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When you’re working on your Ph.D. and you stop just short of the finish line, you get to say you’re “ABD” (which stands for “all but dissertation”). Though the graduate in Charlottesville is way better than any other hotel in town that NPS has visited, it’s not quite up to non-college town standards.

You see, college towns have this problem with good hotels. There aren’t any. NPS is unclear on why this is. Maybe parents spent all of their money on a college education for their kids and they can’t afford a decent hotel? Who knows.

Anyway, the graduate will do.

We were given hamster cage, er room 803. It had a bit more style than your usual Marriott, but its architecture was uninspired. And it was not quiet in the least. A concrete box for you!

803 bed

The TV shrine

high style? Style created while high? something

The shower was glass (which is NPS approved) but it was too skinny and the water pressure was piddly. Not a shower to inspire NPS reverie.

Yes but no.

The rest of the bathroom

So ABD on the sbower.

And there were these little problems too.

no no no. Where can we put our own bathroom stuff??

Hermetically-sealed paper cup?? LOL. Just absurd.

The staff was all very nice. We even scored some san pellegrino as we checked in. So that’s a plus. But the graduate needs to complete its dissertation to enter the workforce. Three showerheads and study hall for the graduate.

In other Charlottesville news, Citizen Burger remains delicious and worth a visit. And the Alley Light bar is top notch. Do both. And while you’re in town, make sure to catch the Punch Brothers show. Oh wait, that’s WHY you’re in town.

The Punch Brothers 8.9.17 Charlottesville

Less than two handfulls of miles from the apothecary shed itself is a home grown distillery called Catoctin Creek. Since 2009, Catoctin Creek has been distilling Rye into various award-winning products. We’re partial to the Watershed Gin ourselves.

Catoctin Creek in the old Case building

Catoctin Creek in the old Case building

Baker Bob set up a long talked about distillery tour on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The tour was fantastic, carried out by Scott Harris himself. Excellent.

In between leading questions, Scott taught us some things.

In between leading questions, Scott taught us some things.

Scott talked us through the process to make Rye, Gin (in run 2), and Brandy.

Step one: Cook the Rye (soon to be more local)

Step one: Cook the Rye (soon to be more local)

Step two is brewing a rye beer to about 10%.

Step three: transfer beer to still and a 6 hour run.

Step three: transfer beer to still and a 6 hour run.

Gin takes a second distillation plus an infusion.

Gin takes a second distillation plus an infusion.

The bottling machine which caused a pizza party insurrection.

The bottling machine which caused a pizza party insurrection.

Shipment for Australia

Shipment for Australia

Yeah

Yeah

Catoctin Creek Tasting Room

Catoctin Creek Tasting Room

Pouring flights

Pouring flights

Custom flight: Gin and Two Ryes

Custom flight: Gin and Two Ryes

The Catoctin product set is certainly made with love. I remain a big fan of the Watershed Gin. The Roundstone Rye is rough and thin at 80 proof. The 92 proof has more body (and less water) and is a better product. I guess around here we’re used to a sweeter mash bill with some corn and wheat and a higher proof. The Catoctin Creek mash is 100% rye.

What does Sammy think of the Brandy?

What does Sammy think of the Brandy?

Aftermath

Aftermath

All told, the afternoon was very well spent with a gracious and committed host doing excellent work. Keep it up Catoctin Creek. We’re damn proud to have you here just over the river.

The fellers say, "Thanks Scott and Becky!"

The fellers say, “Thanks Scott and Becky!”

Back home again with some new stuff to add to the bar.

Watershed Gin always in stock here

Watershed Gin always in stock here

Patowmack Farms Restaurant is located on a bluff above the Potomac river in the northern tip of Loudoun county just past Taylorstown. The setting is gorgeous, but the food is even better.

Chef Tarver King is at the top of his game, creating dishes that are both masterful and highly creative simultaneously. The fact that all dishes emphasize farm to table and locally sourced ingredients is icing on the cake.

Just go.

We’re lucky to have Volt and Patowmack Farm within close striking distance. World class dining in the mid-Atlantic.