighted places that wouldn’t necessarily survive a head-to-head matchup with, say, New Orleans. In their 2013, list, for example, nearby Alexandria, Va., was on the list.

Roll Call’s own Warren Rojas can vouch for how much folks in D.C. like to eat. Check out some of his own coverage in our Hill Life Food and Drink Archive. 

This year, Livability’s foodie-ranking criteria included the following:

• Frequency that residents eat at local restaurants

• Amount that residents spend on food

• Access to healthy food options

• Number of farmers markets

• Number of restaurants

• James Beard Foundation Award winners

So here’s to D.C. Now go out and eat something!

By Jason Dick Posted at 11:47 a.m.
Drink, Eat

June 2, 2014

Beer, Bikes and Doughnuts — Like You Need Anything Else

atlas003 091713 445x301 Beer, Bikes and Doughnuts — Like You Need Anything Else

Cox, right, and Durgin will host a Brooklyn Brewery Mash event at their Atlas digs. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This is a good week if you like to drink beer, ride a bike and eat doughnuts and Nashville hot chicken.

First, the beer. The Brooklyn Brewery Mash Tour is in full swing here in Washington, with its emphasis on local beer, local grub and local hanging out. Full story

May 29, 2014

Fat Tire’s Tour de Fat Rolls Toward Capitol Hill

There are worse ways to spend a Saturday than riding your bike and drinking beer. Thanks to the New Belgium Brewing Company, one may do both come this weekend, at the 2014 Tour de Fat at Yards Park on the Anacostia riverfront.

Starting with a 10 a.m. registration time on Saturday, cyclists/imbibers can hang out, listen to music, partake in a costume contest, engage in a slow ride race and drink any of the Colorado-based brewers’ many varieties of beer, such as the classic Fat Tire or seasonals and specials like 1554 Black Lager or Carnie Blood Orange Saison.

There’ll be plenty of tunes from the likes of The Reals and Reggie Watts, as well as entertainment from folks like The Handsome Little Devils.

May 28, 2014

Ian Fleming’s Birthday Is Today, so Drink a Martini

Need an excuse to have a martini? It’s Ian Fleming’s birthday on Wednesday, so hoist one to the creator of Bond, James Bond.

Some of the better places to indulge? Wisdom cocktail parlour at 1432 Pennsylvania Ave. SE is arguably your best best on Capitol Hill, although you can expect proprietor Erik Holzherr, the Gintender, to speak up in favor of gin, as opposed to Mr. Bond’s preference for vodka martinis.

Washington’s good enough to be a town replete with good cocktail places. If you’re not on the Hill, may we suggest the Passenger (1021 Seventh St. NW), Round Robin (1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) or the Gibson (2009 14th St. NW)?

If Bond’s not your thing, just remember that Fleming is the man who also gave us “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

May 9, 2014

Brewery Ommegang Cooks Up SAVOR Counteroffensive

Bummed about missing out on the barley- and hops-fueled bacchanal taking over the National Building Museum this weekend?

EAs2011 445x295 Brewery Ommegang Cooks Up SAVOR Counteroffensive

Eddie Arrossi/Brewers Association

So is Brewery Ommegang.

Rather than fret about all the fun they won’t be having at the annual SAVOR beer blowout, the powers that be behind the New York-based craft brewery have decided to host their own beer-drenched shindig at Hierarchy (1841 Columbia Road NW).

A suggested $10 donation, which benefits DC Central Kitchen, gets one in the door and entitles guests to a custom tasting glass and commemorative gift.

Organizers insist the “Black Sheep” event, which is scheduled to roll from Saturday night right into Sunday (8 p.m. to 1 a.m.), is meant to complement, not supplant, the Brewers Association-led festivities taking place across town.

The splintering was apparently predicated by a SAVOR ban on having too many interrelated breweries — Ommegang’s pals from Kansas City-based Boulevard Brewing Company got the nod this year — under the same roof during the weekend drinkathon.

“Rather than go out like a lamb we are going to have a bit of fun and create what should be a fantastic experience of beer, food, art, music with a good cause to boot — and the event is open to all: SAVOR attendees, local DC food-and-beer lovers and anyone else who wants to join us,” Bill Wetmore, Ommegang’s director of marketing suggested in a release.

Meanwhile, Haute Saison Catering owner Jan Van Haute and Ommegang executive chef Evan Brown are scheduled to whip up special lamb dishes to be paired with the crew’s homespun brews. And members of DC’s Fans of Lamb should be on hand to share cooking secrets and cherished lamb recipes.

Worried about being too smashed to trek from SAVOR to Adams Morgan? Team Ommegang plans to run shuttle buses from there to them every half hour beginning at 10 p.m. (until 11:30 p.m.) to ensure beer lovers can enjoy the best of both worlds.

May 7, 2014

Rock & Roll Hotel Turning Japanese With Movie Offerings

Drinking/music venue Rock & Roll Hotel is offering a slate of Sunday night movies on their rooftop deck, and, perhaps inspired by The Vapors’ “Turning Japanese,” they’re going with a Japan-animation-themed slate.

Last week, they went with “Akira,” and this week are going with “Ninja Scroll.” For the May 18 show, it’ll be Hayao Miyazaki’s “Princess Mononoke,” and on the 25th it’ll be “Ghost in the Shell.”

Food and drink specials available throughout shows that start at 7 p.m. and repeat at 9 p.m. on an eight-foot projection screen. You’re also welcome to bring your own comfy seating to 1353 H St. NE.


