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by BethesdaNow.com — January 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm 0

Editor’s Note: This weekly sponsored column is written by Arash Tafakor, owner of Georgetown Square Wine and Beer (10400 Old Georgetown Road).

Let’s clear something up first: Barley Wine is not a wine. Barley wine is very much a beer brewed with grains, not grapes. Simply put, Barley Wine is a high alcohol content beer (usually over 10%), which most people can not handle, including myself.

The name wine comes from the high alcohol levels and aging characteristics similar to wine. You can age Barley Wine beers for years to release complexities and smooth out harsh alcohol flavors.

Originally brewed in England in the early 19th century, American brewers took the recipe and added what American brewers always add more of to beer. Hops, and lots of them.  This leads to an intensely strong bitter beer with tons of complex fruit and citrus flavors. Since only a few can handle the monstrous amounts of hops and alcohol in these beers, barley wines have an almost cult following. Here are a few of our best selling Barley Wines we currently have in stock.

Dominion Millennium Ale 2012

If you’re trying Barley Wine for the first time, this beer is definitely the way to go. Brewed with honey, this beer is an alcoholic dessert in a glass. At 10.5% a.b.v this beer is surprisingly drinkable and smooth.

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Ale 2012

This beer is perfectly described as a “beast of a beer”. Brewed specifically for the winter months this ale will warm you up fast. Full of fresh northwest hops to balance the sweet malt, beer lovers love the site of Bigfoot.

Widmer Brothers Old Embalmer 2012

This Barley Wine by Widmer is specifically made to age. Not overly hopped and just around 10% a.b.v., Old Embalmer has more earthy tones than it’s counterparts.

Dogfish Head Olde School 2012

Brewed with dates and figs, Olde School by Dogfish head is a head-spinning unique brew. At 15% a.b.v., Olde School is perfect for aging to smooth out the high alcohol content. I must say this brew is only for the pros.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BethesdaNow.com.

Community discussion guidelines: Our sponsored columns are written by members of the local business community. While we encourage a robust and open discussion, we ask that all reviews of the businesses — good or bad — be directed to another venue, like Yelp. The comments section is intended for a conversation about the topic of the article.

by BethesdaNow.com — January 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm 0

A national company of dog training and exercise centers is coming to North Bethesda, its first franchise location in the D.C. area where staff will offer to literally teach any dog new tricks.

Zoom Room’s list of programs includes obedience training, puppy training, agility classes, social events for dog owners, dog birthday parties and classes to teach your dog the basics (how to roll over, play dead, sit up) and some stuff you’d probably never imagine:

Advanced Dog Tricks

In this class you’ll learn how to string together basic behaviors from Learning Dog Tricks to really impress your friends. A great class for the busy dog or the future therapy dog. Your dog will learn how to skateboard, put away his toys, play basketball and more!

D.C.-based Steve Mulder will run the center (11771 Rockville Pike) and said a well-established population of dog owning families plus an expected surge of apartment dwellers in White Flint made the location attractive.

“In Montgomery County, there’s a great demand for it,” Mulder said. “It’s young and up-and-coming people but it’s also very established families. We’re a family business. We want to be a family-friendly business. We want kids to be involved in the training.”

The North Bethesda Zoom Room will also serve as a donation center for dog toys, blankets and other accessories. Mulder, who said he volunteers at the county animal shelter, is partnering with the Humane Society and dog rescue organizations to donate those toys and to work on other programming.

A grand opening celebration is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16, complete with free demos, dog treats and lunch provided by nearby Bagel City. Zoom Room is asking any who plan to bring their dog to RSVP on its website.

The event will serve as a fundraiser for Lucky Dog Animal Rescue and Zoom Room will donate $10 for every advance RSVP received, plus 10 percent of the day’s retail and class sign-up sales.

The center, in the ground floor of an apartment building, will have nine dedicated parking spots, one of the reasons Mulder chose North Bethesda over other potential sites in Dupont Circle and Capitol Hill.

The center is set to open on Feb. 16.

Photo via Zoom Room

by BethesdaNow.com — January 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm 1 Comment

A business dedicated to celebrating the life cycle events of its clients celebrated a new beginning of its own today.

Creative Parties Ltd., the event planning and wedding invitation store that used to occupy the blue and green house on Woodmont Avenue, held a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce at its new, across-the-street location in the Landow Building (4822 St Elmo Ave.).

Owner and President Tracy Bloom Schwartz said she moved the business out of its Woodmont Avenue space of 16 years because of uncertainty around the property owner’s future plans for the site.

The business began under Bloom Schwartz’s mother, Rita Bloom, at the family’s home and had a location on Auburn Avenue for 10 years before moving to Woodmont Avenue.

Rita Bloom was in attendance on Friday morning, as Bloom Schwartz, her employees, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce board members and Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) helped her cut a ribbon.

Bloom Schwartz and her sister grew up planning children’s parties, stuffing party bags and other jobs for her mom’s company before going into the corporate world. She later returned and took over the company, one of Bethesda’s most popular independent shops.

by BethesdaNow.com — January 25, 2013 at 11:00 am 1 Comment

County Executive Isiah Leggett’s office says Leggett (D) is committed to the Bethesda Metro South Entrance project despite a proposed funding delay and recent assertions that he is trying to defund the project to instead fund new roads.

