What do you see as this year’s biggest change or development in DC’s drinks scene?
Over the last year I've noticed that there's a new "generation," for lack of a better term, of people starting their own projects and opening their own bars. I'm starting to see people who were staple DC bartenders and longtime industry people finally branching out and opening their own projects. It just seems like there's a changing of the guard, or at least some new guards showing up in the DC drinks scene. Some people that come to mind are Trevor Frye with Marble Alley, Lukas Smith with Cotton & Reed, the Archipelago crew, and Carlie Steiner with Himitsu, to name a few.
How do you think the addition of a winery has changed the wine conversation in DC?
I think it has made tastemakers in wine in this city stop and take notice. We intentionally do not serve any cider that has adjuncts like blueberries, ginger, hops, Snickers bars, or whatever else people are throwing in cider these days. We focus on the apple; our goal is to highlight the apple. Many people don't realize that cider is made exactly like wine, just with apples. Certain varieties do well in certain areas, and can express the terroir of those places just like wine. I'm not saying cider does the same things wine does, but it can [express] the same great things that wine can: tannin, acid, fruit, minerality... and it can do it in beautifully subtle ways, as wine can.