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Podcast: Crushing it with Drew McCormick of Pizzeria Paradiso

DC Beer’s Richard is joined by Drew McCormick, Executive Beverage Director at Pizzeria Paradiso, which is a top restaurant in the DC with five locations in the DMV area. Drew talks about her beer program at Pizzeria Paradiso and her efforts to support the local community.Pizzeria-Paradiso-DC

Drew’s Evolving Role in the Pizzeria Paradiso Beer Program

Originally from Maine, Drew has worked with Pizzeria Paradiso for seven years. She began as a server and worked her way up the ranks to her current position as Executive Beverage Director. She is responsible for coordinating the beverage options across all five locations, constantly seeking to provide customers with a balanced selection of craft beer. 

Drew is building upon a rich beer legacy at Pizzeria Paradiso, which opened its first bar in the basement of its Georgetown location in the 1990s. Today, Pizzeria Paradiso has a dynamic beer program, with a diverse offering of beers from both inside and outside the DC area. Each location offers a unique drink list consisting of at least a dozen beers on draft and over 200 packaged beers at any time. Pizzeria Paradiso only sells beers made by breweries that fit the definition of an Independent Craft Brewery as defined by the Brewers Association. 

Drew’s work to provide customers with a balanced selection of good beer has not gone unnoticed. Pizzeria Paradiso’s beer program has been nominated as the best beer program by both the Maryland Restaurant Association and the Restaurant Association of Washington.

Drew’s Take on Recent Beer Trends

Recently, Drew has noticed that many craft breweries are focusing on providing more approachable beers with lower ABVs and fewer calories. She is excited about the low-ABV lager movement that gives drinkers a crisp and clean taste. She also sees breweries expanding their offerings of low-ABV IPAs. Drew and Richard agree that this trend allows breweries to attract a broader customer base.

Drew, however, is not sold on the recent Seltzer craze, which still lacks the craftsmanship seen in small, independent breweries. Time will tell if the beer community will begin to experiment with more creative and complex Seltzer offerings.

Upcoming Holiday Events at Pizzeria Paradiso

Drew highlighted several events and offerings coming up at Pizzeria Paradiso that will give you a chance to help your local community. It is partnering with DC Brau to offer a “brewers’ grain crust” for its pizzas from November 29th through December 24th, with all proceeds going to Bread for the City.

It will also be holding a “Give a Can, Get a Can” event at its Dupont location on December 12th and its Hyattsville location on December 20th, where you can get a free can of beer if you bring a can of non-perishable food for Martha’s Table. Lastly, each location has adopted a family through the Healthy Babies Project, where you can join the staff and fellow customers at any location to donate gifts to a local family for the holidays.

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