A LIFESTYLE + ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE
RO O B E AT TH The Boro is partnering with URBNmarket for a festively fall and socially distant Oktoberfest event!
Friday, October 9th 3:30PM – 8:30PM
Featuring Local Artists, Crafts & Vendors
LIVE ENTERTAINMENT FAMILY FUN ACTIVITIES
YOUR TABLE OR ADIRONDACK CHAIRS TODAY! TheBoroTysons.com
Saturday, October 10th 11:00AM – 5:00PM
BEHIND THE SCENES. We spent a recent Sunday afternoon with September cover subject Andra “AJ” Johnson at cocktail bar Serenata. Lani Furbank interviewed the beverage director and powerhouse behind DMV Black Restaurant Week and the Back to Black Pop Up about her fight for equality in D.C.’s drink scene, and Mike Kim of Kimchi Photography snapped photos for our September cover and more. Photos by Kimchi Photography // www.kimchi.photography.
DISTRICT FRAY |
SERENATA’S ANDRA “AJ” JOHNSON
34 THE ART OF THE BAR CART
HOW D.C. DRINKS IN 2020
LOCAL WINE TRAIL
CHOOSE YOUR OWN BEER AVENTURE LEFT PAGE. Serenata cocktail. RIGHT PAGE. Maxwell wine picks. Photos by Kimchi Photograpy.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
5 Artist Lindsay Adams 8 Not So Stir-Crazy Calendar
58 Inclusive Art Collectives 61 Chamber Dance Project 70 Musician Emma G
ROBERT KINSLER Publisher
MONICA ALFORD Editor-in-Chief
13 Perfect Pairings 18 Boozy Ice Cream
62 25 Fall Experiences
49 Drinking Local Guide
65 A Boxing Guide
55 Wolf Trap Forges Ahead
68 Wine Crossword
M.K. KOSZYCKI Assistant Editor
Key Account Manager
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kelsey Cochran, Lani Furbank, Anna Jacoby, Aparna Krishnamoorthy, Keith Loria, Mayra Mejia, Travis Mitchell, Jean Schindler, Amanda Weisbrod COVER PHOTOGRAPHER Kimchi Photography COVER SUBJECT Andra “AJ” Johnson COVER LOCATION Serenata in La Cosecha PHOTOGRAPHERS Kelsey Cochran, Krystina Gabrielle, Kimchi Photography ILLUSTRATOR James Coreas
DISTRICT FRAY |
REIMAGINE EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES TO BOOST MORALE Our custom, turn-key virtual events are the answer to your employees' Zoom Gloom. Our team building activities help build relationships and drive productivity. Book your demo with Seth Peters // email@example.com // 859.494.5194 More Opportunities to Partner: Visit UNITEDFRAY.COM
DISTRICT DENIZENS | NOT SO STIR-CRAZY
LINDSAY ADAMS A MODERN RENAISSANCE WOMAN WORDS BY AMANDA WEISBROD
RADAR | DISTRICT DENIZENS
ith every stroke of her brush, Lindsay Adams paints a story – maybe one that’s personal and relatable, one that’s cultural and worldly, or one that’s bold and outspoken. Regardless of the message, she makes sure it’s told in her own way. Adams was born with cerebral palsy (CP), a motor disability affecting one’s ability to speak, move and maintain balance, according to the CDC. But instead of seeing her disability as an inhibitor of her identity as an artist and communicator, she embraces it. Instead of it being a flaw, Adams says her cerebral palsy is what makes her flawless. “One of my biggest struggles with CP is fine motor skills,” she says, pointing out the irony. “I can’t put on earrings. I can barely button my shirts. But I can paint my ass off.” Adams says because she possesses communication skills some disabled people do not, she identifies as a disabilities advocate in order to speak for those who can’t tell their stories. “There are so many people with CP and other disabilities who don’t have the resources to communicate or don’t have the physical ability to. I got to the point where I realized this is my protest. I’m aware there’s a gap here – not only as a Black woman, but as a disabled Black woman.” Although she feels at peace with her disability more than she has in the past, she still has moments of uncertainty, especially when meeting new people because she’s not sure how they’re going to react. This uncertainty is amplified by her other identities as a Black person and as a woman. Adams has lived at the intersection of these three marginalized identities all her life, and although she has learned to navigate them, her identity as a disabled person is the most difficult to steer in today’s society. “Being Black and a woman, I’ve figured out over the past 30 years how to navigate the world. But having a disability, I’m not sure if someone won’t want to listen to me, if I’m going to fall or if I’m going to be physically comfortable in a venue. But it’s definitely made me very resilient because I still have goals. This is what it is. Some days it’s okay and it’s easier, and some days it’s not.” She gets her resilience from her mother, who got it from her mother, and so on. They were “both very resilient women” and “made no excuses for themselves.” Adams says this is the attitude of many Black women because of the perseverance they need to survive and succeed due to societal oppression brought on by the intersection of their gender and race. But there should also be some self-love and inner kindness present. “As Black women, that’s what we do, but I think now we need to give ourselves space and grace to take care of ourselves,” she says. “You can’t do it all, and it’s okay to ask for help.” Some of her artwork speaks out against oppression and supports the Black Lives Matter movement. Adams created “Tired,” a painting featuring a Black woman curled up and laying on her side, the week after George Floyd was killed. This piece is part of “Quarantine Chronicles,” a series cataloging her personal journey during the global pandemic once she started working from home. “I didn’t know how long I was going to be at home, but something in my head was like, ‘Hey, this moment is so unique,’ and I wanted to express it in some way,” says the artist, who began painting and drawing when she was just 4 years old. 6
| SEPTEMBER 2020
But Adams is more than an artist. She graduated from the University of Richmond with a degree including a double major in international studies and Spanish, and a minor in studio art. She fell in love with international affairs and world culture when she was in high school, and dreamt of becoming a diplomat or lawyer. “Studying international studies translated well [to painting] because I wanted to show how other people interacted with each other. We’re all unique and it’s much bigger than just walking down the street in the areas we’re confined to.” FIRST + SECOND PAGE. Paintings by Lindsay Adams. Photos courtesy of subject.
But instead of spending more time at school and, as she puts it, falling into more debt, Adams turned her focus. She began working as a business consultant before she found her way into marketing, where she felt more comfortable and confident. Now as a marketing strategist at Accenture, a strategic communications hub specializing in business branding, Adams says she feels right at home with this position in strategic communications. Storytelling is her calling, Adams says, despite the perceived difficulties with her communication skills she might have faced due to CP. Throughout her life, she has strived to believe in THIRD PAGE. Lindsay Adams. Photo courtesy of subject.
herself and follow “protect your peace,” a mantra by which she lives her life and even has tattooed on her side. “Your peace is so necessary to get things done and to sustain yourself. Life is hard and it has a lot of unknowns, so at all costs, we have to protect that internal engine so we can keep going.” Visit www.lindsay-adams.com and follow @lindsaybriadams on Instagram to view and purchase Adams’ artwork.
DISTRICT FRAY |
RADAR | NOT SO STIR-CRAZY
Though summer is coming to an end, there’s still plenty to do around D.C. For those of you tired of being cooped up, drive-in movie theaters are still booming, outdoor fitness classes are everywhere and art galleries are reopening. Readers who are more inclined to participate in indoor activities can tune into the plethora of virtual experiences available at your fingertips. Read on for all this and more in this month’s Not So Stir-Crazy Radar.
NOTE: All descriptions are courtesy of participating businesses and edited for clarity, and all social media handles listed are for Instagram.
DC Fray’s Weekly Fantasy Football Contest Presented by Modelo Especial
There are 200 spots available in each contest and DC Fray will open up more contest divisions as needed - get in early so you have more chances to win. Register using the special Draft Kings link included in your Eventbrite confirmation email, create a lineup by selecting players listed in the Player Pool, submit your new lineup each week of the NFL season before the start of the designated schedule of games in the contest Game Set and watch your favorite players rack up points and win cool prizes. Participants must be 21+, reside in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area and are only eligible to win one (1) weekly prize throughout the duration of the contest. Free. www.districtfray.com // @dcfray.
I Will Survive
This show by artist and Halcyon Arts Lab fellow Stephanie Mercedes features sculpture and video of weights cast out of melted weapons. The work will reflect on Houry Kanodyan, a Armenian/Lebanese weightlifter’s experience of seeking, surviving and persevering the asylum process in the U.S. Masks and social distancing required. Opening night is September 11 from 7-9 p.m.; various times through September 23. Homme Gallery: 52 O St. NW, DC; www.hommegallery.com // @homme_dc; www.stephaniemercedes.com // @mercedes_theartist.
Sunset Cinema at The Wharf
Every Thursday and Friday night through September 25, The Wharf will be screening a film on the Transit Pier in partnership with Cantina Bambina, DC Fray and Pacifico Beer. Cabana reservations are $10 per person and include a serving of popcorn and a Pacifico Beer. Grazie Grazie sandwiches, Union Pie, Lupo Marino pizza, drinks and more are all available for purchase during the movie. The cabanas have a $20 minimum per person, which includes the $10 reservation fee. All guests must be 21+. Seating 7:30 p.m., screening 8 p.m. The Wharf: 760 Maine Ave. SW, DC; www.cantinabambina.com // @cantinabambina; www.dcfray.com // @dcfray.
| SEPTEMBER 2020
Online Yoga from the Garden
Join the US Botanical Gardens and WithLoveDC at their weekly community yoga class. Typically offered on-site at the USBG Conservatory or outdoor gardens, the Garden is supporting an online yoga class to continue the program for community health and well-being. Space is still first-come, first-serve. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Free. www.usbg.gov // @usbotanicgarden; www.withlovedc.com // @spreadlovedc. Yoga for BLM with Evolving Lives Body and Mind’s Rachel Baylor. Photo by Anna Meyer.
Be a part of an interactive, multi-day virtual festival to celebrate the Capital Jewish Museum breaking ground on what will become their permanent home at 3rd and F Streets NW. Enjoy online interactive conversations with top chefs, historians and musicians, family programming, a film screening, virtual photo booth, trivia and so much more. Various dates and times. www.capitaljewishmuseum.org // @capjewishmuseum.
Shakespeare Theatre Company will continue its online program Shakespeare Hour LIVE! in September with episodes devoted to Shakespeare and Film (September 16), Shakespeare’s Heroines (September 23), and Richard II (September 30). 7:30 p.m. Sessions free for STC members, season subscribers and package holders; $10 per session for nonmembers. www.shakespearetheatre.org // @shakespeareindc.
Capital Jewish Museum’s Groundbreaking Festival
Adams Morgan Day
Celebrate the 42nd Annual Adams Morgan Day with a live-streaming festival featuring music, shopping, culture and art all available online. This year’s festival will present a stand-out virtual live music lineup streaming from Songbyrd and other locations. There will also be web-based interactive activities for kids and families, and assorted vending by local artists and craftspeople on an e-festival web channel, and a virtual version of the Dance Plaza. Various times. www.admoday.com // @adamsmorganday.
9.13 + 9.27 Yoga for BLM
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is teaming up with Evolving Lives Body and Mind to present a bi-weekly donation-based vinyasa yoga session to support the movement of #blacklivesmatter. The Power vinyasastyle class is focused on traditional yoga postures with a longer hold in foundational and grounding poses to support safety and alignment. All levels welcome. Tickets $5.50-$25. Proceeds will be donated to the National Black Justice Coalition. 6-7:30 p.m. National Museum of African American History and Culture: 1400 Constitution Ave. NW, DC: nmaahc.si.edu // @nmaahc; www.evolvinglivesbodyandmind.com // @evolvinglivesbodymind. Baby goat yoga. Photo courtesy of Congressional Cemetery.
Shakespeare Hour Live
9.16-10.14 United Fray’s Wednesday Night Bingo
Join United Fray for free virtual bingo every Wednesday from September 16 to October 14. You’ll receive an email with the Zoom link and digital bingo cards 30 minutes before bingo begins. All you need is your phone, laptop and a cold drink. 8 p.m. Free. www.dcfray.com // @dcfray.
DISTRICT FRAY |
RADAR | NOT SO STIR-CRAZY
DC Fray and Ballston Quarter are following CDC guidelines to ensure you feel safe while having a great night playing bingo and winning prizes. Fray and Ballston Quarter will provide the host, the bingo materials (daubers too!), and the awesome prizes for you to win. You’ll also get a free drink on the house with your 6-8 rounds of bingo. 7-10 p.m. Free with registration. Ballston Quarter: 4238 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.ballstonquarter.com //@ballstonquarter; www.dcfray.com // @dcfray.
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington will announce the winners of The RAMMY Awards during a virtual, live program broadcast from the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The two-hour streaming experience will connect the region’s hospitality community with the public in innovative ways like never before. 6-8 p.m. Free. www.therammys.org // @ramwdc.
Beer & Bingo at Ballston Quarter
On Art and Public Space: Artist Talk with Krzysztof Wodiczko
Polish-born artist Krzysztof Wodiczko joins Hirshhorn chief curator Stéphane Aquin to discuss his decades-long practice of using art to democratize and reimagine the meaning behind public spaces and monuments via Zoom and Facebook Live. Advance registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the talk. This program will be recorded and made available following the event. Zoom broadcast opens 6:50 p.m. Free. hirshhorn.si.edu // @hirshhorn.
202Creates MasterClass: Music
202Creates is a community of entrepreneurial creatives building place, space and programming to support the District’s growing creative economy. This session will feature a conversation with music industry leaders to discuss the future of the music industry, how artists can remain relevant and paid during Covid and lessons of success in the music industry. 2 p.m. Free. www.202creates.com // @202creates.
Profs & Pints Online: Race and Fast Food
Join Marcia Chatelain, author of “Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America,” for a discussion on the hidden history of McDonald’s complex role in America’s fight against racial inequality. 7-9 p.m. Tickets $12. www.profsandpints.com // @profsandpints.
Virtual Happy Hour: Alma Woodsey Thomas Birthday Celebration
Join the staff of the National Museum of Women in the Arts for a virtual happy hour to celebrate Alma Woodsey Thomas’s birthday. Make a specialty cocktail in her honor, view artworks and hear stories, and explore the museum’s collection and archives for all things Alma. Registration required. 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tickets are donation-based. www.nmwa.org // @womeninthearts.
Profs & Pints Online: A History of American Dining
Profs and Pints Online presents “A History of American Dining,” or what we can learn from our nation’s past in a time of culinary crisis. Join Allen Pietrobon, assistant professor of Global Affairs at Trinity Washington University and former professorial lecturer of history at American University, as he explores the evolution of the U.S. restaurant and food industry through the first half of the 20th century. 7-9 p.m. Tickets $12. www.profsandpints.com // @profsandpints.
Shady Ladies Tours: Nasty Women of the National Portrait Gallery
This online tour, guided by Professor Andrew Lear, offers perspective on the history of powerful and ambitious women, and the resistance they have always encountered, through art. The tour explores National Portrait Gallery’s rich collection of portraits of great American women, from Harriet Beecher Stowe and Harriet Tubman to Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Michelle Obama. Zoom link will be emailed beforehand. 2 p.m. Tickets $10. www.shadyladiestours.com // @shadyladiestours. 10 | SEPTEMBER 2020
DEDEDERLICIOU&S TEARN ANTE GU
GET THE OMAHA STEAKS CLASSIC
4 (5 oz.) Butcher’s Cut Filet Mignons 8 (4 oz.) Boneless Pork Chops 4 Boneless Chicken Breasts (1 lb. pkg.) 4 (4 oz.) Omaha Steaks Burgers 8 (3 oz.) Gourmet Jumbo Franks 4 (3.8 oz.) Individual Scalloped Potatoes 4 (4 oz.) Caramel Apple Tartlets Omaha Steaks Seasoning Packet $296.87* separately
PLUS 4 MORE BURGERS
& 4 MORE
E CHICKEN BREASTS FRE
*Savings shown over aggregated single item base price. Limit 2 pkgs. Free gifts must ship with #64185 Standard S&H will be added. Expires 10/31/20. ©2020 Omaha Steaks, Inc.
ORDER NOW! 1.855.473.2113 ask for 64185ZCR www.OmahaSteaks.com/meals319
9.22-9.26 Romantics Anonymous
“Romantics Anonymous” comes to D.C. through a collaboration with Wise Children, the Bristol Old Vic and Plush Theatricals as part of their digital tour of UK and U.S. theaters and will be performed live at Bristol Old Vic each evening. Weekday productions 2:30 p.m. EST, weekend performance at 4 p.m. EST. Tickets $21.07-$40.82. www.shakespearetheatre.org // @shakespeareindc.
202Creates Fireside Chat
Join this virtual discussion on innovation with Steve Case, chairman and CEO of Revolution, founder and partner of Revolution Growth, cofounder of America Online, and chairman of the Case Foundation. This fireside chat aims to help startups navigate Covid-19 and its aftermath. 2 p.m. Free. www.202creates.com // @202creates.
Autumn Virtual Cocktail Class
Looking to improve your bartending skills and make some fun cocktails along the way? Join DC Fray and Please Bring Chips for a virtual cocktail demonstration. Ingredients list and suggested bar equipment will be provided by DC Fray one week before the event so you can make your drinks at home in real time. During the one-hour session, the bartender will walk you through the steps to make three perfect craft cocktails. 7:30 p.m. Tickets $9.99. www.dcfray.com // @dcfray; www.pleasebringchips.com // @pleasebringchips.
MASKerade Speed Dating at Ballston Quarter
Throw on your finest mask and enjoy a new kind of masquerade. Following CDC guidelines, singles are able to get back to mingling in a fun and unique way. DC Fray and Ballston Quarter will provide the host, icebreakers and drinks. All you have to do is show up and show out. 6-9 p.m. Tickets $15.50. www.dcfray.com // @dcfray.
9.24-9.28 DC JazzFest
This year’s festival will be streamed live, taking world-class jazz programming to the global stage for the very first time. The lineup features some of the biggest names in jazz, showcasing international superstars alongside some exciting, homegrown talent. Audience members can watch any of the 2020 #DCJazzFest performances for free on Gather by Events DC or at Fans.com. Various times. Free. www.dcjazzfest.org // @dcjazzfest.
2020 DC JazzFest performer Cecily. Photo by Jada Imani M.
Old Centreville Crossing Drive-In Experience
Experience drive-in movies in Centreville, Virginia at Old Centerville Crossing, with limited socially distant car spots. Arrive early to dine in or carry out from the many restaurant options available on the plaza. Reserve a vehicle spot or a non-vehicle spot for $25, spaces will be assigned first come first serve with larger vehicles in the back rows for best viewing. Limited spaces are available to promote proper social distancing. Tickets $15+. Old Centreville Crossing: Braddock Road in Centreville, VA; www.dcfray.com // @dcfray.
2020 National Book Festival
The 2020 Library of Congress National Book Festival will connect with audiences across the country for an interactive, online celebration of American Ingenuity, featuring new books by more than 120 of the nation’s most-renowned writers, poets and artists. Virtual stages will offer on-demand videos, live author chats and discussions, options to personalize your own journey through the festival with particular themes and more. Multiple times. Free. www.loc.gov // @librarycongress.
