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By Philip Runco.


For the past seven years, DC Beer Week has gotten bigger and better with each iteration. There’s no reason to think the 2016 edition will be any different.

If you’re unfamiliar, here’s the deal: For eight days and nights, DC-area breweries (and some from further away) descend upon the area’s bars, restaurants, and less conventional spaces for dozens and dozens of events. These events include keg kills, beer dinners, competitions, policy discussions, regionally themed or style-centric tastings, tap takeovers, and much more.

Below is your guide to everything going on. Read it. Learn it. Memorize it. And we’ll update it throughout the week. Consult the experts at DC Beer for any further questions you may have.




4th Annual BrewHaHa

Where: Old Ebbit Grill

When: 7:30pm – 10:30pm

The week officially kicks off with the fourth annual BrewHaha at Old Ebbitt Grill. As the name might suggest, it’s just a good old-fashioned craft beer and tasty food festival. $75 gets you all you can drink (from over ten different breweries) and eat (from an impressive line-up of restaurants that includes Red Apron, Red Hen, Sixth Engine, Smoke and Barrel, and Right Proper). If you need proof that this is a winning combination, check out Logan Holler’s coverage of last year’s throw down.


Hoppy Oktoberfest

Where: Mad Fox

When: 12:00pm – 6:00pm

An IPA and Märzen festival? You crazy for this one, Mad Fox! Crazy… like a fox… who is also mad… potentially over how long I’m letting this questionable joke drag on.

Anyway, on Saturday, Mad Fox turns its Market Square into a Biergarten for an Oktoberfest that celebrates both malty lagers and hop-forward ales, just like your German ancestors did it. Wait. No they didn’t. Apologize to the spirits of your German ancestors.

Almost 30 breweries will be sending their fine beverages. Tickets range from $30 (general admission) to $65 (VIP). Mad Fox are festival professionals, so trust that they know what they’re doing.


DC Beer Presents Blind & Bitter: Vol. 4

Where: ChurchKey

When: 12:00pm – 4:00pm

For the fourth year running, DC Beer has rounded up 20 of the best IPAs from the area (and beyond) and is enfranchising you, the consumer, to pick the best.

The line-up includes some of the DC-area’s renowned power sluggers (DC Brau’s On the Wings of Armageddon; Union’s Double Duckpin; Port City’s Maniacal) alongside one-offs (RAR & Hoof Hearted’s Hoof RARted; Ocelot’s Planets Align), and out-of-market brews (Triple Crossing’s Clever Girl; Singlecut’s Does Anybody Remember Laughter?). So, yeah, if hops are your thing, this is a pretty good way to spend your Saturday afternoon.

And as the name indicates, the tasting is blind, so kiss those Untappd check-ins goodbye.


Barrel-Aged Tap Takeover

Where: City Tap House

When: 11:00am – 1:00am

City Tap House isn’t tiptoeing around the start of DC Beer Week. The classy Penn Quarter establishment is coming right out of the gate with a barrel-aged tap takeover. Participating breweries include Ballast Point, Allagash, 3 Stars, Goose Island, and Ommegang, among several others.

This is an all-day, stop-by-whenever affair, though you might be headed towards an afternoon nap if visit on the earlier side.


Devils Backbone& Barrel Collaboration Release Party

Where: Barrel

When: 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Speaking of barrels, Devils Backbone has teamed up to brew a collaboration beer with the Capital Hill bourbon experts at Barrel. I don’t know what it is, but if it’s not barrel-aged, burn this place down. (Update: It’s a New World Pilsner.)

In addition to the collab, Devils Backbone will be taking over the taps, so expect some rarities from the Virginia brewery.


3 Stars Brewing Company opened a new sour room and released a new beer, Two Headed Unicorn. 09/12/2016. Photography by Clarissa Villondo www.clarissavillondo.comsunday-24

Hopfunk Fest

Where: 3 Stars Brewing

When: 1:00pm – 6:00pm

Kids these days can’t get enough of those hops or that Lacto. If a brewery is making great IPAs and/or sours ales, it’s probably not having trouble selling beer. In fact, it probably can’t brew fast enough. And on the consumer side of things, it means that beer can be harder to find.

3 Stars will make our lives a little easier on Sunday, September 25, when it brings some of the biggest and buzziest names in craft brewing under its roof for Hopfunk Fest. As you might guess from the name, the festival will focus exclusively on hop-bombs and funky brews. So, take a hike Märzen. Nothing to see here. Keep moving.

