Roots employee opens earth-friendly beer, wine and liquor store
By By Lane Page
For The Baltimore Sun|
Oct 28, 2014 at 10:07 AM
It’s Red, not just red.
This new adult beverage venue at the Conscious Corner in Clarksville also offers white wine, of course, as well as beer and spirits. The monosyllabic moniker goes along with already established stores Roots, Nest and Bark! Red, which opened in August, isn’t under the same ownership as those businesses, but it has the same goals: supporting and supplying planet-friendly, organic, vegetarian, vegan, biodynamic, sustainably produced and socially responsible products, says Jack Moore, co-owner of the store and soon-to-be-former Roots employee. (Moore plans to stay on with Roots until spring.)
Every product is researched before it reaches the shelves, general manager and wine expert Adam Harriger explains. But staff doesn’t take its work too seriously.
“We’re friendly, not intimidating. We don’t judge you,” he adds, patiently coaching a customer.
There’s one wall of “everyday wines,” another section for weekend treats. Special occasion vintages are in the Estate Room in back.
Moore, a self-acknowledged enthusiast if not expert, points out staff favorites such as Uruguayan Pueblo del Sol in the first category ($10 to $20) up to examples from Napa Valley, France and Lebanon in the prestigious Estate Room ($40 or more).
It’s not just wines and vineyards that have backstories; so do Red’s fixtures constructed of reclaimed wood from an old Army base, redwood counters from an old Sonoma winery tank, shelving from local fallen trees.
And it’s not only the wines that are environmentally and socially responsible. Weyerbacher Last Chance IPA beer, for instance, donates a portion from sales to small regional pet rescue operations.
“I think Daddy’s going to like this place,” Diane Chandler of Highland remarks to her sons as she takes pictures of the craft beer for her husband. She opts to let him choose for himself but takes home a bottle of Millstone cider produced by a father-son team in Monkton, Baltimore County.
Columbia resident Khristina Rheade already knows what she wants — pumpkin ale and Angry Orchard cider — but it doesn’t stop her from taking time to delight in the display of chocolate ale, gluten-free beer, banana-bread beer and more, courtesy of Gavin Maleson, assistant manager and craft beer expert.
Meanwhile, in the spirits section, Moore regales the curious UPS deliveryman with tales of Wild Turkey and Four Roses small-batch Kentucky straight bourbon made with non-genetically modified corn grown by the distilleries themselves.
In the works, or already under way, are a six craft beer growler program, private tastings, wine pairings with music and art, Skype tastings with distant wine mavens and Yappy Hours with next-door neighbor Bark! What else distinguishes Red? Well, says Moore, no lottery tickets, cigarettes, snack food or airline minis.