DISTRICT FRAY | 11
RADAR | NOT SO STIR-CRAZY
Fortitude Gala 2020
Baby Goat Yoga
Roll out your mats for a 45-minute gentle and informative yoga class taught by instructors while baby goats roam. You’ll have plenty of time to buy a ticket for bottle feeding or a snuggle session with your new friends in-between sessions. 9-9:45 a.m. Tickets $40. Congressional Cemetery: 1801 E St. SE, DC; www.congressionalcemetery.org //@congcemetery.
The Washington Chorus 60th Anniversary Bash
Help raise critical funds to support Halcyon fellows as they drive the world forward. Social entrepreneurship and the arts are the twin engines that fuel sustainable change. The inaugural Halcyon Homecoming will feature the stories of fellows from around the world. 6:45 p.m. Register for a free ticket and donate what you can. www.halcyonhouse.org // @halcyoninspires.
Join Dance Place for an evening of free virtual dance performances and community connections to celebrate their 40th Anniversary. Dance Place will be presenting safe socially distanced performances, toasting their 40th year and dancing the night away while raising funds to support Dance Place now and in the future. 6:30 p.m. Donations encouraged. Dance Place: 3225 8th St. NE, DC; www.danceplace.org // @danceplacedc.
Log on for this one-of-a-kind global house party and virtual gala event celebrating The Washington Chorus’s 60th anniversary. Enjoy live performances, silent auctions, singalongs and stories from the past 60 years. Sign up to host an at-home house party, whether for one or with family and friends. 7 p.m. Free. www.thewashingtonchorus.org // @twchorus.
StandUp and Move Virtual Run
On October 2, watch the classic “West Side Story.” Before the film, Folger Library staff will talk about the play the movie is based on as well as fun facts about the play and Shakespeare’s life. Gates open 5 p.m. $10 suggested donation at the main gate. Congressional Cemetery: 1801 E St. SE, DC; www.congressionalcemetery.org // @congcemetery.
StandUp and Move is hosting its first annual national event to end the cycle of youth homelessness. You can run, walk, bike or find your own way to move to participate, just choose a time, distance and location. Your registration fee and any additional fundraising toward this event will go directly to young people who need our help in cities across the country. Registration $45. www.standupforkids.org // @standupforkids.
JOIN US FOR A
SPEED DATING MASKERADE thursday | september 24 | 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Join us at DCFRAY.COM/EVENTS
WORDS BY LANI FURBANK
hen asked how chefs and sommeliers work together to achieve perfect wine pairings in a restaurant, Brent Kroll has this to say. “It either burns up in flames, or the relationship matures over time.” Luckily for Kroll and business partner and chef Michael Rafidi, they’ve experienced the latter. “You just start to build chemistry and get to understand the relationship better,” Kroll says. “It just happens over time,” Rafidi adds. “Working together, tasting, eating together.” They met after Kroll experienced a memorable meal cooked by Rafidi, and they soon partnered in each other’s ventures – Kroll’s wine bar Maxwell Park and Rafidi’s Levantine restaurant and café, Albi and Yellow. After more than a year of planning and pop-ups, they opened their mini empire in Navy Yard earlier this year, just before the pandemic changed everything. Through the shutdowns and takeout and pivots, one thing hasn’t wavered: their intuitive partnership in producing perfect pairings. Both Kroll and Rafidi have clear visions about their own concepts, so the process of pairing wine and food flows naturally. “At Maxwell, Brent takes the lead on what kind of wines he’s serving and then I pair the food with it,” Rafidi explains. “At Albi, there’s the sofra, the tasting menu, and we find wines that go with it,” Kroll continues. As a sommelier, Kroll says Rafidi’s cooking style makes it fun to choose complementary pours. “He gets intensity of flavors; he layers flavors. His stuff is never mild on seasoning. Intensity in food needs intensity in wine.” For Rafidi, crafting dishes to match Kroll’s unique wines at Maxwell Park is an opportunity to step out of his typical space and play with French technique, Spanish ingredients or new American trends. “[I’m] digging into the arsenal. I’ve been cooking all kinds of food my whole career, not just Middle Eastern.” Pairings will be in the spotlight in an even bigger way starting this month, because Kroll has debuted a new pop-up concept in the Maxwell Park space called Russell Island, named after an island where he went fishing as a kid. “This is trying to take the vibe that Maxwell has, which is a house party, cocktail party kind of vibe, but then doing sommelier-focused pairings,” he explains. The menu offers a selection of small dishes paired with wines – like lamb tartare with a salty Canary Islands rosé or truffle parmesan popcorn with an oily Austrian grüner veltliner. “If you want three, five or 10 pairings, you would just pick which ones you want and they would just flow to you,” Kroll says. "So you’d have a bunch of half glasses and snacks." Kroll’s casual answer to formal, high-end beverage pairings will stick around for at least a month, or potentially until there’s a vaccine. “I’ve always wanted that premise for a wine bar,” he explains. “I almost did that concept instead of Maxwell Park, but it seemed a little too high maintenance to do a bunch of volume with it. But during Covid, when you can’t do a lot of volume, it’s a better concept.” When crafting his combinations, Kroll says he tries to move beyond what he calls “Switzerland pairings.” “If you take white Burgundy and buttered lobster, or if you 14 | SEPTEMBER 2020
take amarone and chocolate cake or something, you tend to be adding in similar flavors and they don’t really change, they just kind of go well together,” he says. “I think that is a benchmark for pairings – you can only try to get better from that.” Without stopping to think, Kroll can rattle off a list of some of the widely accepted rules for wine pairings. “The level of fat to the level of tannins coincides,” he says. “Weight with weight; the texture is really important. The body in terms of the wine and the food should go hand in hand.” He continues, noting that acidity likes acidity, so acidic wines like acidic food. "Spicy food likes sweet things or fruit-forward things. And creams tend to like things with oxidation." Instead of going for what’s expected, Kroll aims to surprise the palate. “I typically try to shoot for contrast pairings,” he says. “If you did a sweet sparkling rosé like Bugey Cerdon with a spicy sorbet, the sorbet would change and the wine would change and they wouldn’t taste the same afterward. I think those are the coolest ones.” For those looking to experiment with pairings at home, Kroll advises keeping an open mind. “I’d say maybe around 20 percent of the time, there’s some wine that makes no sense but just ends up pairing well,” he says. He suggests trying different combinations until you hit the perfect one, with the goal of layering flavors. “If there’s a dish and it has some particular flavor that could be olives,” he muses, "then you put forth a wine that has lavender and plum notes to it. You’re just layering in these kinds of flavors.” That said, don’t overcomplicate things. “You can find the most casual random pairings,” he adds, citing Cool Ranch Doritos with Sonoma pinot noir or a stick of salami with lambrusco. “Pairings can be very simplistic. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant and people overthink them a lot.” He says global influences can also serve as inspiration and guidance if you follow regional trends in pairings. Right now, it’s a fun way to engage in a little armchair travel and relive past experiences while we’re homebound. “If you’ve traveled somewhere, pay attention to it and bring that knowledge back with you,” he says. “If you’re in Santorini and they’re giving you whole fish with assyrtiko or you’re in Tuscany and you have sangiovese, there’s always tomato dishes.” During Rafidi’s research and developement trips in the Middle East, he enjoyed many a meal accompanied by arak, a Levantine distilled spirit. Albi’s menu offers a selection of arak, but Kroll has also put his own spin on beverage list, devoting two sections to categories of wine that he feels perfectly complement Rafidi’s cooking. For example, the mezze-style snacks that lead off the menu are great with savory white wines, while the hearth-cooked meats for the main course lend themselves to smoky reds. Creative combinations like these are abundant at both Albi and the Russell Island pop-up at Maxwell Park, but if you’re looking to try some out in your own kitchen, Rafidi and Kroll have shared their recipes and pairing suggestions for two highlights from their menus. Albi: 1346 4th St. SE, DC; www.albidc.com Russell Island at Maxwell Park: 1346 4th St. SE, DC; www.maxwellparkdc.com/home-navy-yard
ON THE WINE TRAIL. Wineries in the DMV are often on idyllic farms, surrounded by mountains and lush landscapes. The vineyards featured in this month’s Local Wine Trail are no exception. These images give a taste of the scenes you can find at wineries like Delaplane Cellars, Greenhill Winery & Vineyards, Linganore Winecellars, Rocklands Farm Winery, and Two Twisted Posts Winery. Photos by Kelsey Cochran // www.kelseycochranphotography.com.
16 | SEPTEMBER 2020
Chef Rafidi's Recipe: Cinnamon Stick Kefta with Pomegranate Glaze + Arabic Tahini Salad Albi Wine Pairing: 2017 Ànima Negra |Callet, Mantonegro, Syrah |“AN/2” | Vi de la Terra Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain KROLL’S PAIRING NOTES "The wine has a lot of ripe fruit to contrast the savory and spice notes. There are vanilla and dill notes from the oak that layer into the flavors in the dish. My favorite part is this wine is a little funky, which lends itself to the game flavors here."
For the kefta
For the salad
Prepare the kefta
• 1 pound lamb, ground
• ½ cup tomato, diced
• Half a red onion, minced
• ½ cup cucumber, diced
In a mixing bowl, salt the red onions for 30 minutes and then squeeze out excess water.
• 1 tablespoon mint, chopped
• ½ cup red onion, diced
• 1 teaspoon sumac
• ¼ cup mint, chopped
• 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
• ¼ cup lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ¼ cup tahini
• 1 teaspoon za’atar
• 1 teaspoon garlic, micro-planed
• Cinnamon sticks (for skewering)
• Pomegranate molasses (for glazing)
• Crumbled feta (for garnish)
• Mint, torn (for garnish)
Mix the lamb with the onions and remaining spices. Portion the kefta mix into 1-ounce balls and place on cinnamon stick. Grill the kefta on the cinnamon stick skewer and glaze with the pomegranate molasses. Garnish with torn mint.
Prepare the salad Mix all ingredients together. Season with salt to taste.
Plate the dish Place kefta on top of salad with crumbled feta.
Chef Rafidi's Recipe: Smoky Boquerones Toast with Piquillo Pepper Butter + Black Garlic Confit Russell Island Wine Pairing: NV La Cigarrera | Amontillado | Jerez | Spain KROLL'S PAIRING NOTES
For the marinated boquerones
Prepare the black garlic confit
• 4 ounces boquerones
• Baguette or sourdough boule
“I went with amontillado here as savory, dry sherry that compliments the boquerones. The oak on this is good for the smoky and garlic flavors. It also layers in a rye/ pumpernickel bitter note for added complexity. It’s salty food, with salty wine!”
• 1 clove garlic
• Extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Combine black garlic and extra virgin olive oil in a small pot on very low heat and cook for four to five minutes. Set aside at room temperature.
• 2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
Plate the dish
• 1 teaspoon pimentos
• Parsley or dill leaves
• 2 ounces piquillo peppers, julienned
Marinate the boquerone
For the piquillo butter
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix gently so as not break up the boquerones. Set aside.
Slice a piece of baguette or sourdough. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toast or grill until golden brown.
• 4 ounces butter, softened • 2 ounces piquillo peppers , finely chopped • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
For the black garlic confit
Prepare the piquillo butter Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
• 1 tablespoon black garlic, chopped
Spread a layer of piquillo butter, a small amount of black garlic confit and lastly top with the marinated boquerones. Garnish with fresh parsley or dill leaves and another drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
• ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil Note: Piquillo peppers must be from a jar.
FIRST PAGE. Maxwell interior. Photo by Theo Milo. SECOND PAGE. Albi spread. Photo by Scott Suchman. THIRD PAGE. Russell Island dish. Photo courtesy of Maxwell.
DISTRICT FRAY | 17
I Scream, You Scream,
We All Scream for Boozy Ice Cream WORDS BY KELSEY COCHRAN
18 | SEPTEMBER 2020
Yes, you read that headline right. Your two favorite vices, ice cream and alcohol, have been combined to make the best boozy cocktails in D.C. The mastermind behind this delicious concoction is none other than Victoria Lai, owner and selfdescribed “icecreampreneur” of Ice Cream Jubilee. “Most of my best ideas come from taking two things I love and putting them together,” Lai says. “Whether it’s cookie dough and cookies and cream ice cream to make our Cookies and Cookie Dough flavor, or if it’s cocktails and ice cream to make colorful and fun fruity drinks. My inspiration originally was just to make something bright and fruity and summery and fun and different for people.” Ice Cream Jubilee’s unique flavors provide the perfect companion to many different alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Over the summer, originally in celebration of National Ice Cream Day on July 19, Lai hosted a cocktail class on Instagram Live showing off the drinks. They were a hit, and so Lai continued to provide cocktail recipes to Ice Cream Jubilee customers to try at home. The cocktail classes transitioned from a live format to a pre-recorded one, allowing consumers to go back and recreate the boozy cocktails in their own time. “People can make these for brunch, they can make them for their Zoom happy hour and everyone can make them together and make their own classes,” Lai states. “I hope that this can give people more freedom.” Prerecording the IGTV classes allows Lai some freedom, too. As the owner of a small business and mother of two young children, Lai has been busy balancing her home life while trying to pivot Ice Cream Jubilee’s business during the pandemic. She’s enjoyed her extra time at home with her family and reconnecting with old friends via video calls, but she’s also taken the extra time as an opportunity to expand her business. “We usually use the fall to take a breath, but this time at home has allowed us to do a lot more recipe testing. Just as people at home
have been on the internet making sourdough by the loaf, we’ve been busy making new ice cream flavors,” explains Lai. “We’re pivoting, posting more on social media and coming up with all these new recipes.” Lai is hopeful she can continue coming up with ice cream cocktails, and maybe even partner with other local businesses such as distilleries in the DMV to create take-home cocktail kits. Over the summer, Ice Cream Jubilee and Compass Rose partnered to create a “beer-tail,” combining Tecate beer with cucumber lemon sorbet for a distinctive combination of flavors. Lai is not much of a beer drinker herself, but loves the mixture and thinks other people will be amazed. “I really hope that everybody tries this because it is beautiful and addictive and surprising, just what we need to take our minds off of things these days.” Ice Cream Jubilee’s flavors are constantly changing, so be sure to get a few pints of your favorites and be on the lookout for new recipes for all of your cocktail needs as the quarantine continues. Lai and her team at Ice Cream Jubilee know that things are crazy right now, but hope to use their craft for good. “We want to see where we can make things better with ice cream." Ice Cream Jubilee: 4238 Wilson Blvd. #143, Arlington, VA; 301 Water St. SE, DC; 1407 T St. NW, DC; www.icecreamjubilee.com // @icecreamjubilee on Instagram
LONG ISLAND THAI ICED TEA Ingredients: • 1/2 ounce vodka • 1/2 ounce gin • 1/2 ounce white rum • 1/2 ounce tequila • Splash of triple sec • Coke or cola soda Pour spirits over ice in a tall glass. Stir. Add one generous scoop of Long Island Thai Iced Tea ice cream. Carefully fill glass with soda and serve with a festive straw. Try it with Coke and no spirits for a nonalcoholic version.
FIRST PAGE. Ice Cream Jubilee's Long Island Thai Iced Tea. Photo by Victoria Lai. SECOND PAGE. Recipes courtesy of Ice Cream Jubilee.
DISTRICT FRAY | 19
WORDS BY LANI FURBANK // PHOTOS BY KIMCHI PHOTOGRAPHY
It wasn’t an early love of fine beverages that first landed Andra “AJ” Johnson in the hospitality industry. “In high school, I had a growing shoe fetish,” she recalls of her formative years spent in the DMV. “Waking my mom up at 6 a.m. to camp out in front of a store and pick up the new [Nike] SBs or the new Vans wasn’t her aesthetic at all. So her answer to all of that was, ‘Well, I mean, you could get a job.’” Johnson’s first job was at Chili’s in Rockville as a means to support her shoe habit. But it quickly evolved into something more. “It didn’t take long for me to be like, ‘Okay, this is exactly what I want to do with my life. I want to have my own restaurant by the time I’m 30.’” She picked up jobs at various fast-casual spots over the next few years, with accompanying opportunities to learn the craft. At Open City in upper Northwest D.C., she was promoted to managing server and then put in charge of creating a cocktail program. “That really sparked everything from a beverage standpoint,” she says. “I had keys to the business, and so if I needed to be there early to test some stuff or taste different liqueurs [or] if I needed to be there late to figure out cocktails and things that I wanted to put on the menu, I had the opportunity to do that.” Eventually, Johnson decided it was time to look beyond fast casual. “I knew there was more, I just didn’t know how to go about finding it,” she says. “I was unemployed for almost eight months, trying to figure out places that fit me and navigate what it meant to be in the fine dining scene in Washington, D.C. because I didn’t know. It was difficult – my hair [and] the tattoos made it really hard to find jobs.”