County spokesman Patrick Lacefield responded directly to a column that appeared Tuesday on Greater Greater Washington that accused the executive of trying to derail the project and questioned why the county would not build it regardless of if the Bethesda Purple Line light rail station is ever built.

Leggett said his recommended six-month funding delay in the FY 2014 Capital Budget wouldn’t actually delay the project as it is tied into building the Purple Line station. The estimated $80 million entrance would connect the Metro platform 120 feet underground with high speed elevators to the Purple Line station at Elm Street west of Wisconsin Avenue.

The Maryland Transit Administration’s Purple Line is unfunded. From Lacefield, who said building the entrance independent of the Purple Line or MTA would add about $25 million to the cost:

County Executive Ike Leggett is committed to expanding transit and committed to the Purple Line project.  That’s why it was so surprising to read the Greater Greater Washington post implying otherwise.  Montgomery County has authorized the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to proceed with the design of the new entrance to the Bethesda Metro station. Both design and construction of the elevators will be paid 100 percent by Montgomery County. The bottom line is that it makes the most sense to keep the new entrance on the same schedule as the unfunded Purple Line.  MTA has told the County it is fine with this approach.

Is it possible to build the entrance elevators independently of the Purple Line design?  Yes — but only at significantly increased cost and greater risk. It is estimated the additional cost to the County could be $25 million. And, the County would have to absorb all possible risks associated with the structural integrity, possible temporary relocation of offices and potential damages to the Apex Building located above. This makes no sense.

The County has a finite amount of money to devote to capital projects.  Setting aside money in the capital budget before it is needed only bumps other projects, such as transit or school construction, that may be ready to go.

Mr. Leggett’s commitment to the Purple Line and a new entrance to the Bethesda Metro is clear. Let’s just do it in a way that is most cost effective.

Patrick Lacefield, Director

Montgomery County Office of Public Information

Cavan Wilk, author of the post for Greater Greater Washington, wrote the recommended delay “continues the pattern with this administration of trying to defund smart growth-oriented projects while proposing lavish spending on sprawl-oriented road projects.”

He also said the South Entrance should be built regardless of what happens with the Purple Line:

The county has always planned to finance this new entrance on its own, because it will benefit Red Line riders on the day it opens, Purple Line or no.

In addition to offering an alternative when the existing escalators are out of service, it will bring the station up to modern safety standards by providing a second entrance for emergency personnel and a second evacuation route in the event of an emergency.

The County Council will have final say on Leggett’s recommended delay. Last year, he battled with the Council on funding for the station. The Council chose to put $80 million toward the project.

by BethesdaNow.com — January 25, 2013 at 10:20 am 0

The Maryland State Highway Administration is asking commuters to take their time and avoid traveling during the snow expected to hit the region this afternoon.

Because of pavement temperatures below 20 degrees, the SHA will not pre-treat roads using salt brine that could freeze. Salt from Thursday’s snow removal operations remains on many roadways but SHA officials still warn of slippery and icy conditions during the Friday evening rush.

“We ask that all drivers take their time traveling Friday afternoon and plan ahead. It will be important to watch the weather and time your travel to avoid driving during the snow storm.  Rush hour and winter precipitation are a terrible combination since SHA’s snow removal efforts can be severely hampered by traffic, crashes and disabled vehicles – making it difficult for crews to salt and plow the highways,” SHA administration Melinda Peters said in a press release.

The SHA also said schools are likely to adjust their schedules to give its crews space to work. Montgomery County Schools will close two-and-a-half hours early today.

Some more tips for this afternoon’s drive:

• Fill your gas tank, make sure you have window washer fluid, an ice scraper, a charged cell phone and an alternate travel plan should crashes or other incidents block your normal route.

• Listen to commercial traffic reports so you know the latest traffic impacts.  Call 511 using a hands-free device.

• If snow starts mid-day, considerer delaying travel until after the snow stops.  SHA crews work to achieve bare pavement within four hours after a storm stops.  If you do travel, have realistic expectation and be patient.

• Drive focused – Maryland law prohibits hand-held cell phone use and texting while driving.

• Buckle up!  It’s the law in Maryland and your number one defense in a crash.

• Move over to an adjacent travel lane away from emergency personnel – a new Maryland law requires it.

• Allow extra time for unexpected delays.

• Slow down and pay attention, avoiding distractions such as cell-phone use, changing CDs and eating.  Observe all posted speed limits.

by BethesdaNow.com — January 25, 2013 at 9:20 am 0

More Snow Expected Later Today — Another inch of snow is expected this evening, with a Winter Weather Advisory from the National Weather Service in effect from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. [National Weather Service]

Most Marylanders Happy With Gov. O’Malley, But Not For President — A new poll has Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) with a 54 percent approval rating, but says only 25 percent of Marylanders want him to run for President. O’Malley has long been rumored to be seeking higher office after his second term ends in 2014. [The Gazette]

Summer Camp Expo This Weekend — White Flint Mall (11301 Rockville Pike) will host its 18th Annual Camp & Summer Programs Expo from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday) and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. [White Flint Mall]

Flickr photo by ehpien

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