Rough morning. No sessions for me for a while. To that end, while trying to avoid the session temptation, I’ll often limit myself to a 750ml bottle of a good Belgian, like an Oomegang. Unless you’re drinking a Kasteel or something with a similarly intense ABV, the single bottle of about 25oz isn’t going to hurt you too much.

But those days are nulaserlabelmbered–like to three. That’s because D.C. government is expanding its ban on sales of single beers to large swaths of the city on Tuesday, including Wards 6, 2 and 1. That adds to the existing ban in Wards 4, 7 and 8. (Here’s a D.C. Ward atlas.) The thinking here is that single-beer sales leads to public drunkenness, or worse. As a reporter discovered back in 2002, one up-and-coming city councilman staked his reputation to this crusade, making the slippery-slope argument that the vagrancy leads to open-air drug markets and other mayhem. That reporter spent a couple nights on the old Georgia Avenue to see if Fenty was right. It wasn’t a pleasant assignment.

Fenty and co. aren’t after big Belgians, but those expensive indulgences are getting the axe along with 40oz malt liquors. As a young man, this correspondent dabbled with Laser Malt Liquor. That led to a slippery slope of horrendous hangovers and self-loathing. Adios, Laser. For more on malt liquors, check out this website, the owner of which claims to have the world’s large 40oz collection–643 different brands. He also gives helpful recommendations about rehab.


urkelPilsner Urquell is a good beer. But the bottles never did it for me. Urquell, which is pronounced like Steve Urkel’s surname (not really), means from the “well” or original source in German. Thus, in classic DC-snob fashion, I’ll say I enjoyed the beer when I was in Prague. But not so much on this side of the pond. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll gladly accept a Pilsner handout, but there is a vaguely skunky taste about the bottles. A friend–known as Mr. B.–theorizes that their green glass allows U.V. radiation to alter the taste. Who knows?

The cans, however, are divine. A chilled 16-oz. can of Pilsner, poured into a frosty mug, is a fantastic sipper. But finding the 4-packs of Pilsner cans is tricky. Harris Teeter’s got them. I recommend a session.

A new-ish liquor store on P Street, dubbed 1 W Dupont Circle, has an impressive amount of fancypants beers. After my first visit last week, a drinking buddy of mine — we’ll call him Dirk — checked it out and got all worked up about what he said were steep prices. He spazzed, basically. Now I’m hardly a high roller, but I didn’t get it. I expect to drop a little coin on Belgians and Russian Imperial Stouts. And it’s not like I’m buying six-packs of Ommegang. But hey, the more frugal be warned that 1 W Dupont may charge a bit much for its craft brews. They also stock a sick variety. So there it is.

Toasts mark new beginnings. At this typing, I’m about to sample Dogfishhead’s Midas Touch for the first time. Yes, I read the New Yorker‘s beer blowout. If you haven’t, it’s worth the 30-minute read. You’ll also get the skinny on Midas Touch, a faithful recreation of what was placed in the dead king’s drinking vessels in 730 B.C.

The verdict: Surprisingly smooth. While the saffron and honey is there, it’s not overpowering. For 9 percent ABV, it’s an easy sip. Every batch contains $1,000 of saffron. That’s a cool grand. It’s a gift from Delaware. Thanks. King Midas knew what was up. I’d have a beer with that guy.