Then Darlin Kulla, the general manager of now-shuttered Eola, took a chance on Johnson. “She was like, ‘You have no experience in doing this. I’m going to have to teach you from the bottom, huh?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, but I can do it. I promise I can do it.’ And I did.” In that upscale dining environment, Johnson worked to hone her palate, specifically in wine. She credits Kulla’s support for jumpstarting her career in the beverage world. “She nurtured my palate as it went along, and encouraged me to find more and do more and exercise my palate as much as possible.” When Eola closed, Johnson went on to run both the wine and cocktail programs at Mussel Bar and Grille and earn her level one sommelier certification. Then, Kulla introduced Johnson to a connection that landed her a position as assistant general manager at Macon Bistro & Larder in 2014. Her boss there, Gene Alexeyev, was similarly supportive of Johnson’s growth as a beverage professional, bringing her in on tastings and including her in key aspects of the business. Now, she makes a conscious effort to pay it forward. “I try to do that with my staff,” she says. “[If] you have somebody that is giving the energy, then show them the door. It’s their choice to walk through it, but my onus is to show them the door.” Right on cue, she eventually became a managing partner and general manager at Macon. “That was the very first restaurant I invested in or had any kind of ownership stake in, like I had dreamed in my head. [At] 30 years old, I hit it.” After four years, Johnson parted ways with Macon from a daily operations standpoint and spent some time consulting with spots like Unconventional Diner, Dyllan’s Raw Bar Grill, and Mr. Braxton Bar & Kitchen before stepping behind the bar at Bresca. While working at Bresca, Johnson eventually met her future business partner, Daniella Senior, through a women’s leadership steering committee with fellow industry professionals. “She pulled me aside and said, ‘Hey, do you want to open this bar with me?’” Johnson recalls. That brings us to today. Johnson is the beverage director and a managing partner at cocktail bar Serenata and juice and toast bar Zumo at Latin market La Cosecha, along with Senior and Juan Coronado. The vision for the bar, a stone’s throw from neighboring Union Market, is to showcase Latin culture, from the Caribbean to South America. Johnson’s family is from Jamaica, but she still felt like she had a lot to learn before diving into the details. “For six months, I immersed myself in everything I did not know – trying to work on my Spanish [and] making sure that every ingredient tied into the indigenous fruits that come from a certain country.” The opening menu plotted the various cocktails on a map, with many of the drinks and ingredients written in Spanish. “The idea is that you’re transported. It’s singing a song to the native country, but it is also immersing someone in that culture.” When the pandemic arrived, Johnson and her partners kicked things into overdrive to keep the lights on. They began hosting virtual cocktail classes, which were a hit and have been running consecutively for more than 22 weeks – even after the market opened its doors to visitors again. Serenata is currently open for walk-up ordering, seating at the communal tables, and of course, takeout and delivery. While guests still can’t physically pull up a seat at her bar, she’s managed to maintain a sense of closeness virtually. DISTRICT FRAY | 21
DRINK “I have all these signs around my bar. ‘Don’t stand here’ and ‘Please go over there.’ There is a level of sterility that makes the restaurant industry not very appealing or as sexy as it used to be. But we can adjust and atone for that. Every Friday, my class gets on and you’re sitting at my bar. These are my regulars now.” That’s not to say it’s easy. She is constantly going the extra mile for regular customers or finding ways to bring in new ones. “It’s a lot, but [will] I have my business fail because I’m tired? No.” Even while the business is adapting to challenges of its own, Johnson and her partners are committed to the fight for equality. Johnson has been a vocal advocate for racial equity in the hospitality industry since she first noticed the lack of representation of chefs of color on Washingtonian’s annual list of 100 best restaurants. Speaking up about the issue garnered attention from Dr. Erinn Tucker and chef Furard Tate, who then teamed up with Johnson to start DMV Black Restaurant Week in 2018. The initiative encompasses a cocktail competition highlighting Black bartenders, an educational conference on business ownership and management, and the signature restaurant week discounts and specials at participating Blackowned restaurants. Amid this year’s Black Lives Matter movement, however, Johnson struggled with finding her place given the risks associated with the pandemic. “I want to be down there on the frontlines,” she says. “[But] right now, as a 33-year-old woman who has a partner at home, two dogs and a cat, a mortgage, a family who cares about me, and a business that cannot – and does not – open unless I’m here, I can’t be.” She’s made the difficult decision to put the safety of her customers and staff first. “There’s a global pandemic. I’m scared every single day. I don’t want to be responsible for making anybody sick. At that point, you feel kind of useless. You feel like you let people down because you’re supposed to be this champion, right?” Johnson says impostor syndrome was starting to set in when a call from a friend snapped her out of it. “I remembered that activism is multifaceted,” she says. “You can change the world by doing what you’re best at. If you try to do something that somebody else is doing, [who] is better than you at it, then you’re doing a disservice to the actual mission. Let the people who are in this lane do this, and you stay in your lane and do this.” Taking inspiration from the fundraisers she used to run at Macon, Johnson found her lane. She picked up the phone and called Black bartenders to launch a cocktail pop-up at Serenata to raise money for local causes in support of the Black community. “Everybody went into it with gusto because [almost] all of us at that point had not gone down to the frontlines, and we felt stuck.” The initial lineup featured drinks by Johnson and fellow bartenders Kapri Robinson, Frank Mills and Richard Sterling, as well as desserts by pastry chef Paola Velez. Johnson recruited Naku and Christina Mayo for photography and videography and Lorena Prada for design. After one week of sales in June, they raised more than $11,000. Johnson knew she had cracked it. “This is how we can put our talents to work in order to create something that’s more sustainable for the future,” she says.
“I’m super grateful – 100 percent so grateful for the people I know, the connections I’ve made, and the outpouring from the consumers and guests and participants that gave a crap.” The original team has since become the organizing committee for Back to Black, which had another successful event in August at Roy Boys featuring bartenders Michael Holliday, Princess Johnson, Al Thompson, Chrissy Sheffey and Johnson herself, as well as chef Angel Barreto and artist Kia Green. That event raised more than $8,000. The organizers have plans for another pop-up in tandem with DMV Black Restaurant Week, which will take place this year from November 8 to 15. This year’s lineup will feature more virtual events and to-go offerings. Johnson also has aspirations to take Back to Black to other cities to spotlight more bartenders and raise wider awareness. She isn’t letting up because she believes there’s still a long way to go for the industry. While she recognizes the recent surge in interest and support of Black-owned restaurants, bars and businesses, she says it’s too soon to tell if it will last. “As long as Black is on trend, there is no adequate way to see or gauge if anything has or will change. That’ll be very interesting to see, a year from now, if this is still the mood, the attitude, the trending topic. But I’m Black every day, so this is my life.” Johnson shares that she’s dealt with discrimination in the industry, and says the most important steps she’s taken in her career have been to attain management positions so she can create a safe and equitable environment for herself and her staff. “For me, changing the narrative was making sure that in every situation I could possibly be in, I was the last link on that chain,” she says. “That’s how I protect myself now because nobody will ever do those things to me again. And as best as I can help it [with] the people that work for me, nobody will ever do those things to them.” That goal is the driving force behind the work she does: to ensure that anyone can reach management or ownership so they can build the kind of environment they want to work in. “The advocacy is to make sure that if you want to get out of this, you can, and there’s a way to do that. And if you want to do this on your own, you can. If you want to recreate the culture, you can.” This is part of DMV Black Restaurant Week’s mission: to provide education and resources that support access and pathways to ownership for Black hospitality professionals. Johnson’s experience and expertise, as well as stories from colleagues, are the basis for a book she’s been working on since 2018 called “White Plates, Black Faces.” She hopes to shine a light on the inequity in the industry and chart a path to a better future. The book is soon to be finding its way into the world, and Johnson says the timing couldn’t be better. “I think people are ready to hear it now. They weren’t ready to hear it before.” Connect with Johnson on Instagram @whiteplatesblackfaces. Learn more about DMV Black Restaurant Week at www.dmvbrw.com or on Instagram and Twitter @dmvbrw. Check out Back to Black on Instagram @backtoblack_popup. Visit Serenata in La Cosecha Market at 1280 4th St. NE, DC or learn more at www.serenatadc.com. Connect on Instagram @serenatadc. DISTRICT FRAY | 23
HOW D.C. DRINKS IN 2020 In an industry hit incredibly hard by Covid-19, resilience has been the name of the game for anyone working in D.C.â€™s incredible food and beverage scene. These organizations, bars and individuals are making things happen, from embracing trends despite pandemic-related challenges to using platforms to bring equity to Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). And while delicious drinks are always on the menu, the social and economic impact makes them stand out to patrons and peers in this unprecedented era of drinking in the District. WORDS BY M.K. KOSZYCKI + TRAVIS MITCHELL
NOTE: These interviews have been edited for length + clarity.
HOW LOCAL BARS PIVOTED THEIR BUSINESS TO MEET THE PANDEMIC When the early pandemic response shut down bars and restaurants, local businesses quickly moved to find new ways to bring their dining and drinking experience directly to customer homes. Video cocktail classes taught amateur bartenders new tricks. Favorite cocktails got packaged up for delivery, with the same meticulous presentation. And now, spaces have begun responsibly opening back up to the public with an eye on providing experiences that are both entertaining and safe. We asked these locals in the industry to talk about how they’ve adapted to this new environment.
Spirits Manager, Neighborhood Restaurant Group The Pivot: Craft beverages, delivered When bars shuttered in March, Neighborhood Restaurant Group launched an in-house delivery service offering restaurant-quality food and bottled cocktails along with nonalcoholic options and mixers. Choices range from stirred sippers to fruity sangria and lighter session drinks. “At the start of the pandemic, it was all about giving people the classics: well-known cocktails, well-executed. It was a little bit of a back-to-basics approach. The more time has passed, however, people are once again craving variety and frequent changes, and looking again for new experiences and flavors. Packaging and presentation matters. People still drink with their eyes first, and the better you can do at putting something into their hands that looks good, the more that guest feels like they’re being treated well and treating themselves.”
CEO, Street Guys Hospitality + Owner, TTT Clarendon The Pivot: Physically distant rooftop vibes In Clarendon, a new all-weather rooftop is providing a physically distant space to relax and have an afternoon or night out of the house. “Since the inception of TTT in Clarendon, having DJs and live music performances has always been part of our concept for guests. TTT has consistently featured a pleasing collection of curated DJ tunes playing in the background as part of the dining experience. We plan to mirror this new virtual entertainment venue at our TTT Silver Spring, Maryland location in the future as well. TTT will enhance this new amenity feature by adding a chat with a moderator to invite guests to communicate onscreen with each other and the DJ. Since we’re paying rent for the space all year, our goal was to maximize its use and to provide an indoor // outdoor experience year-round, which is hard to find in D.C.” Explore more at www.tttrestaurant.com and on Instagram @tttrestaurant.
Sales Director, Atlas Brew Works The Pivot: Virtual beer dinners Beer, food and conversation were made for each other. Atlas Brew Works is packaging its portfolio of hoppy ales and crisp lagers with food from local restaurants along with an interactive online discussion. It’s a night at the brewery with all the comforts of home.
Managing Partner, Please Bring Chips The Pivot: Virtual cocktail classes
“We did some Zoom happy hours and some Instagram live [events] and it just came about. Why couldn’t we do food and beer pairings with accounts in the same sort of fashion? It just seemed like a working platform. It isn’t a full-fledged beer dinner. I don’t think people are necessarily into those these days, and they entail a lot. This is something a little more casual but something to get people out. Everybody is looking for things to do, and this gives an opportunity to go to your favorite spot and still be safe and cautious. It’s an opportunity to step outside of my box, bring in an interactive element and have an experience within our limited surroundings these days.”
These online education sessions can inject new life into any home bartending routine.
Learn more at www.atlasbrewworks.com and on Instagram @atlasbrewworks.
“We want to be accessible and useful, with fun, easy-to-make cocktails and simple ingredients. We don’t want folks to spend money to buy one bottle of rare spirit they’ll never use again. Rather, we want them to add to their home bar and their knowledge with new favorites they can use time and time again. Thus far, our experience has been great. We’re fortunate to have a fun, knowledgeable team. Plus, we’ve had audiences who are engaged, love to ask questions and want to have a good time. Right now, an engaged audience is what this whole thing is about. Since we can’t really be in bars right now, that’s what we want to cultivate: fun interaction.”
Explore Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s cocktails to-go at www.neighborhoodprovisions.com and on Instagram @nrgprovisions.
Explore more at www.pleasebringchips.com and on Instagram @pleasebringchips.
FIRST PAGE. Rory Adair of Grand Duchess. Photo by Kimchi Photography.
Owner, Maxwell Park The Pivot: The restaurant-within-a-restaurant pop-up Maxwell Park opened its second location in March 2020. Capacity restrictions pushed owner Brent Kroll to launch Russell Island, a pop-up concept he’d been toying with for a while. It offers wine tastings paired with small bites. “I get to do something with pairings in a casual setting that I’ve always wanted to do. The challenge is our kitchen is the size of a walk-in closet, and we’ve never tried this type of service. Luckily, everyone on staff has been a manager and sommelier, so in my mind, we’re built for this. The food component and pairings are completely different. Part of creating Maxwell Park was making a DISTRICT FRAY | 25
DRINK wine bar I wanted to drink at [by] stocking it with sommeliers and making it sophisticated and/or casual. This is a pop-up where the table is lined with thoughtful snacks and half glasses. It’s what I like to do at home with snacks and wine.” Learn more at www.maxwellparkdc.com or on Instagram @maxwellpark_navyyard.
restaurant. This way we are able to select our favorite bottles that pair well with the type of food we serve to maximize the home experience. The experience has definitely improved with the addition of cocktails because we are giving customers the ease of not having to make them at home. When they order a cocktail, they know it will be a quality drink they can enjoy without the time or effort that goes into making one at home.”
FOOD + DRINK TRENDS THAT HIT D.C. THIS YEAR
The D.C. region continues to be among the most diverse destinations for food and drink concepts, full of local creatives eager to explore and innovate. This past year saw small D.C. businesses get in on national drink crazes like spiked seltzer and natural wines. There’s also been a push toward fine dining meals to-go (takeout doesn’t have to be just fried and greasy!) and a reimagining of the stalwart sandwich. We asked these D.C. industry professionals to elaborate on some of our recent favorites.
Beer gardens have long been go-to spots for outdoor drinking and camaraderie. In the heat of summer though, sometimes nothing beats lounging with a chilled bottle of rosé and bar snacks. Spots like Lulu’s have popped up around the area this summer, offering a variety of intriguing wines by the glass and bottle at reasonable prices.
Chief Brand Officer + Founder, Denizens Brewing Co. The Trend: Hard seltzer Mass-market hard seltzer continues to be one of the hottest beverage trends. Local brewers are getting in on the action, including Denizens Brewing Co. in Silver Spring, which launched its line this spring. “We launched our MoCo Hard Seltzer in late May of this year, first in lime flavor. We recently added blood orange with more flavors on the way. We spent a year testing the recipes in our taprooms to get things just right before putting it in cans to send out to retailers. Overall, the response has been tremendous, and it has quickly become a top seller [in] our taprooms, through delivery and [among] retail partners in Montgomery County. We are super proud of MoCo Hard Seltzer and can’t wait for everyone to try it.” Explore more at www.denizensbrewingco.com or on Instagram @denizensbrewing.
Explore more at www.xiquetdl.com and on Instagram at @xiquetdl.
Owner, Lulu’s Wine Garden The Trend: Wine gardens
“There’s something so comfortable about the casual setting of a beer garden, but we’re huge wine lovers so we set out to create a space where people could enjoy great wine in an approachable, unintimidating setting. We wanted people to order their wine based on what they like and not based on price. [By] choosing to price all of our 50-plus bottles at $49, we figured we would take one element out of the decision-making process for guests and encourage them to order what they really love to drink. We’re lucky [we have] two patios plus a brand-new ‘streatery’ along 11th Street. We offer plenty of safely distanced outdoor seating but we also designed our indoor dining room to have a Southwest patio feel with cacti, tropical plants and twinkling string lights, in hopes to bridge all of our different spaces and make it feel like one big indoor // outdoor bar.” Explore more at www.luluswinegarden.com and on Instagram @luluswinedc.
Manager + Sommelier, Domestique Wine The Trend: Natural wines
When it comes to drinking wine, consumers are looking to get back to basics, enjoying wine that is clean and simple. In D.C.’s Bloomingdale neighborhood, Domestique Wine’s shelves are stocked and ready to be discovered.
Planning a special occasion meal at home isn’t always easy, and options like pizza and curry don’t always feel fancy. Luckily, chefs have begun offering dinners to-go that aim to bring date night-quality meals from the restaurant to the home, including curated wines and shareable cocktails.
“Natural wine isn’t something new. It’s wine made without chemicals, using organic and/or biodynamic principles. What sets it apart is a sense of relatability. Natural wine has played a big part in stripping away wine’s longtime ingrained pretension and has made it fun to drink again. Most natural wines are vins de soif, meant to be thirst-quenching, fun and consumed quickly. There are a ton of natural wines in the $20 to $35 territory that express a wide range of styles, so there’s quality and selection at what many would consider an accessible price point. Covid has certainly changed how people drink a bit. In particular, I think it’s been fantastic to watch some of our fresher takes on red wine convert some rosé drinkers to red drinkers.”
Chef + Owner, Xiquet The Trend: Date night meets takeout
“We offer two to-go cocktails: a house-batched rum Old Fashion that serves two people made with Bacoo 8-year-old rum, orange curaçao, orange and angostura bitters, and garnished with dehydrated orange, as well as a house-batch Valencian [gin and tonic] that serves two people composed of orange blossom honey, grapefruit juice, Beefeater gin, tonic and garnished with an orange twist. We also offer a limited selection of wine online. We decided to limit the wine list online since you don’t have someone to guide you through it like you would at the 26 | SEPTEMBER 2020
Visit www.domestiquewine.com and Instagram @domestiquewine.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP. Please Bring Chip’s Chad Drummond. Photo courtesy of subject. Atlas Brew Works’ Dusty Poore. Photo courtesy of Atlas. Maxwell’s Brent Kroll. Photo by Kimchi Photography. Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s Nick Farrell. Photo courtesy of subject. TTT’s Ivan Iricanin. Photo by Tigran Markaryan of Calypso Digital Weddings.
â€‡ DISTRICT FRAY | 27
28 | SEPTEMBER 2020
Owner, Grand Duchess The Trend: Dressed-up sandwiches paired with amari With takeout food taking over, portability is key. That’s where sandwiches come in, and it helps that they are one of the best and most adaptable comfort foods around. Earlier this summer, the team at Grand Duchess launched their Hoagie Boyz menu, featuring sandwiches stacked high with quality deli meats, cheeses and seasonal produce. The bar offers a selection of Italian bitter amari to complement the food. “The idea for the pop-up arose out of the pandemic shutdown. We had been working on another food concept before the pandemic hit – the bar never had much of a kitchen before – and then shifted gears to hoagies when dining in became impossible. We felt that hoagies gave us the ability to combine two of our favorite influences: Italian food and Philadelphia. Working through the pandemic has meant constantly reimagining and reinventing our menu and offerings to fit new needs and realities. The amari, on the other hand, preceded the pandemic and have been something that we at Grand Duchess have been into for some time now. They help settle the stomach after a big meal, and there is a seemingly endless variety of them to try including some made right here in D.C.” Visit www.grandduchessdc.com and Instagram @grandduccessdc.
LOCAL CHANGEMAKERS BRING BOOZE-FREE OPTIONS TO ALL Whether you’re many years sober, trying out abstaining from alcohol or just taking the night off from drinking, D.C.’s spiritfree and sober-curious communities are ready to welcome you in – without compromising on amazing nonalcoholic drinks.
Vergie “Gigi” Arandid Founder + Owner, Binge Bar
Vergie “Gigi” Arandid aims for her soon-to-open booze-free bar and social events space on H Street to combat the “frustration with the lack of panache when it comes to ordering booze-free cocktails or the lack of option in general.” She hopes the space opens doors for new patrons curious about the movement to partake in creative and delicious nonalcoholic drinks. “Binge will have a good selection of nonalcoholic beers: Heineken and Athletic Brewing Company are at the top of my list. We’ll grow garnishes indoors. We’ll offer fresh juices, infused drinks, mushroom keto coffee and teas. Choosing Binge as your first and last destination for the evening means you won’t need a designated driver [and you won’t have any] overdraft fees. [You can wake] up on a Monday and jumpstart your week on an energetic note because you don’t have a hangover and you were in bed at a reasonable time the night before. If you’re looking for a great conversation or more, what better way to hit an instant connection than a place where alcohol is not served to impair your inhibitions? I encourage everyone to try spirit-free drinks because it is a heightened experience.” For the latest on Binge Bar’s opening, currently slated for 2021, follow on Instagram @__bingebar__ and Facebook at www.fb.com/bingebar.
Founder, Columbia Room Spirits and cocktails expert Derek Brown is known for awardwinning, carefully crafted drinks both with and without alcohol. Between the drinks offered at Columbia Room, an upcoming book release and more, Brown’s hope is to offer “artfully made, sophisticated adult drinks” for those who are skipping alcohol, whatever the reason may be. “I have a new book forthcoming in January 2022 with Rizzoli [Publications] called ‘Mindful Mixology.’ For me, nonalcoholic cocktails are just as important as cocktails with alcohol. For too long, mocktails have been an afterthought or kiddie drinks like the Shirley Temple – if they’re even offered at all. I want to help change that. Right now, we have a reduced menu [at Columbia Room] to go and with limited patio service. It’s always been important to us to cater to everyone. We currently have one of our favorite nonalcoholic offerings, Zero Proof Bay Leaf Soda, to go. [We also have a] whey soda and nonalcoholic Long Island iced tea on the patio [that’s] full of flavor but without alcohol – a brainchild of our chef, Paul Taylor. He’s doing a sandwich and cocktail pop-up at Columbia Room: Your Only Friend. We try to make nonalcoholic cocktails with the same level of care we do alcohol-based cocktails, sometimes even offering a nonalcoholic corollary. We have even made one of our most popular cocktails of all time, The Getaway, into a nonalcoholic version. It tastes nearly identical.” To enjoy Columbia Room’s current nonalcoholic offerings, food and more to go or on their patio, visit www.columbiaroom.com and follow on Instagram @columbiaroom.