May 5, 2014

Wisdom Gets a Case of the Mondays

As Kurt Vonnegut would say, “Goodbye, Blue Monday!” Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, Wisdom cocktail bar on Capitol Hill has decided to start opening on Mondays.

The announcement of extended drinking hours show just what’s at stake. ”To celebrate (and because we are unstable) we will be doing CHRISTMAS IN MAY. We will be playing random XMAS movies for your enjoyment/annoyment. Order a cocktail and unwarp a surprise gift (one per visit),” the announcement from Wisdom says. In a nod to celebrating the day Mexican forces defeated the French in Mexico a long time ago, they promise that patrons will “enjoy Tequila in ways that you never imagined …”

For anyone who’s dropped by Erik Holzherr’s spirits-infused imaginarium at 1432 Pennsylvania Ave. SE or belongs to the Wisdom gin club, it’s no idle chatter.

By Jason Dick Posted at 2:23 p.m.
Be Merry, Drink

May 2, 2014

Calendar: A Tale of Congressional Taste Buds

It was the best of food, it was the worst of food, it was the age of pepperoni rolls, it was the age of cherry cobbler, it was the epoch of apigigi, it was the epoch of chimichangas, it was the season of bacon, it was the season of Italian beef, it was the spring of pear tarts, it was the winter of shrimp and grits. Basically, it’s time for Taste of America.

On Wednesday, Roll Call hosts its Taste of America Kickoff Party at Capitol Lounge, 229 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Every year, in conjunction with the Congressional Baseball Game, states and their D.C. ambassadors duke it out for bragging rights on just whose favorite comfort food reigns supreme.

On Wednesday, we’ll hang out at the Lounge from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., play some trivia, drink some beer and officially open the ballots for the fourth annual noshing competition. The event is free, and with it being so close to the Capitol, how could you not come? You can catch up on special orders on Benghazi later on. That’s what transcripts are for.

Last year, West Virginia’s pepperoni roll beat out an Elite Eight consisting of: Iowa bacon, Arizona chimichangas, Illinois Italian beef, Maryland crab cakes, South Carolina shrimp and grits, Oregon pear tarts and Georgia peach cobbler.

Previous winners Utah cherry cobbler, from 2012, and Northern Mariana Islands apigigi, from 2011, had lost in the earlier rounds of the March-Madness-like bracket. Online voting is similar to Major League Baseball’s method for picking all stars. Each week will bring another round of winners, and losers, and the Elite Eight will be served up at the Congressional Baseball Game on June 25 at Nationals Park, where the winner will be announced as well.

So stay hungry, oh partisans of Boston Cream Pie, oh apologists for crab cakes, half-smokes and bratwurst. Be ready to vote early and often. You never know when another apigigi will become the next Cinderella foodstuff.

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:16 p.m.
Be Merry, Drink, Eat

April 25, 2014

Calendar: How Will Life After Leibovich Affect the WHCD?

It is the year of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner AL 1, or one year After Leibovich. While he wasn’t the first, Mark Leibovich’s “This Town” skewered the event and its accompanying cocktail parties, brunches and satellite offerings so hard that it’s worth wondering whether life at Nerd Prom will be different.

Will anyone enthusiastically tweet that they can’t believe they just saw Psy? Will the BuzzFeed Bowties and Burgers alterna-dinner at Jack Rose Saloon suffer a sophomore slump? Will Tammy Haddad change the mimosa schedule? Will news organizations now ignore people who had cameos in “House of Cards”? Will any celebrity selfies not be sponsored by Samsung?

We’ll see. While Leibovich’s chronicle certainly cut deep, it’s unlikely it will change much behavior. The spectacle of the WHCD has always been ripe for snark, self-consciousness and self-righteousness. Even the term Nerd Prom is a form of faux self-deprecation, an attempt to show that one understands just how declassé the whole affair is, even while jetting from soiree to soiree, from the French Embassy to David Bradley’s house.

So go forth and enjoy the pre-pre-parties, pre-parties, dinner, alternative parties, post-parties, post-dinner hangover cure brunches and the rest. There’s nothing wrong with having a good time, even as some of the events will seem like a 1970s disaster movie: Lots of talented people who used to be in the spotlight working it hard, waiting for the ship to be hit by a tidal wave.

Meanwhile, if you’d like to opt out of some of the week’s festivities, keep in mind a couple of things happening on Capitol Hill. This is the last week for the venerable Pour House, one of Pennsylvania Avenue’s last legit dive bars, which is pouring its last brew on April 30. There’s even a countdown clock on the Pour House website to show you just many hours and seconds you have for one last round of skeeball. The place that used to be Poli-Tiki will transition yet again, this time to a more upscale venue dreamed up by the folks behind nearby wine bar Sonoma.

On the night of the WHCD itself, local band Typefighter will be playing at the Rock and Roll Hotel at 1353 H St. NE for its “The End of Everything” album release party. Helping the crowd warm up will be another local outfit, Shark Week, which features Roll Call’s own Daniel Newhauser, a House leadership reporter by day, rock and roll drummer by night, with a little DC Ducks fanboy worked in on the side.

Doors open at 7 p.m., with the show starting at 8 p.m. It’s 12 bucks in advance and at the door. No rubber chicken dinner will be served.

And the day after features the Race for Hope Washington, D.C., 5K, which raises money for brain tumor research. For more information, go to

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