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WWBG: Favorite West Coast IPAs

by BethesdaNow.com | October 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm | 619 views | No Comments

Editor’s Note: This new weekly sponsored column is written by the staff of Georgetown Square Wine and Beer (10400 Old Georgetown Road).

You might have noticed that West Coast IPAs seem to be dominating your local beer shop’s shelves lately. Why not just stick with IPAs that originate closer to home, you ask? Believe it or not, there are distinct differences in style between East Coast-brewed IPAs and their West Coast counterparts.

East Coast IPAs tend to have a stronger malt presence and more balanced approach to the intensity of hops, whereas West Coast IPAs tend to be overloaded with fresh Northwest Hops that give a citrus-y, piney taste with a smooth, dry finish. West Coast IPAs have a great refreshing taste that’s a little less filling due to a reduced malt and residual sugar presence compared to East Coast IPAs.

Even with the higher cost associated with West Coast IPAs we are selling more IPAs from our west coast friends than ever before. California, Oregon and Washington have a total of 623 breweries, this makes up 27% of all breweries in the United States

The West Coast IPA emergence over the past 15 years is in direct correlation with the contemporary American beer drinker’s palate, which loves overly hopped beers that smack sensations most other beers simply don’t. In a recent poll by the American Homebrewers Association, readers were asked to rank their 20 favorite beers. Out of the top ten, seven of the beers were from the west coast and nine out of ten were unique IPAs, with one lone stout.

Here are some of my favorite West Coast IPAs.

Stone IPA — San Diego, California

One of the best-selling and best-tasting IPAs we offer. This is your typical hoppy “West Coast IPA”. At just under 7% a.b.v., Stone has ample hop aroma, tons of flavor, and bitterness throughout, with a nice, smooth, dry finish. Stone uses a process called “dry-hopping” for this IPA, which results in a burst of aroma and flavor. Stone IPA received a score of 100 on ratebeer.com and a score of 99 from the Beer Advocate

Lagunitas IPA — Petaluma, California

This good-looking golden brew is California’s top-selling IPA. Lagunitas is moderately bitter and not overly hoppy, which gives it a beautiful, balanced bitter-to-fruit ratio. Flavors include grapefruit and lemon, and it finishes with a nice piney, dry taste. With an a.b.v of 6.2%, Lagunitas is a great IPA that exemplifies the West Coast approach. Lagunitas IPA received a score of 94 on ratebeer.com and a score of 87 from the Beer Advocate.

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Bethesda Row Arts Fest Shouldn’t Be Hurt By Metro Closure, Organizers Say

by BethesdaNow.com | October 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm | 571 views | No Comments

Organizers say attendance at the annual Bethesda Row Arts Festival, which this weekend will transform three blocks of Bethesda Row into an outdoor art exhibit, shouldn’t be hurt by the closure of the Bethesda Metro station.

The nationally recognized arts contest draws from around the region, evidenced by the large floor advertisement developer Federal Realty placed at the Bethesda Metro station and the more than 300,000 it claims have flocked to Bethesda Row since the festival began in 1997.

Federal Realty marketing official Vanessa Rodriguez said attendees know they can ride the free shuttles Metro will be providing to the Bethesdsa station. She declined to provide the typical amount of attendees per year or how many organizers are expecting this year.

Federal Realty, the owner of the Bethesda Row development, puts on the event.

It features more than 180 entries of fine art pieces in 14 judging categories and will shut down Bethesda and Elm Avenues to traffic and bring foot traffic from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Part Two of Our Conversation With Ike Leggett

by BethesdaNow.com | October 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm | 973 views | 1 Comment

Part one can be found here. In the second half of Bethesda Now’s sit-down with County Executive Isiah Leggett, we discussed a potential gas tax, the ongoing battle over police over bargaining rights, attracting millenials and his legacy if he remains out of the 2014 county executive candidate field.

Bethesda Now: What’s your reaction to the FOP’s request for an investigation into whether you and other county officials acted illegally in promoting your view on the effects bargaining referendum?

Leggett: We’ve already looked at that. So I don’t know what it is that needs to be reviewed. We can give them the opinion of the county attorney. I wouldn’t have authorized any kind of effort unless we had some legal opinion that said it was appropriate. That happened.

I’m not sure there’s anything from our perspective to look at this if they’re going to challenge, legally, the position of the county attorney. But there’s nothing for me to look at unless a court gives it a different legal analysis. Based on the county attorney’s opinion, we are doing things that are appropriate.

We are simply defending the county law. We are not going out to create a new law. Under the auspices of that, we are doing what is appropriate. That’s a little bit different than saying you’re going out to do something that you’re fighting for that’s not there. But we’re defending the law that’s already been enacted.