Founder, Well Read DMV native Karina Carlson connects individuals who care about being informed as much as they care about their own wellness journeys. Well Read’s gatherings, held online and in-person (though that format is currently on pause), consist of wellness activities and article discussions. Carlson’s own journey and curiosity led her to become involved in the booze-free and sobercurious movements. “For a while, I was definitely on the more curious end of the spectrum. [I was] still drinking socially because of what I thought I should be doing. When the pandemic hit, I noticed my drinking at home escalated and began to self-reflect. Alone with my thoughts, I finally felt ready to give up drinking. Coincidentally, I won a coaching session with Leah Adams of 1,000 Hours Dry at an event led by Laura Silverman of Sans Bar DC and The Sobriety Collective. That session kickstarted the past three months of alcohol-free life. I think people, especially during a pandemic that has stripped folks (myself included) of so many external markers, are trying to figure out who they are outside of work. I sense that this, coupled with an increasing consciousness around self-numbing and self-medicating with alcohol, is contributing to the growth of the booze-free movement in D.C.” Join the conversation with Well Read at www.thisiswellread.com. Follow on Instagram @thisiswellread.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP. Xiquet’s Danny Lledó. Photo courtesy of subject. The Royal’s Paul Carlson. Photo courtesy of subject. Denizens Brewing Co.’s Julie Verrati. Photo courtesy of subject. Domestique’s Eric Moorer. Photo courtesy of subject. Grand Duchess Partner Rory Adair. Photo by Kimchi Photography.
DISTRICT FRAY | 29
DIVERSITY + DRINKS IN THE DISTRICT
Mocktail Club’s flavorful collection contains ready-to-drink cocktails sans spirits but full of all-natural ingredients. Idogho says a growing interest in health and wellness plus any number of reasons people may abstain from alcohol such as pregnancy, religion or sobriety have added to a new interest in healthy and well-made nonalcoholic cocktails such as those her club offers.
These D.C.-based individuals and initiatives are creating space and awareness for BIPOC professionals in the hospitality industry to thrive and be recognized for their talent and contributions to the industry and the city.
“The most rewarding part of doing this has been hearing from my customers and listening to their stories about how having better alternatives to alcohol has helped them moderate their alcohol intake with a healthier substitute. I hear stories of people suffering from health issues [who] have been longing for something nonalcoholic they could enjoy and still feel like they were part of the social fabric and part of the fun. That’s exactly what it’s about: inclusivity. I am also excited about building a company with a social mission: 1 percent of sales goes to supporting clean water access globally to support the one in 10 people who do not have access to water. As a Black female, I am also rewarded by being part of an innovative segment of the natural beverage industry. Diversity of cultures and experiences bring about exciting and innovative products. I look forward to seeing more females and minorities in the industry.”
President + Engagement Ambassador, Chocolate City’s Best
Founder, Mocktail Club
To learn more, purchase Mocktail Club drinks or find a local supplier, visit www.mocktailclub.com. Follow on Instagram @mocktailclub and Twitter @mocktail_club.
Founder, Booze Free in DC When she’s not hard at work with her web design and marketing // outreach firm LMS Designs, Laura Silverman is your guide to all things spirit-free and fun in the District through her blog Booze Free in DC. Her blog is a go-to for anyone diving into the lifestyle, whether for a day or for life – from spots to grab nonalcoholic cocktails and ways to connect with other sobercurious D.C. denizens to relevant information surrounding Covid specially tailored to her readers. “I think the most salient change I’ve seen in our backyard and across the globe is the prevalence of not just the zero-proof beverages themselves, which come in all sorts, but of growing community spaces that cater to wellness, mindfulness and authenticity. The biggest reason [to try booze-free options] is why not? There are beverages, there are communities, there are options. Because we’re still in the middle of the pandemic, research is showing this time is already heavily affecting people’s mental health. People are more likely to abuse a substance in isolation. So why not give yourself the gift of trying out a booze-free or sober-curious lifestyle? Become a scientist in your own life and more mindful with your habits and choices. Even if it’s just for a week, month or year – your body and mind will thank you.” Visit www.boozefreeindc.com and Instagram @boozefreeindc. Follow Silverman on Instagram and Twitter @wearesober. Follow Zero Proof Nation @zeroproofnation on Instagram.
After attending the world’s largest cocktail conference, Tales of the Cocktail, Kapri Robinson noticed a lack of Black and brown professionals in attendance. In an effort to change that, the bartender, educator, event organizer and D.C.’s 2017 Cocktail Queen founded Chocolate City’s Best as a competition and platform to elevate BIPOC individuals in the DMV. Robinson is also part of Back to Black Pop Up. “Chocolate City’s Best is a platform to enhance the careers of people of color in the food and beverage industry. This is all done by providing these individuals with more accessible doors to opportunities and networking events that will elevate one’s career path. Our competition focuses on bringing experiences to bartenders of color that they may have never received before. Each [of the four] days is filled with mentorship, educational classes, panel discussions, competitor bonding and constant creative competition. The cocktail competition is strictly for BIPOC. We are only highlighting them. From the mentors [and] panel members [to the] judges, we highlight BIPOC leaders in the industry and the work they do.” Follow Chocolate City’s Best on Facebook and Instagram @chocolate.citys.best and online at www.chocolatecitysbest.com. The competition takes place October 5-8. Be on the lookout for ways to support the top 10 competitors.
Creative Director, Back to Black Pop Up Lorena Prada brings her 15 years of experience in graphic design to Back to Black. Since meeting the pop-up’s founder Andra “AJ” Johnson a few years ago, she says the two have been inseparable and Johnson helped her understanding of the hospitality industry. When Johnson asked Prada to join Back to Black after its inception, she said yes “without hesitation.” “Through this initiative, not only are we helping the Black community, we are [also] empowering individuals by using the Back to Black platform in order to share their story. Through history, we have seen how it has been redacted to a particular point of view depending [on] who is telling it. In our narrative, we omit wrongful information and tell our truth. We wanted to ensure that each individual story did not get lost among everything else. This is also reflected visually through our imagery. We purposely showcase the cocktail [and] food on a black background. We wanted to maintain the viewer’s focus on the story through the cocktail or culinary item. Having a background would just clutter the message.” Follow Prada on Instagram @ljprada and visit www.ljprada.com.
30 | SEPTEMBER 2020
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP. Mocktail Club’s Pauline Idogho. Photo courtesy of subject. Binge Bar’s Vergie “Gigi” Arandid. Photo courtesy of subject. Well Read’s Karina Carlson. Photo by Anne Kim // www.annekim.photo. Columbia Room’s Derek Brown. Photo by Nole Garey. Booze Free in DC’s Laura Silverman. Photo courtesy of subject.
â€‡ DISTRICT FRAY | 31
32 | SEPTEMBER 2020
Co-Founder, Daring Kombucha Cocktails | Beverage Director, Roy Boys | Team Member, Back to Black Pop Up With over 11 years in the food and beverage world, Frank Mills brings his expertise to the Back to Black team. He’s proud that the pop-up has raised almost $20,000 in a little over a month divided among 14 different charities that “advocate for Black and brown success around the world.” “Due to the heightened notions of the Black Lives Matter movement, I have seen improvements within our local bar guilds as well as spirit brands to acknowledge and speak up about the need for further inclusion. The hospitality industry and its origins of craft were created in the kitchens and dining rooms of plantation homes. From enslaved people to indentured servants and freed African Americans who made their living tending to the families of early America, it was those individuals [who] produced the framework for the industry we’ve all come to love. Composing merriment [and] particularities and turning a negative situation into a booming business, there should be more recognition set upon people of color with the same aptitude to excel in the hospitality realm as our fairer-skinned counterparts.” Check out Roy Boys at www.royboysdc.com and on Instagram @royboysdc.
Beverage + Art Director, Thamee | Team Member, Back to Black Pop Up As a Back to Black team member and the beverage and art director for a 2020 James Beard Award-winning restaurant, Sterling helps keep Back to Black storytellers prepared and supported during their cocktail prep, in addition to helping with executing events. “All [Back to Black team members] enriched the mission with our stories and helped further the efforts and exposure of organizations that are doing their part to support the Black community. Our labor is often glorified in performance only, much like any support for Black lives and its relation to use and appropriation of our art and voice. Very rarely are Black people brought to the table in bringing change to our industry. [Restaurant and bar] owners can work less on the performance and more on the equity and respect. The greatest reward is increasing the safe spaces Black people and allies can turn to and find solace in. Back to Black is a platform in the fight for civil rights and liberties. We’re doing our small part.” Check out Thamee online at www.thameedc.com and on Instagram @thamee. To learn more about Back to Black Pop Up, visit www.serenatadc.com/backtoblack and follow on Instagram @backtoblack_popup. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP. Thamee’s Richard Sterling. Back to Black’s Lorena Prada. Roy Boys’ Frank Mills. Chocolate City’s Best’s Kapri Robinson. Photos courtesy of subjects.
We’d like to thank all of our valued partners for participating in our 2020 Drinking Local Guide: Atlas Brew Works, Blue Valley Vineyard and Winery, Catoctin Creek Distillery, Cave Ridge Vineyard, Copper Fox Distillery, DC Brau, The Farm Brewery, Guinness, KO Distilling, MISCellaneous Distillery, New Realm Brewing, and Right Proper Brewing Company.
Cocktail Class Series THE BAR NEVER CLOSES WHEN YOU MAKE CLASSIC COCKTAILS AT HOME THEMES BELOW SEPT. 24 // AUTUMN OCT. 28 // HALLOWEEN NOV. 18 // THANKSGIVING VISIT: DCFRAY.COM/EVENTS
The Art of the
Bar Cart WORDS BY JEAN SCHINDLER
Not going out to restaurants much these days, but still craving a fine cocktail from time to time? Perhaps you want to make cocktails for your lockdown pod. And now you’re staring at all those bottles left over from parties (oh, days of yore!) – they’re not much use, and a pox on whomever brought you mango-flavored rum. Time to get serious about stocking your liquor shelf. When I first became serious about booze, I went gin-mad. I purchased bottles promising strange flavor profiles without so much as a sample, including one that was a radioactive shade of fluorescent yellow – I couldn’t resist the label, which promised the color came from “the post-distillation maceration of the rare botanicals.” I ordered cinchona online and learned to make my own tonic water (do it). I acquired a gin-infusion kit complete with dried juniper berries (don’t do it). Meanwhile, my bar cart became unidimensional, and when I’d lure friends to visit by offering to make cocktails (using my fabulous collection), it didn’t always go well. “But it’s all gin,” someone always observed with a tinge of dismay. “No, it’s all different kinds of gin,” I’d reply, as if they were wrong. “I don’t like gin,” another would assert. “No, you just haven’t had the right gin,” I countered, still in correction mode. Don’t be like me. Your crew might vote you out of the pandemic pod. Learn from my experience: If you’re ready to build a home liquor collection from scratch, here’s my recommended game plan. 34 | SEPTEMBER 2020
The Big Five Start with a bottle or two from “the big five:” vodka, whiskey, gin, tequila or rum. These can be consumed neat, or serve as the foundation for almost any cocktail. I vote you get one clear and one brown: gin and bourbon.
Salt and Pepper Bitters are the salt and pepper of the cocktail world – a few dashes, and the recipe is complete. These tinctures are highly concentrated infusions of herbs and barks and other “secret” ingredients – and usually not tasty on their own. Everyone should have a bottle of angostura – a few dashes on a sugar cube dropped in a glass of champagne is “Breakfast-at-Tiffany’s” level of classic. Also, mandatory for an Old Fashioned.
Major Mixers While the “big five” are A: drinkable alone, and B: the base of any cocktail, mixer booze is generally neither – but they are necessary to build a cocktail. The two most important in this category are vermouth (dry and sweet) and triple sec (orange liqueur). Get those. With the bourbon, sweet vermouth, and angostura, you’ve got a basic Manhattan cocktail (though you really need a maraschino cherry to top it off). P.S. If you get a really, really good vermouth, it’s worthy of savoring over ice on its own.
Lesser Mixers These are the range of interesting liqueurs that frequently appear in cocktails and should go on your acquisition short-list: Luxardo (sour cherries, cherry pits and mystery ingredients), campari or aperol (bitter orange or less bitter orange), elderflower (there are lots of excellent competitors to St. Germaine these days), and chartreuse (made by monks out of a secret recipe of 130 herbs and botanicals). These will let you make Hemingways, negronis, Last Words and more (depending on your “big five” liquor).
Luxury Mixer Booze This category is “luxury” because while these bottles are tempting and exotic, no one really needs them: the musk-melonaloe-vera liqueur, the lavender-lily-of-thevalley, molasses-poppy. I once bought a jasmine liqueur, which I loved – but it’s so delicate that it would be lost in a cocktail. And how much jasmine juice can I drink straight? Be adventurous, by all means – but manage your expectations. It’s easy to go crazy in this category.
The Fridge If you now have bottles from the first three categories above, you’re ready to start mixing. Cocktails like the negroni (gin, vermouth, campari) and the Manhattan (whiskey, sweet vermouth, angostura) require nothing but bottles. Obviously, if you want margaritas and the like, you’ll need fresh citrus (please don’t do all this work, only to use store-bought sour mix). But don’t be afraid to forage in your fridge for other things. Jams and jellies make extremely satisfying additions when you need some sweetness, and any kind of fermented product (e.g., kombucha, kimchi juice) is a tangy cocktail candidate. Remember that simple syrup is just equal parts sugar and water, gently boiled until it’s clear (grainy sugar is no fun in drinks).
And Remember to Go Local Help keep local businesses alive and buy from DMV distillers. New Columbia Distillers was one of the first to open in the District, and their Green Hat Gin is a local classic. Cotton & Reed was D.C.’s first rum distillery – and their spiced rum is magnificent. For a stunning range of Italian herbal liqueurs, Don Ciccio e Photos by Jean Schindler.
Figli is magnificent. Republic Restoratives is women-owned and produces the popular Rodham Rye. Rounding out the pack is Jos. A. Magnus & Co. and One Eight Distilling. Now, go forth and shop. Cotton & Reed: 1330 5th St. NE, DC; www.cottonandreed.com Don Ciccio e Figli: 1907 Fairview Ave. NE, DC; www.donciccioefigli.com Jos. A. Magnus & Co.: 2052 West Virginia Ave. NE, DC; www.josephmagnus.com New Columbia Distillers: 1832 Fenwick St. NE, DC; www.greenhatgin.com Republic Restoratives: 1369 New York Ave. NE, DC; www.republicrestoratives.com One Eight Distilling: 1135 Okie St. NE, DC; www.oneeightdistilling.com DISTRICT FRAY | 35
WORDS + PHOTOS BY KELSEY COCHRAN
In case you needed an excuse to drink more wine, join us on District Fray’s social distancing-approved wine trail. We’ve rounded up five wineries in the DMV that will appeal to all sorts of wine appreciators. Each review of the selected wineries serves to give readers an overview of why we think you should go to said winery, and which wine was our favorite. Whether you’re an aficionado yearning to learn more, a sweet wine lover, a newbie to the wine world or just looking to get out of the city for a day, these local wineries promise to give you a top-notch experience.
For The Wine Nerds About an hour outside of the city, hidden in the historic town of Middleburg, Virginia, Washingtonians will find Greenhill Winery and Vineyards. When patrons cruise up the long driveway, they may have trouble keeping their eyes on the road as they take in the beautiful vines and hillside surrounding them. The vineyard sits on a sizable 120 acres, though only about 30 or so are under vine. The rest of the space is occupied by Greenhill’s working farm, where cute white cattle and strong polo horses graze. Though the farm is beautiful, the main draw to the winery is not its views. Guests of Greenhill are treated to an experience promising not just good wine at a nice setting, but the ability to learn as much about wine as they want. “Our mission is to connect with people, have an actual conversation about wine [and] share our enthusiasm for how we create wine – all the way through the process to sharing the product with people so they understand everything that goes into that bottle and enjoy it at the same time,” says Jed Gray, Greenhill Winery and Vineyards’ general manager. “We do a lot of little things to make sure that comes out in our everyday existence.” Tasting room guests are free to ask as many questions as they like of the staff about how the wine is made, what the blend is, how the vintage compares to other vintages and so on. 36 | SEPTEMBER 2020
Gray ensures that all staff are well-educated on wine and the winemaking process so they can converse with guests instead of merely reading off prewritten tasting notes. This depth of knowledge is refreshing for someone who has a background in wine and wants to know more than simply what tasting notes we’re supposed to be getting from a wine. Barrel Club members receive an even more in-depth look at what goes into Greenhill’s wines: the opportunity to taste wines straight out of the barrel as they age, partake in blending classes and simply have a much more comprehensive understanding of the winemaking process. As the name suggests, they are able to take home a barrel once it has been retired. My wine nerd needs were met and then some. I plan on visiting again this fall for more great wine and great education. Favorite Wine: 2019 Viognier This wine is aged in stainless steel and showcases a light floral bouquet of orange blossom that leads into an expressive palate and offers notes of stone fruit and clementines with a bright acidic finish. Learn more about Greenhill Winery and Vineyards at www.experiencegreenhill.com, or follow them on Instagram and Twitter @greenhillwine. Open Monday to Thursday noon to 6 p.m., and Friday to Sunday noon to 7 p.m. 23595 Winery Ln. Middleburg, VA. Linganore Winecellars.
