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I mean, what else could I have possibly started with this week? I have never seen a more Void-worthy product, and there are so many Void-worthy ones. Just ask Trillium.

We have had some bar closure announcements since our last Void. The first domino to fall was storied Capitol Hill haunt Capitol Lounge. For those outside of #thistown, or inside, it was a painful announcement, as it was one of the old-school spots in DC where both sides could sit down and have a beer. Next came the news that seven popular Hilton Brothers bars were closing indefinitely at the end of October. It is likely only going to get worse as temperatures drop and outdoor dining becomes untenable, and patrons choose to takeout, if that. Any spot that relies on primarily alcohol sales just isn’t going to make it, I’m afraid. Here are the beginnings of a map pinning bar closures in DC. Relatedly, the U.S. is currently backing off aluminum tariffs from Canada, at least as long as certain criteria are met. Also, excise taxes are set to expire, which will be a crushing blow to many breweries struggling to make ends meet. If you think those should be extended, make it known.

Draft beer is also struggling amid the pandemic, both in terms of on-premise sales and a brain drain of those paid to take care of it. Read about it here. But, in case you are hiring any new workers at your spot, have a look at the Kandidate Job Board, a new project from Beer Kulture aimed at connecting prospective employers with candidates of color in the industry. The industry needs more of this. 

Baltimore’s Union Craft Brewing faced accusations of sexual assault against an unnamed member of its founding ownership group. Union responded by acknowledging that this is, in fact, true, and saying the person was removed from “relieved of his duties and removed from the operations at the brewery.” This response was questionable to some who thought he should be forced out of ownership in some way, and it is unclear if this has occurred or if they are seeking any process of doing so. 

Meridian/Brookland Pint/Smoke and Barrel owner John Andrade posted an update on platforms saying business has dipped in the last two weeks at the Meridian Pint location in NoVA and he will withdraw from the GoFundMe generously started by patrons to help cover the cost of operations. The GoFundMe will say open another week, so add money if you so wish. It is being used for its intended purpose. 

Take a break from bad news to read this, frankly, astonishing long read on Silver Spring’s Silver Branch Brewing, who’s 1st anniversary happened right as the coronavirus pandemic began in the U.S. Read how they were able to adapt. It is as detailed a look at the operations of a brewery as you can find. And, as they say, they were very lucky to be able to survive. 

After you’re done with that, listen to the return of the DC Beer show. And, DC Beer Week is returning, amid the uncertain future of the industry.

Julie Veratti of Denizens Brewing spoke positively about a socially distanced beer festival in Virginia that sounded more like a beer dinner of sorts. Denizens is also partnering with local businesses with the Craft Collective. Amethyst Heels talked about what we’re missing this summer without beer fests. Since Oktoberfests are ongoing but sparse and downplayed this year, and you’re doing more drinking at home, Brewed Culture is doing a blind tasting bracket of Oktoberfest beers. Some heavy hitters already got eliminated.

Daniel continued to drink some styles. Manor Hill’s Mild Manor’d and Silver Branch’s Glass Castle. Take a look at his weekly review series as he studies for his next level Cicerone exam.

Maryland apparently likes 10-ounce beers. As a 35 year Maryland resident, this is news to me, as I don’t recall ever seeing or consuming a 10 ounce can of beer, but if it’s on the internet, it must be true. Those silly southern and eastern Marylanders. Perhaps if that sounds good, I can also interest you in a bigger, lower-calorie beer?

The fight to unionize craft beer continued in Minnesota, where one brewery unionized, and another tried to unionize but then closed its large, destination beer-hall right around the same time. Workers picketed the decision. 

Read about one of my favorite breweries in one of my favorite places, London’s Anspach and Hobday, who recently moved from Bermondsey to Croydon. And, finally, the last of a series of long reads in this Void, a read on Stone and… well, everything that they’ve been trying to do to act like a big business and, in turn, alienate some of their most loyal fans.

Stay healthy, everyone. Until next time.

 

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