Sunday, August 5, 2012

Buying local weekend

One of the great things about DC in the summer time is the fantastic variety of local farmers markets that pop-up on the weekends. Sure, many cities around the country experience the same phenomenon, but I think it's especially appreciated by residents here. Our day jobs are often spent in stuffy offices, writing memos and feeling very disconnected from the rest of the country. I go weeks, months sometimes, without leaving the "beltway"- so it's nice to be able to walk three blocks up the street to find a lively collection of local farmers selling tomatoes, melons, and peaches.  This morning at the Mt. Pleasant market I picked up supplies for a watermelon/mint/feta salad, some huge heirloom tomatoes just for eating (with a dash of salt), and some fresh corn for grilling this afternoon.

In the afternoon my BFFs picked me up for a trip to Port City Brewery to fill our growlers. For the uninitiated, a growler is a 64oz jug that you pick up at a brewery or bar filled with beer, and if you're lucky (and the local alcohol laws allow it), you can take that jug back to any beer selling establishment for a refill. It's awesome and eco-friendly! In Seattle, this is as common a practice as getting milk and eggs at the corner store, so I was more than shocked when I discovered upon moving to DC that not only would the bar not fill my growler, they hadn't even heard of this concept!! Ahhhh! What crazy beer-hating world had I wandered into?? Fortunately, over the past 3 years DC has very slowly started to catch on to the importance of fine beer and the necessity of the growler fill, but we're nowhere near the west coast yet. There are now at least 4-5 very quality breweries in the metro area that fill growlers, but so far the law only allows for breweries to do this, and not just any bar or beer store with a tap.

One of our favorite local breweries for growler-filling is Port City Brewery. They were featuring their newly tapped Derecho Beer, which came about after they lost power for a few days after our crazy storm at the beginning of the month and one of their pilsner batches turned into something a little more acidic. The beer was surprisingly tasty, though a little too limey for my taste.

Later in the evening I party hopped between two going away parties, one for my good friend from college who is leaving DC to go to graduate school at Yale, and the other for an A-100 colleague that is heading off to Abuja. I guess saying goodbye is part of this job, and it feels like the process is only beginning. Being here until March, I'll have the chance to say plenty of goodbyes, but knowing that the upside is that the foreign service is small and our paths will cross again soon.

Rooftop going away party


  1. Hi! I just found your blog off of

    My name is Zach and I am waiting to hear if I received an OA invite- I'll find out in September!

    After a bit of sleuthing I found out you went to PLU! I graduated from PLU in '09 :) Thanks for the interesting blog!

  2. Hey Zach!
    Great to hear from a fellow Lute, and good luck on the OA invite! From my newbie perspective this is a great career and a great fit for the service-minded ethos of PLU. Keep me posted on your progress :-).