Best Picnic Spot For the past six years, Two Twisted Posts has brought fresh wines to Loudoun County, Virginia. Though the vineyard is small – 15 acres in total – it produces some mighty fine wines. Before they even had a tasting room, owner Theresa Robertson won the gold medal and earned a spot in the Governor’s Case for her 2012 chardonnay in the 2014 Virginia Governor’s Cup. This was the first time in 18 years that a white wine won gold in the Governor’s Cup. Winemakers who win the Governor’s Cup must have some sort of tasting room, so when Robertson won the award, she scrambled to set something up. She ended up selling cases upon cases of her award-winning chardonnay under a tent on the side of the road, with a brick-and-mortar tasting room set up soon after. Now when you visit Two Twisted Posts, you can drive alongside some of the vines to the red barn that acts as the winery’s tasting room. When you step out of your car, you’ll be greeted by the vineyard dog Arizona. She is quiet and friendly, and a wonderful drinking companion. In light of the pandemic, tastings are held outside under the covered patio of the barn. There are also multiple picnic tables and plenty of grassy spots to set up a picnic. Two Twisted Posts is relaxed and serene, encompassed by neighboring farms and forests. In addition to Arizona joining you on your visit, you can sometimes expect other furry friends such as deer to wander past your picnic spot. Two Twisted Posts is kid- and pet-friendly, so the whole family can enjoy a day at the winery. Tasting room manager Casey Luther tells me that weekdays are the best time to visit for a more intimate setting. Weekends tend to draw in crowds, though everyone is respectful of social distancing guidelines. Every other Saturday beginning at 2 p.m., you can experience live music during your trip to Two Twisted Posts. Listen to local bands and musicians as you sip on a crisp summer white or try the winery’s peach sangria for added fun. Luther suggests calling ahead on the weekends to secure your spot. Favorite Wine: Don’t Call Me a Cab blend This fruity, slightly spiced red is the perfect pair for any grilled dishes you bring to your picnic. With a lighter body than other reds, you can chill this wine if you need something cool and refreshing on hotter days. This blend of cabernet sauvignon, chambourcin, chardonel and petit verdot was initially made with grapes from a particularly difficult harvest in 2011, then aged in American and French oak barrels. Robertson was pleasantly surprised by just how good the wine was, as the vintage was poor for the region overall. Cases of the original blend sold out immediately, and the subsequent remakes of that blend continue to be one of their most popular wines. Learn more about Two Twisted Posts Winery by visiting www.twotwistedposts.com, or follow them on Instagram and Twitter @ttpwinery. Open Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 12944 Harpers Ferry Rd. Purcellville, VA. FROM TOP. Greenhill Winery and Vineyards. Two Twisted Posts.
For Sweet Wine Lovers Linganore Winecellars in Mt. Airy, Maryland has been making easy drinking wines for the past 48 years. The family-run business started out with just six acres under vine but has grown to cover almost 80 acres with 18 different grape varietals. With their sizable acreage and diverse grape varietals, Linganore has a long wine list. As of publishing, Linganore offers 33 different wines for customers to enjoy on the vineyard grounds or to take home. These wines are also extremely affordable, with an average price of $15 per bottle, making it easy to try multiple wines. Customers can either purchase a bottle or two to sip at the picnic tables set up around the vineyard or partake in a tasting flight. There are three different tastings you can choose to partake in: an all-dry wine tasting, an all-sweet wine tasting, or a blend of both dry and sweet wines. When I visited, I selected the latter tasting. The flight included eight wines, starting with a crisp white and ending with a sweet sangria. For my palate in particular, the tasting began wading into sweeter territory after the third wine. The dry wines were good, but the off-dry and sweet wines were definitely what stood out the most to me. The floral bouquets intermingled with citrus and honey on the palate of the sweet white wines, and the reds were light-bodied and easy to drink. The sangria was dangerously sweet, making it easy to drink almost a full bottle by yourself if you aren’t careful. DISTRICT FRAY | 37
Oasis Away From the City
Many wineries have a smaller selection of sweet wines, making it difficult for sweet wine lovers to find something they like if they’re out at a tasting with friends. Linganore caters to all palate preferences, but sweet wine drinkers will find a safe haven at this winery. As an added bonus, if you visit the winery with a friend or partner who is not a fan of wine or want to just have a full day of drinking, Linganore has a brewery onsite as well. Favorite Wine: Traminette This semi-sweet white wine has strong floral notes on the nose, with ripe pear and honeyed spice on the palate. Pair this wine with spicy Thai food to make your taste buds sing, or just drink it by itself outside on a nice day. Learn more about Linganore Winecellars at www.linganorewines.com, or follow them on Instagram and Facebook @linganorewincellars. Open Monday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. 13601 Glissans Mill Rd. Mt. Airy, MD.
38 | SEPTEMBER 2020
Rocklands Farm started as a family-owned working farm 10 years ago that specialized in fresh vegetables and meat products. Shortly thereafter, the family decided to start experimenting with winemaking, fermenting barrels in the basement of the home on the farm. In 2014, Rocklands officially opened their winery and tasting room for business. Now, Washingtonians love to take the fairly short drive out to Poolesville, Maryland for a glass of wine on the quiet farm grounds. Rocklands staff are big believers in what the French call “terroir,” the idea that the grapes of a wine have a distinctive taste based on where in the world they are grown. With this in mind, Rocklands wines are made as naturally as possible, using no additives or herbicides in addition to practicing organic growing methods. Currently only 10 of the farm’s acres are under vine, but the supplementary grapes all come from other local growers, as Rocklands is dedicated to using only Maryland fruit. “We want to capture a snapshot of where the grapes are grown and what they taste like for the consumer, and really show what Maryland wine can be,” Shawn Eubank, co-founder, COO, and vice president of sales and marketing at Rocklands, tells me over a glass of crisp white wine. This lush, organic farm paradise is only a 45-minute drive from the city, an easy trip out of town when you need a breath of fresh air and a glass of good wine. The winery is always striving to push the envelope further and provide more for their customers. “We’re curious people with an endless appetite,” Eubank states. In addition to wine, Rocklands currently has three hard ciders ready for the fall season. They use their own apples and some local fruit to blend fun, funky and refreshing ciders sure to please any cider fan. My favorite was the Partnership cider: a dry, unfiltered, traditional method sparkling cider made from apples, blackberries and raspberries from local orchards. Of course, their wine is amazing as well. Sip a refreshing white or full red under the cover of the red barn or at a picnic table near the vines and inquire about how the wine is made. Wine club members even get to partake in barrel tastings and vineyard tours in the fall, truly bringing them into the winemaking experience. “We love to educate and share information about the winemaking process with our guests,” Eubank says. “We want to create an experience for them.” Rocklands delivers on this promise. While there, I felt far from all responsibilities and cares with only my interview reminding me that I was truly visiting for work and not pleasure. It would be easy to spend a large part of your day letting the hours go by as you soak in your surroundings and drink a great glass of Maryland wine.
FROM TOP. Linganore Winecellars. Rocklands Farm.
Favorite Wine: Anna’s Rosé This rosé, named after the owner’s wife, is a light-bodied, crisp wine with hints of dark berries on the nose. The palate offers a bouquet of violet and strawberry, with an acidic and dry finish. Learn about Rocklands Farm Winery at www.rocklandsfarmmd.com, and stay up-to-date with them by following their Instagram and Facebook @rocklandsfarm. Open Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. 14531 Montevideo Rd. Poolesville, MD.
High Quality View + Wine Delaplane Cellars has long been a favorite spot for Washingtonians. The vineyard opened in 2007, and immediately drew in crowds thanks to its views. As soon as you pull into the driveway, you will be struck by the mountains in the distance framing the vines and tasting room before you. Delaplane is located on Lost Mountain in Fauquier County, Virginia, overlooking the historic Crooked Run Valley. When sitting on the winery’s brand-new deck, you will be savoring the view as well as the wine in front of you. “We want guests to have an elevated experience with highquality tastings and high-quality wine,” Delaplane's Angelo Tanner says. “It’s about people enjoying themselves, and so we strive to provide a premiere experience.” Tanner is quite new to the wine scene, joining Delaplane last year when former wine club members bought the vineyard. Tanner tells me the current owners loved the wine so much, they wanted to take a chance in the business for themselves. Their first year has been tough, with the pandemic changing Delaplane Cellars.
how staff can interact with customers, but the team has put the work in to make the guest experience seamless. While Tanner and the owners are still learning the ropes, they are dedicated to providing a full Delaplane experience to every guest. “This lifestyle is all in,” he says. “You have to put all you have into it.” This dedication is evident in the quality of the wine served at Delaplane. This year, two red wines won the gold in the Virginia Governor’s Cup: the 2017 Williams Gap and 2017 Rusticity. Though you can take these award-winning wines home to enjoy, I think they taste much better when paired with the showstopping views of the vineyard. With its elevated experience and elevated views, I would suggest leaving the kids and pets at home for a superior date at this beautiful vineyard. If you’re planning a weekend of wine tasting, make a reservation ahead of time to ensure you get to enjoy the views and the wines Delaplane has to offer. Favorite Wine: 2019 Duet This Merlot-based blend showcases ripe cherry flavors with hints of vanilla and baking spices from the oak aging. This wine is velvety smooth, easy to pair with and easy to drink. No matter what your palate is, this wine will wow you. Learn more about Delaplane Cellars at www.delaplanecellars.com, and follow them on Instagram and Facebook @delaplanecellars to stay up-to-date. Open Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. 2187 Winchester Rd. Delaplane, VA. DISTRICT FRAY | 39
CHOOSE YOUR OWN
eer has come a long way since its B.C. days. Back then, beer was actually safer to drink than water, a public health crisis of sorts thanks to the lack of proper sewage systems. While we can’t solve a public health crisis like the novel coronavirus by drinking beer, we can at least pass the time enjoying it under our masks. That being said, beer drinkers in ancient times didn’t have nearly as many varieties of beer styles to choose from as we do in 2020. Brewers worldwide have created an overwhelming number of styles over the centuries. Where is a craft beer novice to start? In order to understand the main differences between styles of beer, you’ll need a brief chemistry lesson. Beer comes down to one of two main classifications: ale or lager. The difference between the two depends on the yeast used to ferment it. The fermentation process converts sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Ales are brewed through top fermentation using warmer temperatures. Through this process, the yeast settles at the top of the beer. The fermentation process to create a lager uses colder temperatures and the yeast settles at the bottom. From there, brewers tinker around with various malts, hops and grains, as well as carbonation levels, bitterness scales and other flavorings. These combinations make an ale an IPA, for example, or a lager a pilsner. While what’s laid out in these pages is a great place to start, the best way to learn about the infinite world of craft beer is to go out and try it. If you don’t know what appeals to your palate, don’t buy any old six-pack. Find out what styles of beer you like by going to a brewery and ordering a flight of 3- to 5-ounce pours. Ask your bartender questions. If there’s one thing to know about brewery employees, it’s that they love to talk beer. Since all of the categories, subcategories and sub-subcategories of beer styles could take up an entire book, we’ve narrowed it down to the staples. As an added bonus, we’ve included where you can find each style locally throughout the DMV. So cheers! Prost! Na zdrowie! Salud! However you say it, do it at a socially distant 6 feet apart from others. Air clinks are always Dr. Fauci-approved.
WORDS BY ANNA JACOBY //INFOGRAPHICS BY JAMES COREAS
Guinness Open Gate Brewery Head Brewer Hollie Stephenson. Photo courtesy of Guinness.
â€‡ DISTRICT FRAY | 41
42 | SEPTEMBER 2020
â€‡ DISTRICT FRAY | 43
44 | SEPTEMBER 2020
â€‡ DISTRICT FRAY | 45
DRINK NOTE: All descriptions of seasonals and releases provided by respective breweries.
LEARN THE LINGO: A CRAFT BEER GLOSSARY ABV: This term means alcohol by volume, measuring how much alcohol is contained in a given volume of an alcoholic beverage. Barrel-aged: Barrel-aged beers have exploded in popularity over the last several years. It’s beer that has been aged for a period of time in a wooden barrel that previously housed a liquid like whiskey, bourbon or wine. Bottle share: A social gathering of beer nerds who each bring a beer to open and share. Brett: Short for Brettanomyces, it’s a wild yeast that brings out a range of funky flavors. It’s typically used to make wild ales. Cicerone: Pronounced “sis-uh-rohn,” this term means beer sommelier. In other words, it’s someone certified in all things beer – from food pairings to brewing techniques. Crushable: Saying a beer is “crushable” means it’s a low ABV, very drinkable beer you could drink more than one of. Crispy boy: A – you guessed it – crisp beer for easy drinking on a porch in summer or around a firepit.
Now that you know the differences between ales and lagers, tap into which varieties are adapted for the cooler months of the year. Though the golden beverage originates from Mesopotamia and Egypt, beer as we know it today is primarily developed from German brewing techniques. After all, September is our Drink Issue. With crisp air, changing leaves and Oktoberfest on the horizon, it really is German beer’s time to shine. Get ready to put your sandals away and fill up a stein with beer worthy of sweater weather. We talked to some local breweries about fall flavor profiles, what seasonals are on their radar and a preview of new releases beerheads have to look forward to.
ASLIN BEER COMPANY “With October right around the corner, we can’t wait to bring back our märzen and Vienna lager, as well as a few other surprises. We also have some amazing barrel-aged beers (eight in fact!) we will be releasing in conjunction with our fifth anniversary at the end of September. We’re working on some cocktail-inspired DIPA [or double IPA] sour recipes that we can’t wait to share with everyone.” – Erik Raines, Brand Manager
NOTABLE + IN SEASON Bird Leaf
This bohemian pilsner makes its debut with crazy, thirst-quenching notes of lime zest, honey dew melon, cantaloupe and wildflower honey mixed with subtle spice, and is finished off with a satisfying water cracker-like finish. It’s the kind of pils where you blink, and the can is somehow mysteriously empty.
Aslin is super excited about this batch of amber lager. It’s balanced with a sweet aroma and caramel, malty notes that have a hop bite. This one you just cannot get sick of, and it gives us a hardcore itching to be lounging in a lawn chair or tubing on the river.
Much Ado Helles Lager
This beer is basically telling the summer heat to go kick rocks. Refreshingly crisp and dry with subtle lemon and caramel notes, this lager is best enjoyed with friends, on a river, doing yard work or on a Thursday. I mean, it’s pretty much the weekend, so...
Stating the Obvious Vienna Lager
Drain pour: A beer that tastes so offensively bad you dump it down the drain.
This lager is triple decocted with Vienna, pilsen and Munich malt, and hopped with noble hops. The result is a pale amber color, caramel-like sweetness and a crisp, light toast.
Hazy: Hazy IPAs, or New Englandstyle IPAs, are murky-looking and juicier compared to traditional IPAs.
Follow Aslin on Instagram @aslinbeerco and Twitter @aslin_beerco. Pick up beer or hang at the Alexandria location at 847 S Pickett St., pick up to-go orders at 257 Sunset Park Dr. Herndon, VA and visit the beer garden at 771 Elden St. Herndon, VA. Learn more at www.aslinbeer.com.
IBU: This stands for international bitterness units, a scale that gauges a beer’s bitterness.
GUINNESS OPEN GATE BREWERY
Imperial: These are beers with an ABV over 7.5 percent. Drink too many and you’ll topple over. Stout: This is the porter’s fuller-bodied spinoff, an ale commonly misidentified as a strong, extremely heavy beer. While this is true of some, this dark-colored barley brew with a silky mouthfeel can be lighter than expected. Many are even lower ABV and have fewer calories than other beers.
“Festbier, our German-style amber lager, will be canned in late September. This taproom-only release will be accompanied by a draft release of a Munich-style dunkel lager. We’ll also be making a taproom favorite, our Blueberry Stout, as a draft-only taproom seasonal available October through December at the bar and in crowlers to go.” – Hollie Stephenson, Head Brewer
UPCOMING DUAL RELEASE Gingerbread Stout + Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
Whale: These are very rare beers that collectors actively seek out – the Moby Dick to your Ahab.
Available in late November A bourbon barrel-aged stout brewed with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice, the Gingerbread Stout was a holiday favorite last year. The Gingerbread Stout will be a dual release with a bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout that is also delicious. These are national releases and both beers will be in 11.2-ounce, four-pack bottles. In the taproom only, there will be a 16-ounce, four-pack can and draft release of a bourbon barrel-aged coffee from our amazing local partners Vent Coffee and Coconut Imperial Porter.
Wort: No, it’s not the lumpy skin growth on your hand. Wort is the liquid extracted from mashed grain during the brewing process.
Follow Guinness Open Gate Brewery on Instagram @guinnessbreweryus and on Twitter @guinnessus. Visit 5001 Washington Blvd. Halethorpe, MD and learn more at www.guinnessbrewerybaltimore.com.
46 | SEPTEMBER 2020
PORT CITY BREWING COMPANY “We are a funny brewery. We don’t get too hung up on trends. Ultimately, our goal is to be a reliable and innovative brewer of delicious, well-balanced beers that celebrate their source and raw ingredients.” – John Gartner, Director of Sales
UPCOMING RELEASES Colossal® IX
Available in October Colossal® IX is a German-style weizenbock – a style fusing characteristics of a wheat and bock beer. Mahogany in color, this malt-forward beer boasts a bouquet of ripe banana, clove and dark fruit capped off with a billowing beige head.
Available in October through early November Hoppy Brown is an American-style brown ale with notes of chocolate, caramel and tropical fruit in the nose. Rich flavors of roasted malt and caramel in the body pair with a bright hop character, finishing balanced and crisp.
Available in October Brilliant copper in color, this beer showcases toasty German malt character, including traditional beechwood-smoked malts that impart an appetizing, savory smokiness.
Available in November Port City’s Tmavé Pivo is brewed with all Czech malt and hops, lagered for six weeks, and served unfiltered. This dark lager finds the perfect balance between malt roastiness, spicy aromatic hoppiness and a slight caramel sweetness.
Available in December Doppelbock is a stronger version of a German-style bock beer. This malt-forward lager is reddish brown in color, with highlights of crimson. Weighing in at 8.2 percent ABV, Doppelbock has notes of toasted malt, dark fruits and caramel, with a touch of roastiness.
Maniacal® Double IPA
Available in December Deep golden with subtle orange hues, Maniacal® Double IPA perfectly balances hop bitterness, tropical and citrus aromatics, and malt structure. This deceptive double IPA satisfies the strongest hop cravings, while remaining balanced enough for the double IPA skeptic. Averaging five pounds of hops per barrel, Maniacal® is dry-hopped with azacca, citra and jarrylo through Port City’s patented HopZooka®. Follow Port City Brewing Company on Instagram and Twitter @portcitybrew. Visit 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria, VA and learn more at www.portcitybrewing.com.
Information about all releases mentioned in our beer adventure infographics can be found at the breweries listed below. Fair Winds Brewing Company 7000 Newington Rd. Suites K & L, Lorton, VA; www.fairwindsbrewing.com
Port City Brewing Company 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.portcitybrewing.com
Flying Dog Brewing www.flyingdog.com
Red Bear Brewing Co. 209 M St. NE, DC; www.redbear.beer
Bluejacket 300 Tingey St. SE, DC; www.bluejacketdc.com
Hellbender Brewing Company 5788 2nd St. NE, DC; www.hellbenderbeer.com
Caboose Brewing Company Caboose Tavern: 520 Mill St. NE, Vienna, VA; Caboose Commons: 2918 Eskridge Rd. Fairfax, VA; www.caboosebrewing.com
Heavy Seas Beer 4615 Hollins Ferry Rd. Halethorpe, MD; www.hsbeer.com
Right Proper Brewing Company 624 T St. NW, DC + 920 Girard St. NE, DC; www.rightproperbrewing.com
3 Stars Brewing Company 6400 Chillum Pl. NW, DC; www.3starsbrewing.com Aslin Beer Company 847 S Pickett St. Alexandria, VA; 257 Sunset Park Dr. Herndon, VA; www.aslinbeer.com
Christian Heurich Brewing Company www.heurichhouse.org Crooked Run Brewing 205 Harrison St. SE, Leesburg, VA; 22455 Davis Dr. Suite 120, Sterling, VA; www.crookedrunbrewing.com DC Brau 3178 Bladensburg Rd. Suite B, NE, DC; www.dcbrau.com
Jailbreak Brewing Company 9445 Washington Blvd. N, Suite F, Laurel, MD; www.jailbreakbrewing.com Manor Hill Brewing 4411 Manor Ln. Ellicott City, MD; www.manorhillbrewing.com Milkhouse Brewery 8253 Dollyhyde Rd. Mt Airy, MD; www.milkhousebrewery.com
Denizens Brewing Co. 1115 E W Hwy. Silver Spring, MD; 4550 Van Buren St. Riverdale Park, MD; www.denizensbrewingco.com
Old Ox Brewery 44652 Guilford Dr. Unit 114, Ashburn, VA; 14 S Madison St. Middleburg, VA; www.oldoxbrewery.com
Evolution Craft Brewing Company 201 E Vine St. Salisbury, MD; www.evolutioncraftbrewing.com
Ocelot Brewing Company 23600 Overland Dr. Suite 180, Dulles, VA; www.ocelotbrewing.com
Silver Branch Brewing Company 8401 Colesville Rd. #150, Silver Spring, MD; www.silverbranchbrewing.com Strangeways Brewing 2277A Dabney Rd. Richmond, VA; 3110 West Leigh St. Richmond, VA; 350 Lansdowne Rd. Fredericksburg, VA; www.strangewaysbrewing.com Three Notch’d Brewing Company 520 2nd St. SE, Charlottesville, VA; 2930 West Broad St. Richmond, VA; 24 Campbell Ave. SE, Roanoke, VA; www.threenotchdbrewing.com Triple Crossing Brewing 113 S. Foushee St. Richmond, VA; 5203 Hatcher St. Richmond, VA; www.triplecrossing.com
DISTRICT FRAY | 47
FA N TA S Y
Join our Weekly Fantasy Football Contest, presented by Modelo Especial. Register to win cool prizes with winners each week now through January 2021!