The participant list is a Murderers’ Row of highly regarded breweries. On the national level, Brooklyn’s Other Half, Miami’s J. Wakefield, Maine’s Oxbow, and Oregon’s Logsdon Farmhouse will all be in the house. From closer to home, they’ll be pouring DC Brau, Adroit Theory, Ocelot, Union Craft, and Aslin. (If you’re unfamiliar with Aslin, read our recent Freshly Tapped profile of the Herndon brewery.)

Tickets run for $15, which covers your first beer and a sweet commemorative glass. Seriously, 3 Stars always has the best commemorative glasses. I pretty much only drink beer out of 3 Stars commemorative glasses.


New Kids on the Block

Where: The Black Squirrel

When: 2:00pm – 11:00pm

The Black Squirrel believes that young breweries are our are future. It must teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside Give them a sense of pride to make it easier.

That’s what the Adams Morgan watering hole plans to do on Sunday when its invites ten young, nearby but mostly out-of-market breweries to its house. Honestly, the line-up looks fantastic: The Veil (Richmond), Belly Love (Purcellville), Bad Wolf (Manassas), Center of the Universe (Ashland), Strangways (Richmond), Three Notch’d (Charlottesville), 7 Locks (Rockville), Sehkraft (Arlington), Mustang Sally (Chantilly), and Suspended Brewing (Baltimore).


Photography by Clarissa Villondo www.clarissavillondo.commonday-12Ryes of DC

Where: Jack Rose Dining Saloon

When: 5:00pm – 10:00pm

Jack Rose beer director Nahem Simon lent Atlas Brew Works, Denizens, and Port City some Willet Rye barrels to fill with beer, age, and bring back to him. On Monday, the chickens come home to roost… in a good way.

Here’s what you can expect from those barrels: Willett Barrel-Aged Rowdy Rye from Atlas; Big Willett Style Willett Rye Barrel-Aged Dark Saison from Denizens; and Willett Rye Barrel-Aged Porter from Port City.

As a neat twist, you can order flights of each barrel-beer paired alongside the original version and a sipper of 3-year Willett Rye. I can feel my hangover already, and it is exquisite.


The Policy in Your Pint

Where: Sixth Engine

When: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Hey, don’t just numb those brain cells with beer! Offset it with some knowledge at Sixth Engine.

That’s where esteemed DC Beer editor Bill DeBaun will moderate a fantastic panel on policy, lobbying, and advocacy in craft beer. Participants include the following industry experts: “The Craft Beer Lobbyist” Mick Nardelli, Naptown Pint creator Liz Murphy, Denizens Brewing Company co-owner Julie Veratti, Brewers Association Federal Affairs Manager Katie Marisic, and D.C. Councilmember David Grosso.

There will be food and beer available too, of course.


Boundary Stone 5 Year Anniversary & DC Brau “5 Spot” Release Party

Where: Boundary Stone

When: 5:00pm – Midnight

As you might be able to glean from the event title, Boundary Stone is turning five. Huzzah. And a reflection of the Bloomingdale bar and restaurant’s standing in the community, DC Brau has brewed it a celebratory ale. The “crushable session IPA” is called 5 Spot, and it was brewed with a blend of five hops chosen by Boundary Stone staff.

I have it on good authority from folks at the brewery that 5 Spot turned out delicious, so you should go cop a pint. In addition to the beer’s debut, the party boasts live funk music from Aztec Sun.


7 for $7 Kickoff Happy Hour

Where: Beau Thai Shaw

When: 5:00pm – 10:15pm

The Beau Thai restaurants – both the Shaw and Mt. Pleasant locations – are two of my favorite low-key places to grab a beer in DC. There’s a nice emphasis on local brews, the prices are respectable, and I know I can always get a pint of Hellbender.

On Monday, the Shaw location hosts a fittingly low-key DC Beer Week event. The deal: Seven new local beers on its taps, and patrons get to vote for the favorite. The winner gets to keep the draft line for the fall. Don’t screw this up, folks.


Bites and Flights

Where: Glen’s Garden Market (Dupont)

When: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

You can do more than drink your beer. You can cook with it.

Did I just blow your mind? Don’t worry, Glen’s Garden Market is teaming up with Evolution Craft Brewing to teach you how to do just this.

Specifically, they’ll teach you how to make beer-based caramel. That’s right: Beer-based caramel. Did I just blow your mind again?

For $35, you’ll get to eat, drink, learn and head home with the ingredients to prepare three beer-based recipes for two people: Wandering Monk Cornbread, Bourbon Migration Black Bean Chili, and Apple Pear Tart with Caramel Beer Reduction.


Sour Power!

