WeLoveDC has a profile of Joe Riley, fine spirits manager of Ace Beverage and regular commenter here at A Jigger of Blog. It’s really a great piece on one of the fixtures of the DC craft cocktail world. In so many ways, Joe’s work as an avid hunter of rare spirits is what enables The District to have such a robust and thriving cocktail community.
From the first time I met him at Bar Pilar (if I recall correctly), Joe has been friendly and helpful to the highest order. He’s helped me track down spirits, syrups, beer, and wine, even at times pointing me towards other liquor stores in DC who might have a product that Ace did not. His knowledge of spirits is hard to match. I don’t think there’s ever been a rare spirit or bitters that I asked him about whose distribution, history and use Joe didn’t know right away. It’s truly impressive. It also makes it hard for me to make a trip to Ace and not end up chatting with Joe for an hour, all the while slowly being convinced of the need for me to try a few new or rare products. I think it’s a good thing, but my home bar wouldn’t be as well stocked as it currently is without Joe Riley.
Go give the WeLoveDC piece a read and be sure to visit Joe at Ace Beverage the next time you need to pick up some spirits, bitters or syrups.