No deposit required! When prompted, please disregard the account deposit page when registering in Draft Kings by clicking the Draft Kings logo in the top left corner of the page. â€˘ Create and submit your lineup â€˘ Watch your favorite players rack up points and win cool prizes Participants must be 21+. Participants must reside in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area. Registered participants are only eligible to win one (1) weekly prize throughout the duration of the contest. Additional information regarding scoring, lineups, players, etc. can be found under the Rules & Scoring tab in the Draft Kings contest.
â€˜Tis the season for bonfires, bitters and boozing outside in the crisp cool air. Beer, seltzer, bourbon, wine and more â€“ whatever you fancy in your glass, these local spots are ready to welcome you and your squad in for a drink or two. NOTE: All listings and photos provided by Drinking Local Guide participants.
Blue Valley Vineyard and Winery
Before it was Blue Valley, this property was owned by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Marshall. When the family stumbled Located in D.C.’s Ivy City and Capitol Riverfront neighborhoods, upon the estate, they were originally looking to build a family Atlas Brew Works creates balanced, great-tasting ales and lagers home. It wasn’t until Stergio, their son, suggested they build a in a solar-powered facility. The larger second location opened winery that the vision of Blue Valley began to come to life. The across from Nationals Park in early April 2020. Atlas is available in breathtaking property has been owned by the family for over 20 bars, restaurants and stores throughout D.C., Northern Virginia, years now. While the Virginia winery, which was built by father Maryland and Tennessee. Visitors are welcome to stop in for a and son John (Yianni) and Stergio, is only 4 years old, some of the tasting, tour, growler to go or just to say hi. Tap rooms and patios vines have been flourishing for over 16 years. 5535 Blue Valley Way, are open in both locations with social distancing protocols in Delaplane, VA; www.bluevalleyvineyardandwinery.com place. Open Monday to Thursday 4-10 p.m., Friday 4-11 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Ivy City: 2052 West Virginia Ave. Suite 102, NE, DC; Capitol Riverfront: 1201 Half St. Suite 120, SE, DC; www.atlasbrewworks.com
Atlas Brew Works
Cave Ridge Vineyard
Catoctin Creek Distillery
Come and visit Catoctin Creek, The Virginia Rye Whisky™, producing Roundstone Rye, Watershed Gin and several locally sourced fruit brandies since 2009. Distillery visitors can enjoy a tasting and tour and pick up bottles and cool merchandise to go home with them. Order your favorite products for delivery or curbside pick-up. Open Tuesday-Thursday 1-5 p.m., Saturday 12-7 p.m. and Sunday 1-6 p.m. 120 W Main St. Purcellville, VA; www.catoctincreekdistilling.com 50 | SEPTEMBER 2020
Cave Ridge Vineyard is an estate-grown, family-owned and operated vineyard and winery in the Shenandoah Valley, just one-and-a-half to two hours from the D.C. area. Many socially distanced seating options are available with plenty of space to spread out and relax, including a large pavilion area for rainy or hot days. Current food options include small snack boxes and larger charcuterie boxes. A variety of wine flights are available in addition to glasses and bottles. Wine Lushies (think giant adult juice pouches but with wine slushies) are also available. Various socially distanced events are planned for the upcoming months, including a harvest wine dinner in the vineyard, private igloos and nearby wine pairing events inside Shenandoah Caverns. Open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday 12-6 p.m., and 12-7 p.m. on Saturdays. 1476 Conicville Rd. Mount Jackson, VA; www.caveridge.com.
Copper Fox Distillery - Sperryville
Here’s what to expect at Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville, Virginia. Their riverside cocktail garden is the perfect place to relax and unwind for socially distanced whiskey flights and craft cocktails after a day of driving or hiking, with limited indoor seating. Light snacks are available for purchase, but you can also pack a picnic and enjoy by the river. All ages and well-behaved dogs are welcome, too. Their flagship spirits include Copper Fox Original Single Malt Whisky, Original Fox Rye Whisky, Dawson’s Reserve Bourbon Vir Gin and Copper Fox Barrel Kits. They’re proud recipients of the following awards: BTI Gold Medal 92 for Copper Fox Peachwood Single Malt, Jim Murray Whiskey Bible 94.5 for Copper Fox Rye and Best New Product Award 2012 VDACS-Barrel Kits. Open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Sundays 1-6 p.m. 9 River Ln. Sperryville, VA; www.copperfoxdistillery.com
The Farm Brewery at Broad Run
Spend the day at the bucolic Farm Brewery with plenty of space for social distancing, located in the quaint community of Haymarket, Virginia just minutes from I-66. Sip away the afternoon on their vast selection of ales or lagers, or if you prefer, choose from a handful of wines or local handmade cider and seltzer. Make time to catch up with family and friends while axe throwing, playing games or listening to music in their 6-acre beer garden. Enjoy traditional bar nibbles or select an artisan creation from their rotating food trucks. For a truly extraordinary experience, check out their unique spaces available for rent; they host events from 20 to 1,000. See their website for all the details. #LifeisBrewtiful. Open Monday and Thursday 3-8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 12-10 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday are private events only. 16015 John Marshall Hwy. Broad Run, VA; www.tfbabr.com
Copper Fox Distillery - Williamsburg
Here’s what to expect at Copper Fox Distillery in Williamsburg, Virginia. Relax and enjoy their spacious outdoor patio seating areas and fire pit or their cool, indoor speakeasy for socially distanced whisky flights and craft cocktails. Light snacks available for purchase or pack a picnic to enjoy on the patio. All ages and well-behaved dogs are welcome. Their flagship spirits include Copper Fox Original Single Malt Whisky, Original Fox Rye Whisky, Dawson’s Reserve Bourbon, Vir Gin and Copper Fox Barrel Kits. They’re proud recipients of the following awards: BTI Gold Medal 92 for Copper Fox Peachwood Single Malt, Jim Murray Whiskey Bible 94.5 for Copper Fox Rye and Best New Product Award 2012 VDACS-Barrel Kits. Open Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. 901 Capitol Landing Rd. Williamsburg, VA; www.copperfoxdistillery.com
Former U.S. Merchant Marines and Navy Reservists Bill Karlson and John O’Mara weren’t content with sitting idle after their retirements, so in 2013, they began their journey to create craft spirits with local ingredients and high-quality methods. Bill and John’s backgrounds in engineering inspire their advanced distilling processes, and their passion for great spirits drives their attention to quality and detail. KO Distilling opened its tasting room to the public in 2015, and it has been a welcoming destination for spirit tastings, cocktail flights, guided tours, private functions and special events ever since. KO’s award-winning Bare Knuckle Whiskey and Battle Standard 142 gins are all certified craft distilled, kosher and Virginia’s finest. Open Thursday 1-6 p.m., Friday 1-7 p.m., Saturday 12-7 p.m. and Sunday 12-5 p.m. 10381 Central Park Dr. Suite 105, Manassas, VA; www.kodistilling.com DISTRICT FRAY | 51
Though the taproom is closed, D.C.â€™s premier brewery is keeping the beer and hard seltzer flowing. DC Brau now offers all of your favorite brews delivered directly to your door with District-wide delivery from Wednesday to Sunday and contact-free curbside pickup from Thursday to Sunday from 12-4 p.m. each week. Check out their limited edition and seasonal releases or snag some Brau classics at www.dcbrau. com/order and receive same-day delivery for all orders placed by noon. 3178-B Bladensburg Rd. NE, DC; www.dcbrau.com
MISCellaneous Distillery is a family-owned distillery in Carroll County, Maryland. Their award-winning spirits are handcrafted with the finest local ingredients. Risky, Dew Point and Popi’s Finest rums as well as Gregarious Gin are made from brown sugar and blackstrap molasses sourced from Domino Sugar in Baltimore Harbor. The distillery’s whiskies are produced from rye and corn grown nearby at Hickory Hollow Farms. Grains are then ground on a water-powered stone mill from the 1800s. They ferment, distill, age and bottle all of their spirits at their downtown Mount Airy facility. In lieu of charging for tours and tastings, they ask for a donation that is passed along to a quarterly nonprofit partner. Come by to get a taste of what they’re all about. Open Saturdays 1-5 p.m. 114 S. Main St. B103, Mount Airy, MD; www.miscdistillery.com
New Realm Brewing
New Realm Brewing Company is on a mission to rethink tradition and bend the rules in its recently opened Virginia Beach location. The 58,000-square-foot space increases New Realm’s ability to innovate and create new beers. Its large outdoor beer garden, private event space and restaurant plays to the brewery’s customer-centric commitment and approach. A trip to New Realm is totally worth the drive for its Virginia Craft Beer Cup gold medal winning Euphonia Pilsner and No.1-selling Hazy Like a Fox IPA alone. Open Sunday to Thursday 12-9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 12-10 p.m. 1209 Craft Ln. Virginia Beach, VA; www.newrealmbrewing.com
Right Proper Brewing Company
Right Proper Brewing Company started in 2013 as a small neighborhood brewpub next door to the historic Howard Theatre in the Shaw neighborhood of D.C. Their mission is simple: Deliver an eclectic range of fresh, delicious beer, alongside real food, for a good price and by a nice person. Both their brewpub and kitchen in Shaw and their cozy Northeast D.C. tasting room are open for pours. Enjoy the latest offerings through flights, glasses, or cans, bottles and growlers to go. Shaw Brewpub & Kitchen: 624 T St. NW, DC; Brookland Production House & Tasting Room: 920 Girard St. NE, DC; www.rightproperbrewing.com DISTRICT FRAY | 53
HOME IS WHERE THE HARP IS Visit the first Guinness Brewery on U.S. soil since 1954 TAPROOM AND OUTDOOR SPACE OPEN WITH SOCIALLY DISTANCED SEATING
Respect the beer. Please drink responsibly.
GuinnessBreweryUS @GuinnessBreweryUS GuinnessBreweryBaltimore.com 54 | SEPTEMBER 2020
Open Thursday through Sunday Guinness Brewing Company 5001 Washington Blvd Halethorpe, MD 21227
WORDS BY M.K. KOSZYCKI
During a typical year, late summer and early fall would see any number of stages at Wolf Trap bustling and busy – a plethora of plays, concerts, dances and more shared with audiences in real time. But with many venues completely shuttered, the Vienna, Virginia-based nonprofit is still bringing music to the public and musicians to their sprawling property – safely and socially distant, of course – for patrons near and far to enjoy online. “As a nonprofit, we have always been set up to be a public resource,” says Arvind Manocha, Wolf Trap’s president and CEO. “Our biggest pivot has really been in thinking, ‘How do we continue to be a resource to the community?’ Everything we do now, even if we can’t do it in person, is still evaluated through the lens of, ‘What will benefit the community?’ It’s about providing art, education or resources for parents who have children at home. That continues to be our guiding light.” The resources Wolf Trap now offers online free to all can 56 | SEPTEMBER 2020
be separated into three main categories that also reflect the programming you’d see from the park during a summer not turned inside out by a pandemic. Field Trip Fridays are available weekly to students, parents and teachers, providing educational resources. Their opera company was able to create a bubble similar to that of professional sports leagues, allowing them to be one of the only operas in the nation meeting in person this summer. Wolf Trap’s Park Pop-Ups round out the nonprofit’s robust programming. The performances, created to combat the conditions created by 2020 and bring music to the people, are filmed onsite by artists in the surrounding D.C. area and then become available online. “Our venue is owned by all of us, and by all of America as a national park,” Manocha says. “I didn’t want a whole year to go by with no music or art made on that property.”
FROM FIRST PAGE. Park Pop-Up with Uncle Devin. Park Pop-Up production team. Photos courtesy of Wolf Trap.
Due to practical considerations, Manocha decided to focus on local bands that “we know and love, and in many cases, have been working with Wolf Trap for a while now.” One such band you’d normally find on one of Wolf Trap’s stages is the locally based indie folk outfit Eddie From Ohio. When the venue reached out to ask if they’d like to participate in the Park Pop-Ups, guitarist Robbie Schaefer and the rest of the band thought it would be a great opportunity to play together for the first time since January and work with Wolf Trap. The band got together on a hot summer day to film their concert, now available to stream on Wolf Trap’s website. “It was typical of Wolf Trap: well-organized with people who really knew their stuff and were well coordinated with one another,” Schaefer says. “The best part was the opportunity to get together as a band and perform as we have done for almost 30 years, and to do it at a place that’s as familiar to us as Wolf Trap. At a time when musicians are not performing, and if we do get to perform it’s mostly virtual, this just felt a little bit more human and a little bit more alive. We’re really grateful for that opportunity.” As with any season at Wolf Trap, the shows available to stream are representative of a whole host of musicians, genres and crafts. In addition to Eddie From Ohio, you’ll find performances by the Natyabhoomi School of Dance, the U.S. Marine Band’s Free Country Acoustic Quartet, and even Wolf Trap’s own aforementioned opera company with videos known as Opera Untrapped. “You’ll find Americana, jazz, Latin, the Marine Band, traditional Indian dance with two dancers – it’s a very broad spectrum,” Manocha says. “When people think about Wolf Trap, they often think, ‘Well, there’s a little bit of everything there.’ That was important for us to continue.”
Much like Schaefer is grateful for the opportunity to participate in Park Pop-Ups, Manocha feels the same toward the performers and others who have made this endeavor possible. And while both parties are also grateful the World Wide Web has made their respective efforts to share their art with the public even more accessible than before, they look forward to a future that includes in-person performances, whenever that may be. Wolf Trap is currently planning spring shows at The Barns and a huge celebration to honor the venue’s 50th birthday. “One thing I think we’ve all learned in the business is how to be very, very flexible and work on very short timelines. Everyone is being kind to each other and saying, ‘We don’t know the answer, so all we can do is be good to each other,’ and that means being very flexible with each other. I think artists and venues together are going in with eyes wide open because we have to plan, [and] be optimistic and ready in case things get better.” No matter what Wolf Trap and the world at large looks like next summer, it will be known that true to the park’s wishes, there was indeed music there this year. And while surely not the same as the real thing, seeing a familiar setting and hearing a familiar voice through a Park Pop-Up video is a testament to the resilience of venues, artists and every person who made such a project happen. “We do what we can with what we have for now,” Schaefer concludes. “We’ll always look back on this time as being very memorable and difficult – and probably recognize that we were dealing with a lot of grief we didn’t even realize we were carrying back then, but that we hopefully managed to navigate.” To enjoy a Park Pop-Up or other virtual experience from Wolf Trap and many artists in the meantime, visit www.wolftrap.org/sessions. Follow Wolf Trap on Twitter and Instagram @wolf_trap for the latest from the park. Learn more about Eddie From Ohio at www.eddiefromohio.com.
JOIN US FOR AN IN-PERSON BINGO NIGHT september 16 | October 7 | October 28 6:00pm - 8:00pm Join us at DCFRAY.COM/EVENTS
WORDS BY MAYRA MEJIA 2020 58 | SEPTEMBER
CULTURE Artist collectives have served an essential role throughout art and cultural history as safe spaces for like-minded creatives to cultivate ideas, compile resources and redefine the cultural landscape. Currently, D.C. is home to several artist collectives set on changing the scene, opening doors and creating change. Meet some of the most inclusive artist collectives in the District whose members are working hard to make our arts scene a more progressive, inviting space via photography, music, art and more.
411 COLLECTIVE 411 Collective consists of D.C.-based artists and organizers who use art as their platform for advocacy. Spreading their messages throughout the city with murals, banners and signs, they provide visuals for the causes they strongly believe in. For more information on 411 Collective, visit www.411Collective.com and @411collective on Instagram.
ANGEL ROSE ARTIST COLLECTIVE Angel Rose Artist Collective formed in 2015 when a group of queer and nonbinary artists spoke together on a panel. With the encouragement of a K’iche’ elder in the local arts community, they formed a collective centered on Native American art called Nelwat Ishkamewe. After the unexpected passing of community member and leader Angel Rose, a Nahua trans woman who served as bilingual community outreach director, the collective’s name was changed to Angel Rose Artist Collective in her honor. “We fight for trans native liberation and the liberation of our Black and POC [People of Color] trans siblings. We ensure we have ASL and Spanish interpretation at our events because there needs to be access for those communities. We also strongly believe in language revitalization as a part of language justice. During Covid, we have been organizing trans and queer Salvadorans to learn the language Nawat via online classes, study groups and other fun learning tools. We consistently fundraise for various issues: trans artists, elders, housing and rent support, and much more. We produce live streams via Instagram and Zoom to share our communities’ work. We need to keep each other safe, and we do that by [holding] each other accountable.” – Petrona Xemi Tapepechul, Artistic Director of Angel Rose Artist Collective For more information on Angel Rose Artist Collective, visit www.angelrosearts.org and @angelrosearts on Instagram.
CREATIVE HANDS STUDIO + THE COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE The Community Collective photography showcase started long before Creative Hands Studio existed. The first show was in 2016 at the Capital Fringe Festival, consisting of 48 photos by 48 individual photographers. Now, Creative Hands Studio is the home base for photographers in the collective. “The Creative Hands Studio and The Community Collective exist to create opportunities. All I ask for people to do is share their work with the world and spread the word so others can have the same opportunity. I believe creative expression can transcend race, time, social differences, gender, etc. It connects people in ways that are often impossible using other methods, and can build a bridge that can mend many gaps. While there are many different points of view globally, no one ever denies a beautiful piece of art.” – Jarrett Hendrix, Founder of Creative Hands Studio
For more information on Creative Hands Studio and The Community Collective, visit www.creativehandsdc.com and @creativehandsdc on Instagram.
