No prep? No problem! On Sunday, January 26, 2020, DC Beer’s Richard, Adam, and Brandy visited Silver Branch Brewing Company for a live DC Beer Show recording. The co-hosts brought up members of the audience to talk about a range of Washington DC craft beer topics, including the latest retail trends, recent legislative “wins”, and upcoming FeBREWary events.
First Guest: Eric Kintner of Wardman Wines
Eric Kintner is a Certified Cicerone and a trusted source of beer knowledge for his customers at Wardman Wines. Eric’s clientele range from local college students to established residents in the area to new move-ins. Wardman provides 3-4 free beer tastings a week for its customers–check out their calendar and stop by for a free tasting soon!
Eric and the DC Beer Show hosts discussed the latest trends in beer retail. Eric observes that while smaller DC craft breweries consistently sell their “tried and true” brands, large distributors always look to sell the most “trendy” beer styles. Today, large distributors continue to sell Hazy IPAs, but Eric has noticed that many breweries are taking more creative approaches to these brews, helping to broaden the brand.
Second Guest: Clay Palmer of Silver Branch
The DC Beer Show next welcomed Clay Palmer, bartender/certified beer server at Silver Branch. Clay discussed a few of the new beer releases at Silver Branch, courtesy of Head Brewer Christian Layke. One popular choice is Obsidian Castle, a dark Czech lager with roasty malt flavors. Another is Full Tweed Jacket, a medium-bodied Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy with a rich, malty flavor.
Silver Branch currently has around 20 drafts currently on tap, with plans to continue to release new craft brews and expand their offerings. Their beers are also available in cans in a number of local Maryland locations (and beyond).
Third Guest: Greg Parnas of Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws
Greg Parnas, legislative counsel for Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws and DCBeer contributor, closed out the session by discussing legislative successes for breweries in 2019.
Maryland breweries received more favorable contractual rights when dealing with large distributors and wholesalers. The Virginia Craft Brewers Guild blocked a proposal by Anheuser-Busch that would have expanded the dollar value of marketing “gifts” they could provide to bars. DC craft breweries reduced a number of restrictions to help them become more competitive against larger wholesalers. And most importantly, Congress extended a tax break for all American breweries under the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act. Looking forward, Greg hopes that the recent good news on US-China trade talks and the USMCA (or the “New NAFTA”) will help bring about more predictability and stability to the market.
Greg and Richard also previewed the months-long Maryland festival of brewing, FeBREWary. One of the main events is the February 14 “Love Thy Beer,” where 30 breweries will compete to brew the best “Cupid’s Curse” beer. FeBREWary will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment by debuting the “Suffragette Stout,” brewed by a team of female brewers from across Maryland. You can grab a Suffragette Stout at Denizens Brewing Company.
You can catch up on all the DC Beer Show episodes here, and subscribe to our weekly newsletter, the DC Beer Weekly Pour.