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Joe Riley

Pizzeria Paradiso, Founder Ruth Gresser's Pizzerias with a Good Beer Selection

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On 2/2/2006 at 2:05 PM, Joe Riley said:

My friend Thor Cheston, who is a manager at Paradiso, is going to be heading up this project of theirs. Thor is a beer enthusiast of the first order, and this should be exciting! Drop by and say, "Hello!" and have a great beer on draught and some of this city's best pizza.

3282 M St., NW Washington, DC 202-337-1245

Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown is proud to introduce Birreria Paradiso, a sixteen tap draft bar featuring 80 bottled selections of microbrews, artisinal and handcrafted beers from around the world. Enjoy pilsners, ales, lagers, and stouts in our newly renovated lower level dining room and bar, where you will be able to feast on our Quattro Formaggi Pizza and a Belgian tripel like Gouden Carolus, or a Bosco Pizza and a Saison Dupont on draft. Then, top off your meal with our vanilla gelato paired with North Coast's Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout. We will be offering our complete menu, wine list, and a full bar in addition to the new selection of beers. Most of our longtime favorites are available, including Rogue's Dead Guy Ale, Dogfish Head's 60-minute IPA on tap, and Moretti and Amstel Light in bottles. We will also be serving some standards like Corona,, Miller Lite and Samuel Adams. All of the new beers will also be available in the main dining room upstairs.

Before Birreria Paradiso opened with Thor Cheston in 2006, there was NOTHING in the DC area except The Brickskeller (which was more of a novelty than a serious beer haus), and I mean the best you could do was a Hoffbrau - and that's if you were lucky. Then, after that, along came Robert Wiedemaier, Greg Engert and Brasserie Beck, and we were off to the races. 

This was only 13-years ago.

"On Fire [an Interview with Ruth Gresser]" by David Hagedorn on bethesdamagazine.com

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7 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Before Birreria Paradiso opened with Thor Cheston in 2006, there was NOTHING in the DC area except The Brickskeller (which was more of a novelty than a serious beer haus), and I mean the best you could do was a Hoffbrau - and that's if you were lucky. Then, after that, along came Robert Wiedemaier, Greg Engert and Brasserie Beck, and we were off to the races. 

This was only 13-years ago.

"On Fire [an Interview with Ruth Gresser]" by David Hagedorn on bethesdamagazine.com

The Brickskeller was all we had in the '80s when we wanted to taste serious beer from around the world. A group of us took a colleague there who was a Navy SEAL, and we ordered beers around the table. He ordered a "Silver Bullet" Coors Lite. They actually had it, but it the ribbing he took made for a memorable evening.

Around that time, Union Street Pub in Alexandria was serving a beer that was brewed for them in the local area. And then came Capital City Brewery near the Greyhound Station downtown. I can't remember all the reasons that good beer places were so rare back then....

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2 minutes ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

I can't remember all the reasons that good beer places were so rare back then....

Distribution

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1 hour ago, DonRocks said:

Before Birreria Paradiso opened with Thor Cheston in 2006, there was NOTHING in the DC area except The Brickskeller (which was more of a novelty than a serious beer haus), and I mean the best you could do was a Hoffbrau - and that's if you were lucky. Then, after that, along came Robert Wiedemaier, Greg Engert and Brasserie Beck, and we were off to the races. 

This was only 13-years ago.

"On Fire [an Interview with Ruth Gresser]" by David Hagedorn on bethesdamagazine.com

The Big Hunt was an early player in the DC craft scene.  Dave Coleman was the GM and Beer Director at The Big Hunt and then went on to found 3 Stars Brewing.  The references I can find online is that Coleman was beer director at The Big Hunt in 2006, if not earlier.  My guess is his efforts predate Birreria Paradiso, probably by a couple of years. 

The Reef opened in 2001/02.  When it closed in 2013, most media reports noted that it was one of DC's first bars to focus on craft beers.  The First DC bar to have Chimay and Allagash White on tap (according to the Post

RFD opened in 2005(?), which of course had the same owners at the Brickskeller, and the same problems with keeping beers in stock.

Rustico also opened in 2006, with 250 bottles and 30 taps. 

Granville Moore's helped jump start things on H Street, NE in 2007 with a Belgium beer focus.

Brasserie Beck opened in 2007 (was originally slated to open in 2006)

ChurchKey was delayed and finally opened in 2009.

Meridan Pint opened in 2010.

I'm sure there are other notable additions.  Such as The Saloon on U Street, which opened in 2000.  There was a previous Georgetown location, but I'm not familiar with its history nor beer selection.

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1 hour ago, Tweaked said:

I'm sure there are other notable additions.  Such as The Saloon on U Street, which opened in 2000.  There was a previous Georgetown location, but I'm not familiar with its history nor beer selection.

Memories are always personal things, but the best beer I've had in America was at The Saloun in Georgetown around 1990 (here's the backstory on the name) - they'd just gotten a fresh keg of Späten Oktoberfest, and it was ethereal - my friend and I took one sip, and both looked up at each other at the same moment, eyes like saucers (and here's *that* backstory).

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9 hours ago, jasonc said:

i'm getting old

Join the club :-)

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On 2/26/2019 at 4:01 PM, Tweaked said:

The Reef opened in 2001/02.  When it closed in 2013, most media reports noted that it was one of DC's first bars to focus on craft beers.  The First DC bar to have Chimay and Allagash White on tap (according to the Post

I'm sure there are other notable additions.  

Bedrock had a small, and good, selection of craft beer before that. I remember when Brian Harrison was the new manager there, long before the Reef, and the beer selection at Bedrock was already decent before he got there.

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Good one SAF!

Reminded me that Galaxy Hut should also receive recognition.  According to their website they opened in 1990 and they claim to be the DC areas first craft beer bar.  True or not, I have no idea, but certainly an early player in the DC craft beer scene (and also an important music venue).

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7 minutes ago, Tweaked said:

Good one SAF!

Reminded me that Galaxy Hut should also receive recognition.  According to their website they opened in 1990 and they claim to be the DC areas first craft beer bar.  True or not, I have no idea, but certainly an early player in the DC craft beer scene (and also an important music venue).

Thanks! Although, thinking about it a bit more, he did come from the Big Hunt, which was still fairly new at that point. So, no surprise he kept up the beer thing that Deneen had started.

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