THE OMI COLLECTIVE The Omi Collective formed in 2016 to connect with the community through the creation of art. Co-founder Naomi Christianson began the Omi Collective art lounge, an environment to encourage artists and art lovers to come together and heal with art by curating artful environments fostering the imagination with the vibrational therapy of color, sound and light. Today, the art lounge has had over 40 reiterations with two permanent retail locations and an online store. “As a collective of diverse artists committed to healing the collective heart while living on occupied land, we need to maintain mindful and conscious support of our artists and communities. We follow local organizing principles and honor our relationships with D.C. grassroots groups advocating for local refugees, BIPOC youth, women entrepreneurs, equitable healing, refugee children, recent immigrants, trans lives and Black lives. We have supported BLMDC (Black Lives Matter DC) for the past four years by creating artwork full of color and imagery to ignite heart-centered change.” – Sanam Emami, Creative Director of Omi Collective For more information on The Omi Collective, visit www.theomicollective.com and @theomicollective on Instagram.
P0STB1NARY Naburu founded P0STB1NARY in February 2019 as a direct response to the lack of resources for Black and non-white trans musicians. P0STB1NARY started as a collective of six artists: raverjinn, tunneloflove, MANIIK, Twin Jude, Babby and Naburu. They came together to create a platform because they did not see themselves represented in the local scene. Due to capacity, P0STB1NARY changed its structure at the end of 2019. Currently, Naburu and co-founder Kenny Me operate as the core team uplifting a network of artists and cultural workers. “We are invested in our community base’s autonomy, safety, wellness and creative development. P0STB1NARY is passionate about cultivating sober spaces as an alternative to club culture. In the past five months, P0STB1NARY has launched several mutual aid initiatives in response to Covid-19. It is important to us to create opportunities and move resources and money directly to Black trans people. We curate sober events that include DJ sets live musical performances and workshops led by our community members. Eventually, we plan to archive our work online for further access. Additionally, we are curating a growing directory of Black trans and nonbinary musicians to support on Bandcamp. We encourage non-Black and cis people to invest in Black trans people’s material realities by becoming a monthly donor on our Patreon.
FIRST PAGE. L to R. P0STB1NARY’s Naburu + Kenny Me at Eaton Hotel. Photo by Oreoluwa Akinyode. THIRD PAGE. Angel Rose. Photo courtesy of Angel Rose Artist Collective.
DISTRICT FRAY | 59
CULTURE We fundraise in November for #TransAwarenessMonth. As a small grassroots organization, P0STB1NARY is mostly funded by individual donations.” – Naburu, Founder of P0STB1NARY For more information on P0STB1NARY, visit www.p0stb1nary.world and @p0stb1nary on Instagram.
THEY/THEM COLLECTIVE The They/Them Collective does a lot of crucial direct action and mutual aid work in D.C. specifically focused on queer, non-binary and trans BIPOC. Their work includes organizing community marches and recently launching Feed the People, a mutual aid initiative to help provide the homeless with food and other supplies. For more information on the They/ Them Collective, follow them on Instagram @theythemcollective.
DRIVE-IN CO NCERT 09/ 11
MOVIE NIGHT 0 9/2 5
OLD CENTREVILLE CROSSING 6:00PM – 9:00PM
Chamber Dance Project to Debut New Dance Film
WORDS BY KEITH LORIA
D.C.’s Chamber Dance Project will broadcast the world premiere of a new dance film created by choreographer Diane Coburn Burning and composer James Bigbee Garver, the same team behind last season’s acclaimed “Prufrock.” “We have had a June and July season in D.C., and we were to go to Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival,” says Bruning, artistic director for the Chamber Dance Project. “[But] when it became clear that wasn’t possible, we knew we wanted to still do something with and for the artists and continue to create new work. We had funding from the National Endowment from the Arts and they were accepting a new plan that wasn’t in the theater.” Knowing they could not safely get the dancers together, Bruning and her team thought of things they could do virtually over Zoom and the idea of a film was bandied about. Bruning and Garver collaborated with award-winning producer and filmmaker David Hamlin on the new film, which incorporates eight of the company’s dancers, who learned how to use the equipment to film themselves. “David had wanted to work with me to take Prufrock and create a specific dance film on location in the city, so I asked him what it would take to get the dancers equipment to train them on cameras, and I would choreograph a dance film over Zoom,” Bruning says. “We figured out the cheapest high-end camera that we could get them all – a GoPro – and the company bought eight Hero-7 GoPros and a Jaws clamp to give them.” Since Chamber Dance Project had planned to give their dancers about seven weeks of work this summer, Bruning felt a strong commitment to give them something to do that was artistic and could help them financially. “I knew this would charge us all up. We were all in our living rooms or kitchens or wherever, and I knew if we were going to do this, the dancers would have to do everything: film, run sound, etc. So we gave them training. We had a series of four
work sessions through Zoom with David and we taught them everything we could about the GoPro and the elements of film, and I was breaking down what the scenes would be in.” Her vision was to create a work in the architecture of our times, which Bruning sees as our houses and where we live. “I wasn’t looking to make any big statement,” she explains. “I just wanted to create something in place. We created a series of vignettes that I choreographed. The first scene has four of our men on their stairs and a very physical driving dance. I also included a section with two of the women and two men on tables or sliding on the floor.” Principal dancer Davit Hovhannisyan of the Milwaukee Ballet enjoyed the process of creating a new piece and collaborating with others while not being in the same space. “In the beginning, it felt like everything was a challenge technologically, trying to find spaces that will work for the film,” he says. “But shortly and surely, everything came together as we got used to the technical aspect of it and started to create. It was definitely a team effort, and everybody put their hearts into it.” The other dancers in the project include Francesca Dugarte, Luz San Miguel, Julia Erickson, Cooper Verona, Grace-Anne Powers, Christian Denice and Austin Powers. “This is new work and something that has never been seen before,” Bruning says. “It’s compelling with fantastic dancers throwing themselves with no holds barred into dancing in their homes.” The film, which streams on September 24 is free, though donations are requested. For tickets and more information on Chamber Dance Project, visit www.chamberdance.org. Follow them on Instagram @chamberdanceproject.
“A Single Light” production shot with dancer Davit Hovhannisyan. Photo courtesy of subject.
DISTRICT FRAY | 61
25 FALL EXPERIENCES IN THE DMV WORDS BY APARNA | SEPTEMBER 2020 KRISHNAMOORTHY 62
With the city slowly reopening this summer, we’ve been getting more and more used to shutting down our laptops and venturing back into the outside world. Whether you are comfortable putting your mask on and stepping out or want to stay home and do something creative, stay busy this fall with our list of 25 in-person and virtual events.
SEE BABY ANIMALS AT THE NATIONAL ZOO
Visit baby cheetahs and the new baby panda at the National Zoo, now open with revised hours. Face masks and free timed passes required. Ongoing and free. Follow on Instagram @smithsonianzoo. 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; www.nationalzoo.si.edu.
HAVE DRINKS WITH A VIEW AT VICTURA PARK
With plenty of outdoor tables and open space to set up a picnic, Victura Park at The REACH is a casual outdoor wine bar set up on the landscaped grounds of the Kennedy Center expansion. Open on weekends, it is family- and dog-friendly and offers great views of the Potomac and Roosevelt Island. Ongoing. Follow on Instagram @victuraparkdc. 2700 F St. NW, DC; www.victuraparkdc.com.
STROLL THE ARTSY GARDENS AT GLENSTONE MUSEUM
A quick trip to this private art gallery transports you to 300 acres of manicured landscape, beautiful sculptures and outdoor art. Reservations required. Ongoing and free. Follow on Instagram @glenstonemuseum. 12100 Glen Rd. Potomac, MD; www.glenstone.org.
PICK YOUR OWN BOUQUET AT CHANGE OF PLANTS FARM
Nonprofit Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture provides private flower cutting experiences at Change of Plants farm, where you and your quaranteam have exclusive access to a field of flowers. Cut your own bouquet as you wander around the rows of flowers and crops. Ongoing. Tickets $25-$125. Follow on Instagram @arcadiafood. 5387-5399 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy. Alexandria, VA; www.arcadiafood.org.
ENJOY DRIVE-IN MOVIE NIGHT AT PARK UP DC
Watch a different feature each weekend at this pop-up drive-in movie experience set up at RFK Stadium that doubles as a family-friendly and safe way to bring groups together. Ongoing. Tickets $29-$45. Follow on Instagram @parkupdc. 2408 Independence Ave. SE, DC; www.parkupdc.com.
CHECK OUT ARTINA 2020 AT SANDY SPRING MUSEUM
COOK WITH TOP CHEF FINALIST ERIC ADJEPONG
Learn to cook West African-influenced dishes such as jollof risotto with Chef Adjepong, whose passion lies in introducing diners to West African cuisine and the impact its diaspora has had on South American, Latin American, Caribbean and American food. Ongoing and virtual. Tickets $50-$80. Follow on Instagram @chefericadjepong. www.chefadjepong.com/classes.
VISIT CIVIL RIGHTS HERO ROSA PARKS’ RESIDENCE
Head to the museum at the Mansion on O to see the rooms she lived in for more than a decade and listen in to the virtual storyteller. While there, explore the Dupont Circle mansion’s many secrets, and bring home a knickknack or two. Ongoing. Tickets $30. Follow on Instagram @omansion. 2020 O St. NW, DC; www.omansion.com.
TAKE A PRIVATE BOAT WITH GONE FISHIN’ CHARTERS
Spend a great day on the water and learn to fish with Captain Ray around Annapolis Bay. If that sounds like too much work, you can simply cruise or just have fun with friends aboard. Ongoing. Contact for rates. 726 2nd St. Annapolis, MD; www.fb.com/gonefishincharters.
TEST YOUR ABILITIES AS A SPY
Go on an undercover mission and test your spy skills as you explore the reopened International Spy Museum. Following a visit, join a Spies & Spymasters happy hour or another virtual program such as spy chats or spy trivia. Ongoing. Tickets $16.95$24.95. Follow on Instagram @spymuseum. 700 L’Enfant Plaza SW, DC; www.spymuseum.org.
STROLL THROUGH THE SCULPTURE GARDEN
Explore the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, which offers a relaxing setting in which to enjoy works of modern sculpture. Be your own guide and get the tour via your mobile phone while there. Ongoing and free. Follow on Instagram @ngadc. Constitution Avenue and 7th Street in NW, DC; www.nga.gov.
ENJOY THE SEVEN REASONS COCKTAIL EXPERIENCE
Artists use sculpture to explore environmental responsibility, reimagining solar energy as an art form in this outdoor sculpture garden. Artina 2020 showcases exhibits ranging from those using sunlight as the medium, energy source or subject and others that explore how light, sun and energy intersect. Now through November 7. Free. Follow on Instagram @sandyspringmuseum. 17901 Bentley Rd. Sandy Spring, MD; www.sandyspringmuseum.org.
A tasting menu of cocktails paired with small bites of food is the latest experience offered by the trendy, Latin-focused Seven Reasons. Available at the bar, cocktails are the main course at this liquid cuisine tasting. Ongoing. Tickets $135. Follow on Instagram @sevenreasonsdc. 2208 14th St. NW, DC; www.exploretock.com/sevenreasonsdc.
EXPLORE GLENDENING BUTTERFLY GARDEN
The eclectic venue is putting on shows from local artists, holding talks and featuring virtual panel discussions. Ongoing and virtual. Tickets range from free to $20. Follow on Instagram @sixthandi. www.sixthandi.org/events.
A couple miles up the road from the Jug Bay Wetlands in Maryland is a butterfly garden where dozens upon dozens of butterflies flutter between the flowers. Butterfly murals and a red barn serve as a backdrop. Ongoing and free. Follow on Instagram @jugbayws. 5702 Plummer Ln. Lothian, MD; www.jugbay.org.
TOUR PRESIDENT LINCOLN’S COTTAGE
Known as the cottage where Lincoln developed the Emancipation Proclamation, this D.C. cottage offers safely distanced outdoor tours complete with storytelling of the important legacy created here. Ongoing. Tickets $5-$12.50. Follow on Instagram @lincolnscottage. 140 Rock Creek Church Rd. NW, DC; www.lincolncottage.org. FIRST PAGE. Change of Plants farm. Photo by Lani Furbank.
TUNE INTO A VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE FROM SIXTH & I
GO APPLE PICKING
Head to one of the many orchards outside D.C. for the fall pastime of apple picking (and eating apple cider donuts!) Catoctin Mountain Orchard, Larriland Farm and Great Country Farms are all set up for distanced apple picking. Masks are required. Ongoing. Prices vary. www.catoctinmountainorchard.com, www.pickyourown.com and www.greatcountryfarms.com.
DISTRICT FRAY | 63
LIFE LOG IN TO LIVE FROM STRATHMORE
Support local musicians by tuning into Strathmore online every Wednesday evening for a special series of livestreamed concerts in multiple genres presented straight from the living rooms of D.C.’s best musicians. Free. Follow on Instagram @strathmorearts. www.strathmore.org/events-and-tickets/live-from-the-living-room.
COOK PAELLA WITH XIQUET CHEF DANNY LLEDÓ
Learn to cook paella via Zoom with America’s “most awarded paella chef” Danny Lledó of Valencian fine dining restaurant Xiquet. Pick up paella kits at the restaurant and prepare to learn the secrets to making this famous dish perfectly every time. Ongoing and virtual. Tickets $35. Follow on Instagram @xiquetdl. www.xiquetdl.com.
VIEW THE CITY WITH FLOAT BOAT 360
For a relaxing experience, rent a Float Boat, pack up some nosh, and leave it to the guide to charter you around the Potomac. Ongoing. Tickets $240. Follow on Instagram @floatboat360. 168 National Plaza, Oxon Hill, MD; www.floatboat360.com.
WANDER THROUGH BROOKSIDE GARDENS
A beautiful outdoor adventure awaits at Brookside Gardens: 50 acres of trails, lawns, bridges, ponds with turtles, and playgrounds. Ongoing and free. 1800 Glenallan Ave. Wheaton, MD; www.montgomeryparks.org/parks-and-trails/brookside-gardens.
VIEW MAPS + IMAGERY OF D.C. NEIGHBORHOODS
Learn about gentrification and the history of D.C.’s neighborhoods via the Right to the City digital exhibit from the Anacostia Community Museum. Free, ongoing and virtual. Follow on Instagram @smithsonianacm. www.anacostia.si.edu.
DIG INTO AMERICAN HISTORY Check out one of the National Museum of American History’s online exhibits. “Food: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000” illustrates how drastically American dining habits changed over the years. Free, ongoing and virtual. Follow on Instagram @amhistorymuseum. www.americanhistory.si.edu/food.
IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE STORY OF JANE GOODALL
The National Geographic Museum released a virtual tour of “Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall,” which illustrates the fascinating scientist’s life and the chimpanzees she studied in Tanzania. Free, ongoing and virtual. Follow on Instagram @natgeomuseum. www.nationalgeographic.org/events/visit.
GO TO A GREEN SPRING GARDENS PARK CLASS
Check out a variety of outdoor class options in a wide range of interest areas related to gardening at this Fairfax County Park. Learn about bulbs and how they can add flair to the garden, planting a fall vegetable garden, composting and more. Classes for toddlers, young adults and adults are offered. Ongoing. Tickets $30. 4603 Green Spring Rd. Alexandria, VA; www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/green-spring.
GET CRAFTY WITH THE PHILLIPS COLLECTION
For a crafty hands-on experience, check out family-friendly activities from the Phillips Collection. Learn to make maracas or create pieces inspired by art in the museum. Step-by-step instructions and commentary are provided via the Phillips Collection website. Free, ongoing and virtual. Follow on Instagram @phillipscollection. www.phillipscollection.org.
Windows Windowsand and Patio Patio Doors! Doors! BUY BUYONE, ONE, GET GETONE ONE
AANNDD $0Money MoneyDown, Down,$0 $0 Interest, Interest, $0 $0Monthly MonthlyPayments Payments for for 12 12 months months¹¹ $0 Minimum purchase 4. Interest accrues from date of purchase waivedif paid if paidininfullfullwithin within1212months. months. Minimum purchase of 4.ofInterest accrues from thethe date of purchase butbutis iswaived
Offer Ends October October31 31
Call for Call for your your FREE FREE in-home in-homeconsultation. consultation.
1 DETAILS OF OFFER: Offer expires 10/31/2020. Not valid with other offers or prior purchases. Buy one (1) window or patio door, get one (1) window or patio door 40% off, and 12 months $0 money down, $0 monthly payments, $0 interest when you purchase four (4) or more DETAILS OF OFFER: Offer expires 10/31/2020. Notand valid with other40% offers or prior purchases. Buy one window patio to door, get cost one (1) window or patio door 40%order. off, and 12 months $0approval. money down, $0 is monthly payments, $0 interest when four or more windows or patio doors between 7/1/2020 9/30/2020. off windows and patio doors are(1)less than ororequal lowest window or patio door in the Subject to credit Interest billed during the promotional period,you butpurchase all interest is (4) waived if windows or patio doors between 9/30/2020. off windows andFinancing patio doors less than or equalloan to lowest costis window doorinsured, in the order. Subject to credit approval. Interest is billedwithout during regard the promotional period, all interest is waived the purchase amount is paid 7/1/2020 before theand expiration of the40% promotional period. forare GreenSky consumer programs providedorbypatio federally federal and state chartered financial institutions to age, race, color,but religion, national origin, if the purchase paid before expiration based of the on promotional Financing for price. GreenSky consumer loan programs is provided byapplies federallythroughout insured, federal and area. state See chartered financial institutions without regard age, race, color, religion, national origin, gender, oramount familialisstatus. Savingsthecomparison purchase period. of a single unit at list Available at participating locations and offer the service your local Renewal by Andersen location for to details. License MN:BC130983/WI:266951. gender, or familial status. Savings comparison based purchase of a#992285. single unitOrange at listCounty price. Available at participating locations and offer applies throughout the#420215000125. service area. SeeAllyour Renewal by Andersen location for details. Excludes MN insurance work per MSA 325E.66. Loson Angeles License License #990416. MHIC #121441. VA License #2705155684. DC License otherlocal license numbers available upon request. Some License RenewalMN:BC130983/WI:266951. by Andersen locations Excludes MN insuranceowned work per 325E.66. Los Angeles #992285. OrangeofCounty #990416.Protection MHIC #121441. VA “Renewal License #2705155684. DC License All other numbers availableCorporation. upon request. SomeAndersen RenewalCorporation. by AndersenAlllocations are independently andMSA operated. “ENERGY STAR” isLicense a registered trademark the U.S.License Environmental Agency. by Andersen” and all other#420215000125. marks where denoted arelicense trademarks of Andersen © 2020 rights are independently owned and operated. “ENERGY STAR” is a registered trademark of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “Renewal by Andersen” and all other marks where denoted are trademarks of Andersen Corporation. © 2020*Using Andersen rights reserved. rba12288 U.S.Corporation. and importedAllparts. reserved. rba12288 *Using U.S. and imported parts.
WORDS BY KELSEY COCHRAN
PLAY | BEGINNER’S GUIDE Though the art of boxing may seem intimidating at the outset, with some hard work and a good instructor it can be less challenging than it appears. More and more boxing clubs and gyms are popping up around the District, making getting started easier than ever. Whether you’re interested in boxing for fun, finding a new community, training for an amateur match or just getting fit, we’ve rounded up some need-to-know information before you get started.