Where: The Black Squirrel

When: 5:00pm – 2:00am

The Black Squirrel goes full sour on Monday. You’ll enjoy the Presidential debate a lot more with this much lacto in your system.

The wildly impressive (ugh, sorry) line-up includes: Jolly Pumpkin’s Calabaza Boreal and Furgo del Otomo; Avery 23rd Anniversary 100% Brettanomyces Fermented Dark Farmhouse; Bear Republic’s 2015 Barrel-Aged Cuvee de Bubba; Bell’s Brett Berliner Weiss; and Jester King’s Mad Meg Farmhouse Provision Ale, Provenance Lemon and Line, Detritivore, 2015 Hibernal Dichotomous, Black Metal Farmhouse Stout, and Foudreweizen.


SAVOR 06.02.16. Photo Credit: Nicholas Karlin www.nicholaskarlin.comtuesday-22

Commonwealth Classics

Where: Heurich House

When: 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Port City has always been the Virginia brewery with dual DC citizenship. It’s located inside the Beltway. It’s readily available all over the District. It’s an active participant in most every DC event. But for DC Beer Week, the Alexandria operation is reminding us of its roots with a celebration of Virginia: Commonwealth Classics.

The Tuesday marquee event at the Heurich House will celebrate “all of the best food, drink, and culture from the Old Dominion.” Participants include Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, Sugar Shack Donuts, Rocklands BBQ, Citizen Burger Bar, War Shore Oyster Company, and Catoctin Creek Distilling Company.  I want these things in my stomach at all times.

A ticket costs $40, which gets you entrance to the Heurich House gardens, a tour of the historic mansion, live music, and six tickets for food and drink. Word on the street is that the brewery is also bringing sixtels of bourbon barrel-aged golden ale and George Washington Rye barrel-aged double porter. At Port City, beers like this normally draw huge crowds and sell out quickly. This is a real treat.

So, head to Heurich House to raise a Port City pint to Virginia, and while you’re at it, toast the massive expansion that the brewery announced last month.


Battle of the Barrel Aged III

Where: Boundary Stone

When 5:00pm – 8:00pm

DC Beer Week isn’t about solidarity. It’s about cutthroat competition. OK, it’s about solidarity, too, but the competitions are more fun.

One of the biggest annual square-offs is Boundary Stone’s Battle of Barrel-Aged. DC Brau, Atlas Brew Works, 3 Stars, and defending champs Port City are each bringing a keg of something that’s been barrel aged for at least one month. I’d tell you what they are, but I’m not allowed to, because it is a secret. At least two breweries are getting a little “wild,” if you catch my drift, though. I’m winking at you right now.

Admission is $20 ahead of time or $25 at the door, and that gets you a 5-ounce tasting from each brewery. The winner gets a dedicated line at Boundary Stone’s back bar for a year. That winner will be determined by popular vote, plus a judge’s panel, because you can’t completely trust the people with matters of such importance.


Bell’s 31st Anniversary Party

Where: ChurchKey

When: 4:00pm

Few national breweries are as beloved as Kalamazoo, Michigan’s Bell’s Brewery. You can feel that love when beer nerds far and why turn up at ChurchKey on Tuesday for a borderline ridiculous 31-beer tap takeover.

Highlights include Boon Companion (an experimental beer brewed with lemon verbena and Sorachi Ace hops), Sparkleberry (a sparkling ale brewed with raspberries), and Le Batteur (a Biere de Garde). Or so I’m told, because these beers are too rare for me to try anywhere else in DC.


We Can Brew It: Women in Beer

Where: The Black Squirrel

When: 6:00pm – 10:00pm

The Black Squirrel celebrates the women of the DC-area’s craft beer scene on Tuesday night. Here’s your chance to meet these badasses, connect with (other) women in the D.C. beer community, and discover opportunities to learn about and enjoy craft beer.

Confirmed participants include Kristi Matthews Griner (director of operations at Capitol City Brewing); Denizens Brewing Company’s Julie Verratti and Jack Basso; Sara Bondioli (DC HOPS, a locally based women’s homebrewing club); Chrystalle Ball (our local DMV Girls Pint Out chapter head) and Black Squirrel founder Amy Bowman.

Doors open at 6:00 with a one-hour happy hour and promotional prices on featured beer. Food pairings begin at 7:00. You’ll have to pay for the beer but the nibbles are complimentary.


Smoke & Barrel 5 Year Anniversary Celebration

Where: Smoke & Barrel

When: 5:00pm

Smoke & Barrel is turning five, and as we’ve come to expect with beer director Jace Gonnerman, that means a ridiculous draft list to celebrate.

