Sunday, February 23, 2014

In Beer News...

“Ah, good ol’ trustworthy beer. My love for you will never die.” –Homer Simpson

Here are some great beer events happening in the neighborhood:

Thursday, February 27, 5pm
Flying Dog Tap Takeover
Scion Restaurant, 1200 East-West Hwy

Scion to host Flying Dog brewers and feature 12 different drafts from their Frederick, MD brewery to include many hard to find, limited edition releases.

Flying Dog will be debuting the brand new Mango Habanero IPA, the first release from their 2014 Brewhouse Rarities series. The beer was brewed with 2 pounds of habanero peppers and 10 pounds of fresh mango. Also included in the lineup: Pumpkin IPA, an extremely limited release; Natural Selection Genus 3, a collaboration with Evolution Craft Brewing; and Barrel Aged Gonzo, currently the highest rated beer in the state of Maryland.

All Flying Dog beers will be $4 for the duration of the evening. Flying Dog rep, Erin Farrar, will be in attendance. Free glassware will be provided while supplies last. Reservations are not required for this event but I would recommend to get there early if you want to score glassware. The last event I attended had such a great turnout that my friends and I missed out on the glass.

March 19, 5-8pm
Devils Backbone Kickoff
Adega Wine Cellars, 8519 Fenton Street

Welcoming the Devil's Backbone team to MoCo with some great local craft beer on draft and in bottles. GABF’s Best Small Brewpub (2012) and Best Small Brewery (2013).

March 25, 6:30pm
Beer vs Wine Smackdown
The Daily Dish, 8301 Grubb Road

Flying Dog Brewery, MD vs. Breaux Vineyards, VA
Social Hour begins at 6:30pm and there is also dinner at 7pm. 5 courses, $65. Join a Flying Dog Brewmaster and a Breaux Vineyard’s Winemaker and vote.

During the Social Hour, they will be featuring a Blood Orange Pale Ale (Very Limited Release) vs Rosé.

In Other Beer News

Recently opened Urban Butcher's beer list is going strong. It features a few local beers to include DC Brau, Port City, and Old Dominion.

Fenwick Beer and Wine was voted “Best Place to Buy Beer” in the DC area for 2013. Help them win again by casting a vote. Polls close February 27. Recently, Pete from the blog Silver Spring Incorporated posted a great clip on Fenwick Beer and Wine created by Docs in Progress, 541 Bottles of Beer. We are so lucky to have a place like this in the neighborhood.

Denizens Brewing Co looks to still be on track to open summer 2014. They plan to have local bands and they are looking for your suggestions. Check out their Facebook page to participate.

Let's not forget Quarry House Tavern, one of my favorite bars in the neighborhood. Beeradvocate rates it "Outstanding," with a score of 92 mentioning it has 9 taps and 300 bottles. I know that their draft options are constantly changing.

Not a Beer Event

(But it sounds like a cool event and who doesn't love the events Adega Wine Cellars puts on):

Wednesday, March 4, 6-8pm
Adega Wine Cellars
Rick Davis from Calstar Cellars in California will be joining them for the evening featuring special wine flights, brand new wines, and more.

Know of a great beer event in the neighborhood coming up in the next few months or a venue I should add to this? Please don't hesitate to give me a shout.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What's Next for United Therapeutics?

United Therapeutics is en route to expand to its fourth building. The location is the garage over by Spring and Colesville, and they are converting it into a state of the art “green” facility to include numerous amenities for their employees and the public to use. This will allow for a 50 EUI (Energy Use Intensity) reduction in energy usage for the building. Construction won't begin until 2015, but it’s great to know this is on its way.

Some of the amenities includes a good size swimming pool and roof terrace/gardening to host events for their employees. I wonder if they’d consider some type of membership for local resident to use the pool as well.

rendering of the building (Spring & Colesville)

A very cool amenity that is part of the public plaza plan, is the solar powered and interactive pavers that when walked on, they provide power. There will also be solar powered cell phone charging stations. Does this mean that once the sun has set, if you need a charge, you’ll have to do the running man on the pavers so that you can make that phone call? I sure hope so... 

This will also include retail space and each business will receive an allocation of power via meter. I would assume this rules out hair salons and restaurants, but I could see possibly a small coffee corner, clothing shop, etc.

The rooftop Unither Employee Garden will be a great asset for employee retention, and they are hoping to allow for a garden plot for each employee in addition to a Master Gardener. It will include tables as well and their hope is that the employees who live nearby will be able to tend their garden even on the weekends. There will also be a catering area on the rooftop for events.

They don’t actually own the garage just yet, as they are awaiting permits/approvals and they have not yet settled. Hopefully MoCo is cooperative and poses little to no blocks on this. They are looking at a 22 – 24 month construction period starting 2015.

United Therapeutics Corporation
1104 Spring Street 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

BurgerFi: Not So Fast Food

Not sure what took me so long to get to BurgerFi, the newest addition to the neighborhood that features a Breakfast All Day Burger (burger, cheese, bacon drizzled with maple syrup, fried egg, hash browns, grilled diced onions, and ketchup), but better late then never. 

Located across the street from Wholefoods, BurgerFi is nestled between Washington Sports Club and the Courtyard Marriott.

Founded in 2010, BurgerFi started with 2 stores in Florida and has quickly expanded throughout the country. Their concept is simple - they focus on all-natural, free range beef while conserving energy and recycling.  Silver Spring Green would be proud of this new addition to our neighborhood:
”Each BurgerFi® store is built according to environmentally sustainable best practices, and includes earth-friendly elements, like chairs that are made from recycled Coke bottles, tables made out of compressed recycled wood, and large fans that use 66% less electricity. BurgerFi® maintains a low carbon footprint, and maintains strict recycling programs for oil, cardboard, bottles and cans.”
 Great lighting fixture over the communal table

Their menu is more than just burgers. It includes hot dogs (there’s a Kobe beef dog on the list), custards (red velvet, please), floats, sundaes, beer, and wine. If you’re coming from the gym next door, you can order the Hippie Burger (quinoa burgers) or a hotdog in lettuce instead of buns. There’s a Coca Cola Freestyle machine with various flavors to mix and match as you please. Or you can go sans-high fructose and opt for the bottled Mexican coke with real cane sugar.

The two of us each ordered the BurgerFi cheeseburger made up of an Angus burger, double American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and BurgerFi sauce and we split an order of the very generous Urban Fries from “the Secret Menu” which were parmesan and herb fries topped with garlic aioli (regular size was enough for both of us), and a Dog Fish IPA 60 minutes. I inquired about the BurgerFi sauce and they said it was a mayo based sauce with special ingredients. They’re not telling and it was delicious. The Secret Menu, not displayed on the menu behind the register but can be found on their website, features additional burgers such as the ½ + ½ burger, (half angus burger, half quinoa burger) and fries to include both extra crispy and extra limp fries.

We found the burgers to be slightly overcooked. We were told we can’t choose our temperature because corporate wants them all cooked the same way, according to one of the employees. It was still a tasty burger nonetheless. We didn’t order the onion rings but the table next to us did and they looked to be a huge serving. I’m coming back for the custard on my next trip.

Giant onion rings. Photo by SPI Flip Flop Foodie on Urbanspoon

Happy to have a much needed burger spot in Downtown Silver Spring, the restaurant and its employees made a good first impression. With a good size patio, beer on tap, and wine, upbeat music (but not obnoxious), I can see them being slammed all summer long. 

8504 Fenton Street
Silver Spring, MD