How many times has this happened?
A book, a lecture, an article, a radio or TV program, a photographic essay, a blog post, a discussion covering Washington takes place and leaves out Alexandria. Sometimes it’s understandable, but this is a city founded forty years before the first cornerstone for the District of Columbia was laid in the southern tip of Alexandria.
Those who call the port city home are so used to it, they just shrug their shoulders when they’re snubbed, move on, and wait for the ones that are more inclusive.
As someone who has felt bad when those walls go up, I’m happy to say a new book about Washington does include Alexandria. Garrett Peck’s fourth book is titled Capital Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in Washington, D.C.
Garrett is appearing throughout the area, including Alexandria. The one that caught my attention is Saturday, March 29 at 1:30 at the Queen Street Library. After his talk, an optional walking tour of relevant sites will take place. They include the Old Presbyterian Meeting House where Andrew Wales, the seaport’s first brewer, rests in peace. Also on tap (ha, ha) is Wales Alley and the site where he brewed beer.
All that will work up a thirst, which can be quenched at Virtue Restaurant. The Library can’t sponsor events with alcohol, so it’s buy your own.
Haven’t picked up Garrett’s book yet, but we see 46 search hits for Alexandria. He touches on other brewers in Alexandria, names I had not heard of such as Entwistle. One of the historical markers talks about the West End Brewery but I never learned anything else about it. And of course, he devotes time to the biggest one of all, Robert Portner, whose mammoth plant spread out all over what is now the Trader Joes area on the North Side (Portner's descendents will re-kindle the family fires sometime this year with a new brewery.)
Looking forward to the book and the tour. Come one, come all, Alexandria welcomes all!
WAMU’s Metro Connections with Rebecca Sheir talks with Garrett at 1 pm, and it replays on Saturday at 7 am.