HISTORY + FUN FACTS Boxing is by no means a new sport. According to the official Olympic Games website, there is evidence of boxing being practiced in Egypt around 3000 BCE. By the 7th century of the common era, boxing had been introduced in the ancient Olympic games. In the modern iteration of the Olympics, boxing was reintroduced at the 1904 games in St. Louis where the U.S. team took all of the medals for the sport. It helped that the U.S. was the only nation that had athletes competing in boxing that year. While there was a demonstration of women’s boxing at the 1904 games, women’s boxing did not make its official Olympic debut until the 2012 games in London. The Olympic games were late in recognizing women’s boxing, as there have been official boxing matches held between women since the 19th century. The first women’s fight to be broadcast on national television aired in 1954, with the 4-foot 11-inch Barbara Buttrick – nicknamed the “Mighty Atom of the Ring” – headlining the fight. Buttrick was a world champion in women’s boxing in the 1940s and 1950s, only ever being defeated once during the aforementioned televised match. While Buttrick was apparently introduced to boxing by chance, plenty of women and men alike actively seek out boxing as a way to stay active and get fit outside of a traditional gym. Harvard Medical School even published a letter on the benefits of boxing in 2015, explaining that the aerobic exercise can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. The sport also promises to strengthen your bones and muscles, burn calories, and boost your mood.
FROM THE EXPERTS Now that you know a bit more about the background of boxing, it’s time to get to training. District Fray spoke with the owners of two local boxing and fitness clubs in D.C. to learn more about why they love the sport and what it takes to get started.
NUBOXX Rachel Snider is the owner and founder of Nuboxx, a high-end boutique boxing studio in D.C. The Nuboxx team prioritizes teaching techniques because while boxing is great for fitness and conditioning, it is also an art. Snider says she found boxing when she was bored of her normal routine and looking for the next best thing in fitness. “I realized [boxing] not only [gave] me an empowering feeling afterward, but I was learning a skillset and an art,” she says. “I really wanted to do it every day.” At Nuboxx, Snider teaches this art with a technical focus. The high sport is high intensity, but according to Snider the skills utilized are very technical and therefore require a slower teaching pace. Beginner boxers at Nuboxx start in the technical
66 | SEPTEMBER 2020
boxing class where they learn the fundamentals of throwing a proper punch. While this may sound like a very simple task, it is the basis of boxing and is the first necessary step to learning the sport. Snider emphasizes that you cannot become a boxing pro after one class. “You can’t just do it once a month. If you come in once in a blue moon, you’re going to be starting from scratch every time you come in.” However, regularly attending classes during a pandemic is easier said than done. At Nuboxx, the trainers had to find a way to keep athletes engaged and on top of their game when the time came for them to safely return to the mat. “We did a lot of conditioning, which is a very important part of our program because it makes you a better boxer and a better athlete,” Snider says. “We’re not just boxing every day. We’re doing boxing and strength [conditioning]. Not using any equipment is actually beneficial because you can really work on your shadowboxing [a training method that accompanies the martial arts, used in beginner’s boxing] which is a key part of being a good boxer.” Simply put, getting started really comes down to dedicating some of your time to practicing the techniques of boxing. Now that gyms like Nuboxx can welcome back athletes in reduced numbers, you can start lacing up your gloves and taking a hands-on approach to boxing. Gloves can range anywhere from $15 to $200 in price, while wraps usually cost less than $10. When you’re just starting a new sport, it can be hard to commit to shelling out for equipment. Snider says that, luckily, you don’t have to have your own set of equipment as soon as you step in the ring. “[During] your first class at Nuboxx, you get a pair of wraps and we give you rental gloves so you can try them out. We do suggest that if you are going to be coming multiple times a week or really getting into the sport [that you] have multiple pairs of wraps in your arsenal and eventually buy your own gloves. It’s better to have your own equipment. They start to mold your hand better, and they become like a real customized glove. But in the beginning, you really don’t need much.” Snider says she finds stepping into traditional boxing gyms discouraging, as you may see boxing veterans in the ring sparring one another while you are just figuring out the basics. She opened Nuboxx with the intention of getting rid of some of that pressure and creating an accepting environment. “That whole scene is just really off-putting. I feel like you should walk into a space that doesn’t even look like a boxing gym: a beautiful, modern, welcoming space with super welcoming people [with] a ‘If you can do it, I can do it’ attitude. I built Nuboxx on the concept of leaving intimidation at the door. We try to create a family here at Nuboxx, and we want you to feel welcome.” Learn more about all that Nuboxx has to offer by visiting www.nuboxxfitness.com. Follow them on Instagram @nuboxx to stay up-to-date with the gym. U Street location: 1449 U St. NW, DC; NOMA location: 701 Second St. NE, DC.
FIRST PAGE. Nuboxx class. Photo courtesy of studio. THIRD PAGE. Zoom class. Photo courtesy of Colleen Daly.
N-FLUX Colleen Daly is a co-owner of N-Flux, a fitness studio in D.C. specializing in martial arts and boxing, and the founder of Guerrera, a feminist fight club dedicated to promoting confidence and teaching self-defense to women and femmes. Daly began kickboxing as a way to destress, but quickly took to the sport. “When I first moved to D.C., I was working in sexual violence prevention response, which, as you can imagine, is a really stressful job,” Daly begins. “I needed an outlet to feel confident, strong and safe in my body and just let off steam. I started taking a fitness kickboxing class with Chris Torres [N-Flux co-owner] at the Y[MCA]. I just fell in love with it and thought it was so cool.” Daly was so into her sport, in fact, that she asked Torres to train her for an amateur match. Torres required that Daly take all of the classes he offered at the Y for a year before he trained her, and to his surprise, she did just that. Once it was clear Daly was determined to fight, she and Torres began their training in earnest. Daly explains this was a grueling process, but well worth the work. “It’s so hard. You’re training four to six hours a day. But what I tell folks is the day of my first fight was the best day of my life, because you’re surrounded by this community [who] loves and supports you. You just feel so powerful in your body. It’s the smallest, most perfect expression of exactly who you are. There’s nothing that brings out who you are better than stepping in a ring. I loved every minute of it.” That first experience in the ring has changed the course of Daly’s life. She became a co-owner with Torres at N-Flux, and shortly thereafter, started Guerrera. The project allows women and femmes who are interested in learning boxing or martial arts at N-Flux to have a safe space in a male-dominated industry. Daly says when she travels and trains at other clubs, the athletes
are almost all men. It can be intimidating enough to join such an intense sport, and being the minority in said sport only adds to that intimidation. By allowing N-flux members to start off in a class of their peers, they can build their confidence and skills. “I think the most important thing is to know you deserve a space on the mat. Whether you’ve been there for five minutes or five years, you deserve a space and to have the instructor give you attention, time, effort and energy. Just understanding that you deserve to be there and deserve support is really important. You’re going to get that at N-Flux because our instructors really care.” Once you’ve gotten comfortable with your boxing community, it’s time to get comfortable with your boxing abilities. Daly, echoing Snider, stresses this is not a sport one can simply pick up and be good at. You must keep on going back to the mat and persevering to make any progress. If you don’t see immediate improvement, don’t give up on the sport as a whole. Beginner boxers should expect to be just that: beginners. “Just be comfortable being a beginner and being comfortable not being good,” Daly explains. “You’re not going to be good for a long time. You may not even be good for a very long time. I think especially in D.C., people are such perfectionists. They’re very smart and they’ve lived their whole lives getting things very quickly. That doesn’t happen in martial arts very often. You just have to be comfortable not getting things right away.” To learn more about the classes offered at N-Flux, visit www.staynflux.com or follow them on Instagram @staynflux. Guerrera is always open to new members. If you would like to join but need financial assistance, fill out the Guerrera scholarship application. To sponsor a Guerrera member, email firstname.lastname@example.org. N-Flux: 1722 I St. NW, DC; www.guerrera.fit.
DISTRICT FRAY | 67
READ BETWEEN THE WINES WORDS BY KELSEY COCHRAN // ILLUSTRATION BY JAMES COREAS
For our Drink Issue, we’re quizzing you on all things wine. Whether it’s local wine bars and wineries, terms or obscure facts, be ready to channel your inner wino for this month’s crossword. 2
8 9 10
12 14 15 16
23 24 25
34 35 36 38
40 41 42 44
46 48 49
68 | SEPTEMBER 2020
NOTE: Check www.districtfray.com for the answer key.
ACROSS ACROSS ACROSS AC 3. The abbreviation for the standard measure of how much alcohol is contained in an alcoholic beverage 8. This Virginia winery is featured in our wine trail for having high-quality wine with a high-quality view 9. A holistic, ecological and ethical approach to farming and nutrition, based on the work of philosopher and scientist Dr. Rudolf Steiner 10. The complex scents and smells developed during wine aging 13. A preservative that’s widely used in winemaking, though there is a recent trend to make wine with none added 14. The common grape vine native to the Mediterranean region, Central Europe and Southwestern Asia (2 words) 15. This Virginia winery is featured in our wine trail as the place for wine nerds 17. Described as light, medium or full 18. This urban winery located in The Yards is D.C.’s first winery (2 words)
19. Abbreviation for a designated wine grape-growing region in the United States
21. Used in winemaking to vary the color, flavor, tannin profile and texture of wine; can be introduced in the form of a barrel during the fermentation or aging periods 22. Wine bar run by three sommeliers including Brent Kroll, featured in this issue (2 words) 23. This Brookland restaurant recently launched their 6-foot wine club 27. Music venue, restaurant, wine bar and winery located in Ivy City (2 words) 28. A subsect of wine made without pesticides, chemicals and other additives 33. This French region is world-famous for its vineyards and top-notch wine labels; over 90 percent of wines from here are reds made with merlot and cabernet sauvignon 34. A trained and knowledgeable wine professional, normally working in fine restaurants 36. Region in Southern France known for its syrah, grenache, mourvèdre, viognier and roussanne 37. A soft, velvety red wine that was extremely popular in the ‘90s
1. French term used to describe the environmental factors that affect the character and taste of a wine
16. Refers to drawing off the blended wines into bottles ready for a second alcoholic fermentation
2. French appellation known for wine made from the Gamay grape
20. This gives wine a tart or sour taste, and wines high in this pair well with rich and fatty foods
4. Indicates a bone dry sparkling wine 5. This Virginia winery is featured in our wine trail as a perfect picnic spots (3 words) 6. This Maryland winery is featured in our wine trail as an oasis away from the city
39. A delicious wine to which a distilled spirit, usually brandy, has been added 40. A fault where the wine tends to lose vibrancy in both color and flavor 41. Where to store wine to protect it from harmful external influences, providing darkness and constant cool temperature and humidity 45. A vessel used to separate wine from any sediment that may have formed and to aerate a wine in the hope that its aromas and flavors will be more vibrant 46. The drying, bitter flavor in wine that comes from the grape skin or the oak it was aged in 47. Short for one of the most widely recognized red wine grape varieties; pairs well with steak 48. Spanish sparkling wine 49. The world’s largest wine producer, followed by France and Spain 50. Some people think these relate to the quality, sweetness or viscosity of the wine, but they show the alcohol level 51. The practice to sell wine before it’s bottled
24. The fear of wine 25. What wine to serve with certain foods 26. Most commonly refers to a blend, either of more than one grape or of wine
35. Designates a medium-sweet wine, but literally translates to half dry 38. Industrial-chic store offering a wide variety of Latin American wines as well as classes (2 words) 40. Uses natural substances and physical, mechanical or biologically based farming methods 42. Exposing the wine to air or giving it a chance to “breathe” before drinking it
29. Georgetown wine bar with great charcuterie boards
43. Metabolic process that produces chemical changes; the process by which grapes become wine
30. Roman god of wine, called Dionysos in ancient Greece
44. Refers to the ability to identify and taste different characteristics of wine
11. Country generally considered the “cradle of wine”
31. The world’s most popular lightbodied red wine (2 words)
47. A term for a wine that has become contaminated with cork taint
12. This Maryland winery is featured in our wine trail as a great spot for sweet wine lovers
32. Type of white wine made by leaving the grape skins and seeds in contact with the juice
7. Made by crossing European vitis vinifera vines with American vitis labrusca or vitis riparia grapes
DISTRICT FRAY | 69
EMMA G ON CREATING A MUSIC EMPIRE
WITH LOVE + EMPOWERMENT
WORDS BY M.K. KOSZYCKI
Emma G is everywhere. She’s always up to something creative and empowering: releasing a new single every six weeks, running a conversation series encompassing relevant issues and coaching young people on how to use music to express themselves, just to name a few. She’s also the founder, director and managing member of local artist incubator and collective Capitol Groove Collective. Although quarantine has given her time to reframe her ideas and work while helping others do the same, she’s shown no signs of stopping. Rather, she’s readjusting to her new circumstances. We spoke to the musician and total creative about her life and work. District Fray: When did you know you wanted a life that revolved around music? Emma G: I was 4. They say whatever your passion is when you are 5 years old, apparently that’s meant to be your life calling. I was born with a health condition called hydrocephalus. I’ve 70 | SEPTEMBER 2020
had 10 brain surgeries in my life. My first brain surgery was at 4 months old, so I was always a super weird chick. Music has always been that thing to help me stay sane, connected with myself and connected with other people who looked at me like, “You’re a weirdo. We don’t know how to deal with you as a weirdo.” Your music has been described as goddess rock. What does that mean to you? I’ve always been super nonconformist. I was in a pop rock band for five years. We struggled with being too pop for the rock stations [and] too rock for the pop stations. Now that I’m [in D.C.], and my sound has diversified even more, it just made sense to me. I’m a true believer that [in] every human being, there’s an inner goddess and an inner god. We are perfect in their image. I’m all about self-empowerment. I’m all about love. I’m all about equality. That’s where the goddess comes in. Photos by Alexander McSwain.
IN OTHER WORDS Can you tell me some more about the #RealTalk series you’ve been working on, and how music and having these conversations go hand in hand? [As] a musician, it’s not about being an expert in these things. It’s about being somebody who wants to change lives. I want to help people love themselves and learn to stand in their own inner freak and be totally down with that. When the pandemic hit, I recognized this was almost the universe saying, “Hey world, you’ve been hustling in all the wrong ways for so long. Can we just all take a breather and remember what our core values are?” What inspired your #RealTalk series? I am affiliated with The Author Incubator, and one of their authors, J.J. Kelly, is a psychologist who offered some free sessions via Zoom. I called in and was like, “You know what? F--k it. Let’s just livestream this entire session, so people can see the really positive Emma G and what her struggle points are.” Because now more than ever, we need to allow ourselves to feel, to exist, to breathe, to just lean into our truth. It got such great feedback and so I thought, “Okay, I’ll keep this going.” I’ve had great conversations with the Capital Groove Collective, [which] I founded back in 2018. I’ve had talks with Billy Alsbrooks, who’s a motivational speaker I’ve been following for years. I’ve spoken to New Zealand politicians, rappers, philosophers, authors and just a huge range of people who are epic, empowering and beautiful. I want people to be able to listen to these stories and
be like, “Okay, even though we’re all struggling, there are some positive things that can come out of this. There are some things we can do to feed our souls, minds [and] bodies, and thrive in this chaotic space.” You’ve been releasing new singles and music videos pretty frequently, even during quarantine. Tell me about the music you’re working on right now. One of the greatest ways for me to self-therapize since day [one] has been through songwriting. Throughout brain surgeries, various sexual assaults from the age of 5, just being a woman – and a brown woman – being [in] love [and] heartbroken, it has been the thing that’s helped me stay grounded and look inside myself. This period has been a really great opportunity for me to just sit, pause and let the creative energies flow. Back in December, I set a goal for 2020 to release a new single every six weeks. Since the kickoff, it’s been go, go, go. Now is the time you can either step up and be a champion or you can give up and just follow the herd, and that’s never been me. As my partner says, “Champions make adjustments, not excuses.” For more on Emma G’s work and music – including her Patreon, #RealTalk series, life coaching through songwriting, latest music and videos, and more – visit www.emmagmusic.com. You can keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter @emmagmusic. Learn more about Capitol Groove Collective at www.capitolgroovecollective.com.
Your biggest accomplishment to date? My ability to make a full-time income from music for the last five years. Favorite venue to play? There are so many. I couldn’t pick one. I dream of performing one day at The Anthem. But I think my top would be Jammin Java, Pie Shop and Pearl Street Warehouse. Songbyrd [Record Cafe and Music House] is also amazing. If you were trapped on a desert island with only one artist’s discography, whose would it be? P!nk. Any preshow rituals? When I’m playing solo, I generally take some time out to just meditate and get myself in my zone of genius. When I’m with my band or percussionist, we always do something called a “hongi” – a New Zealand // Māori practice where you touch foreheads and noses [and] share a breath of life together. It helps us to not only center ourselves, but also really connect with each other to make sure we are like, “We’re in this together.” What’s a song you’d love to cover? I’d really like to start a mission of D.C. artists covering each other’s music. That’d be cool. But in terms of covers that I really want to do solo, I’m really digging Bishop Briggs. I’d love to do a Bishop Briggs cover. Favorite drink and where you like to get it? I don’t drink that much in terms of alcohol. But if I do drink, a Fijian Kiss. It is a pint of Guinness or porter with a shot of Chambord. My favorite place to drink it would be Pearl Street Warehouse, because their staff is wonderful, the view is beautiful and they know how to make my favorite. Favorite thing about yourself? On an emotional level, I love my compassion for people – my ability to help people become better versions of themselves and love themselves more. On a physical level, I give the best hugs. I’ll be honest, I am the hug dealer of D.C. On a fitness level, I’m really proud of the way my body looks and the way I function. On a spiritual level, I love that I’m a lot more balanced these days than I was before quarantine happened. DISTRICT FRAY | 71
WASHINGTON SPIRIT VS. SKY BLUE FC. The Washington Spirit fell 2-1 to the Sky Blue FC in stoppage time at Segra Field on September 5. Sky Blue’s forward Ifeoma Onumonu scored the opening goal while Spirit defender Paige Nielsen tied the score with a late penalty kick. Learn more about the team’s fall series through October 17 at www.washingtonspirit.com. Photos by Krystina Gabrielle // www.kgabriellephoto.com.
72 | SEPTEMBER 2020
DC POLO SOCIETY 2020 ALL NEW THIS YEAR
UPGRADED TAILGATE EXPERIENCE SOCIAL DISTANCING APPROVED THEMED EVENTS, FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY DATE & THEMES
SEPTEMBER 20 • NAUTICAL, BUT NICE OCTOBER 25 • HAUNTS AND HORSES
REGISTER AT: DCPOLO2020.EVENTBRITE.COM
DRIVING CHANGE. FUELING GROWTH. W E’RE I N V E S T I N G $10 0 M I LLI O N I N B L AC K- A N D M I N O R I T Y- OW N E D S TA RTU PS OV E R TH E N E X T 10 Y E A RS. L E A R N MO R E A N D A P P LY AT C B R A N D S .C OM/S T O RY/V E N T U R E S
Please enjoy our products responsibly. © 2020 Constellation Brands Inc., Victor, NY.