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Urban Country Hosting ‘Made In America’ Showcase, Fundraiser

by BethesdaNow.com | October 19, 2012 at 11:00 am | 666 views | No Comments

Bethesda Row furniture store Urban Country (7117 Arlington Rd.) is unveiling a new line of products manufactured in the United States by teaming up with a group of wounded war veterans from Walter Reed.

The “Made In America” event, set for Thursday, Oct. 25 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the store will showcase Urban Country’s new collection and include a silent auction to benefit the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Vets participating in the Marine Corps Marathon on Oct. 28.

The wine and hors d’oeuvres reception is free and open to the public and will feature keynote speeches from a local Walter Reed veteran and Urban Country reps.

From the press release:

We want to raise awareness on the importance of buying American goods and show how easy it is to create a lovely home with domestic-made furnishings,” says Rachelle Roth, founder and owner of Urban Country. “Comparably most American-made products are lower in price than imported goods and much more ecofriendly leaving less of an environmental carbon footprint. Urban Country is passionate about our Made In America quest and proud to help support our local wounded veterans currently in recovery at Walter Reed.

County, Planning Officials Express Angst Over NIH, Walter Reed Redevelopment

by BethesdaNow.com | October 19, 2012 at 10:00 am | 959 views | No Comments

NIH and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center neighbors aren’t the only ones skeptical of the federal institutions’ plans to redevelop their Wisconsin Avenue campuses.

In testimony before the Montgomery County Planning Board yesterday, Montgomery County BRAC coordinator Phil Alperson said he doesn’t believe in traffic studies from Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB), which operates the Military Medical Center campus and presented its redevelopment plans to the Board.

“In a nutshell, the traffic study says two things of concern to me, long range predictions in the [Environmental Impact Study] up to the year 2018 indicate traffic will operate at a slightly improved level prior to the BRAC integration,” Alperson said. “In my view, BRAC traffic counts do not reflect the true nature of traffic in the Rockville Pike area. It was too congested to get accurate readings. The fact is traffic right now is dramatically worse than it was before.”

Alperson also said he’s not confident the expected 270 additional staff members expected after NSAB rebuilds parts of its medical center and university will hold. He cited the 3,800 additional employees who ended up moving to the base after Walter Reed relocated there. The original estimate was 2,500.

Planning Board Chair Francoise Carrier called Alperson’s comments “apocryphal.” But fellow Planning Board Commissioner Casey Anderson had some criticisms of his own. His were directed at NIH, Walter Reed’s across-the-street neighbor.

In its draft Master Plan, which would add 3,000 employees over 20 years to the main campus of the county’s largest employer, NIH won’t be able to get their parking ratio to the federal goal of one parking space for every three staff members, a figure that encourages the use of mass transit.

“There’s no rational reason that I’m aware of that you shouldn’t have a 3 to 1 ratio by this point,” Anderson told an NIH representative after he presented. “With due respect, maybe people shouldn’t live in West Virginia and work in Bethesda.”

In an interview yesterday, County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) said the county must balance the economic activity the prestigious federal agencies can spur with the traffic and congestion that comes with it.

“When you balance all things together, I think we need to be encouraging of our federal institutions,” Leggett said. “There is a downside to some of it but maybe you pick that back up on some other institution you get in that will compensate for that.”

The Planning Board and the county has no authority over NIH and NSAB development plans. Margaret Rifkin, the planner who reviewed the projects, called them “basically sovereign nations within our boundaries.” Both plans will be subject to approval from the National Capital Planning Commission.

“We know we can’t make you do it,” Anderson told a NIH representative about achieving the parking ratio. “But that doesn’t mean we have to sit here and say, ‘It’s OK.’”

Flickr photo by thisisbossi

Morning Notes

by BethesdaNow.com | October 19, 2012 at 9:00 am | 485 views | No Comments

Last Day to Vote For Best Trawick Prize Winner — The Bethesda contemporary art competition is celebrating 10 years with a “people’s choice” award to name the best ever Trawick winner. The vote closes today. [Bethesda Magazine]

Walter Johnson Mom Starts ‘Start School Later’ Petition — Mandi Mader, mom of a student at Walter Johnson High School, has collected more than 3,500 signatures of people who want to move the start time of Montgomery County High Schools to 8:15 a.m. or later. [Potomac Patch]

Rockville Pike Lane Closures — The State Highway Administration will close the right and middle lanes of southbound Rockville Pike near Tuckerman Lane from 9 p.m. today to 2 p.m. tomorrow for paving operations, according to a Montgomery County official.

Bethesda Row Arts Festival Tomorrow — Organizers say they don’t expect this weekend’s Metro station closure will affect attendance of the event developer Federal Realty says has attracted more than 300,000 to Bethesda Row since it began in 1997. [Bethesda Row Arts]

Flickr photo by Jen Sedell

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