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Beer-Savvy Cocktail Club Returns to Brookland This Month

Pop-up booze fest 1 Ounce or 2 features food, Flying Dog brews, and fancy punches

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1 Ounce or 2’s new home while at District Space.
Photo: District Space
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Experimental cocktail club 1 Ounce or 2 is taking up residence in Brookland through the end of January, uniting a crew of Drink Company bartenders that just finished slinging holiday drinks at Shaw’s annual Miracle on 7th Street with a regionally inspired chef.

1 Ounce or 2 founding members Paul Gonzalez, Jordan Utz, Jackson Crowder, and Luke Gossett, who now have time on their hands between Drink Company pop-ups, are setting up shop at District Space (3522 12th Street NE) starting Friday, January 12. The quartet first appeared there last fall with a pilot version of their custom cocktailing; this time around, chef Johanna Hellrigl — who just held a weekend pop-up at the Northeast space — is in on the action.

For $60, guests can get five drinks paired with food such as crostini with cured duck prosciutto and elderberry sauce. All the drinks feature Flying Dog beer in some way, whether as a cordial, syrup, or a balancing agent.

“We are using beer in unexpected ways,” says Gonzalez. “We want to show that high-end beers and high-end cocktails go together.”

The “Gone-zo for the Winter” (Black strap rum, Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter cordial, Don Ciccio C3 Carciofo, lime) pays homage to Drink Co. founder Derek Brown and is a riff on what the industry says is his most famous drink to date.

“It’s a challenge we embrace,” says Gonzalez.

Gonzalez and the cocktail club founders are longtime friends, having worked at Southern Efficiency before the block of bars’ takeover madness began. Having trial-and-error experience in batching out drinks for a holiday revelers has prepared them for this latest challenge.

“We need within a window of three to five minutes to put out 30-plus of these cocktails for the entire room in order to share in the experience,” says Elan Bar, who runs District Space.

Having now mastered making milk punch for “thousands,” Crowder shares that the latest interpretation features VSOP Cognac, amontillado sherry, Flying Dog K9 Winter Warmer beer syrup, lemon, orange juice, and clarified milk.

1 Ounce or 2 aims to enlighten cocktail enthusiasts about “clarified milk punch” — a tasty but technically challenging drink to make.
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC

This month’s pop-up also includes several mid-week events targeted at educating curious drinkers. A “Flying Dog University” seminar will break down the history of beer, the draft beer movement, and how to taste and pair beer. Local producer Don Ciccio & Figli is expected to host a “Make Your Own Amaro” event, breaking down the process of making liqueurs and providing participants with the opportunity to make their own signature amaro to take home.

Bar, who’s fine tuning programming for the space through the year, says many Drink Company employees attended the 1 Ounce or 2 pop-up last fall.

“I am impressed how egalitarian the food and drink scene here can be,” says Bar.