Highlights include Fremont Barrel-Aged Dark Star, Founders KBS, Manor Hill Hidden Hopyard 5, Firestone Walker Krieky Bones, Logsdon Szech N’ Brett, and Allagash Avance.

And to pair with those beers is the spectacle of 3rd Annual Lord of the Wings wing-eating contest. There’s a $500 cash prize to the person who can eat a plate of wings in the fastest time, which sounds both cool and disgusting.


Booze Brews

Where: DBGB Kitchen and Bar

When: 7:00pm – 9:00pm

We cooked with beer on Monday at Glen’s Garden Market; now it’s time to make cocktails with it.

On Tuesday, DBGB Kitchen and Bar hosts Booze Brews, an event that pairs breweries (DC Brau, Port City, Handsome Beer, Flying Dog, and Ommegang) with bartenders (Donato Alvarez of Sixth Engine, Sam Ward of Osteria Bibiana, Cole Burger of Blue Duck Tavern, Mary Kelly of Graffiato, and Kevin Egan of DBGB).

Guests will be invited to vote for the best beer cocktail and enjoy bites by Chef Ed Scarpone. There will also be raffle prizes. Gotta love raffle prizes.

Have a friend who’s not so sure about this whole craft beer thing but loves a good Old Fashioned or martini? This might be the event for them.


DC Beer Week Brewer’s Dinner

Where: Gordon Biersch (Penn Quarter)

When: 6:30pm  –  8:30pm

The Penn Quarter Gordon Biersch offers up a five-course beer dinner that pairs the food of Chef Nima Khazaeli and with the beer of Gordon Biersch. No curveballs here. Just pretzel sticks and Chicken Schnitezel Sliders and Pumpkin Cheesecake.


Beer 101 at Glover Park

Where: Mad Fox Brewing Company Taproom

When: 6:30pm – 9:00pm

With twenty years of brewing experience under his belt, Bill Madden knows a thing or two about beer. Join the Mad Fox founder at his brewery’s Glover Park taproom on Tuesday night for the opportunity to drink some of his brews while he kicks knowledge in an intimate discussion.

The $15 ticket includes a beer sampler handpicked by Mr. Madden, his knowledge kicking, and a Q&A. There are only 20 slots available for each class.


Beer-Braised Brats and Brews

Where: Glen’s Garden Market (Dupont)

When: 5:00pm – 10:00pm

Believe it or not, Beer-Braised Brats and Brews involves beer-braised brats and brews. I do not anticipate the FTC opening a false advertising case against Glen’s Garden Market any time soon.

For $8, you’ll get a craft draft and a sausage. That’s a steal, folks.


Vintage Tuesday Cheese Pairing at Right Proper

Where: Right Proper Brewpub & Kitchen

When: 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Right Proper is all about the cheese and beer pairings.

On Tuesday night, the Shaw brewpub pulls out all the stops with a  four-course pairing of aged cheeses and aged beers. This culinary experience will be guided by Right Proper’s “Queso Queen Supreme” Angelica Ames and lead brewer Bobby Bump, who is “killing it” these days, as the kids say.

Three seatings are available at 5:00, 6:30 and 8:00.



2nd Annual DC Beer Royale

Where: Roofers Union

When: 5:30pm – 11:59pm

Roofers Union is raising money for charity, and all I have to do is show up, pay a few bucks, and drink beer quickly. This is like the scene in “Taken” where Liam Neeson informs the bad guys he has a particular set of skills.

The friendly competition pits all six DC production breweries against each other. Each brewery brings a keg and represents a charitable cause. Attendees donate at the door. Whoever’s keg kicks first gets that pot of door donations.

This night was a blast year, and you can expect a repeat performance. Breweries like to win things, so they send some of their best stuff. This year’s lineup (with their charitable causes): 3 Stars’ Raspberry Dissonance (Brain Food); Atlas’ Dance of Days (Living Classrooms); Bluejacket’s Picture Book (National Cancer Society); DC Brau’s Maple Barrel On The Wings Of Armageddon (DC Brewers Guild); Hellbender’s Ignite IPA (Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute); and Right Proper’s White Bicycles (Washington Humane Society)


Ocelot Invades Brookland Pint

Where: Brookland Pint

When 4:00pm – 11:59pm

As a rule of thumb, when you see an Ocelot IPA on a menu, you order it.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never heard of it. (Chances are, you haven’t, because Ocelot generally doesn’t reproduce its recipe.) There’s just no one in the DC-area who makes IPAs like head brewer Mike McCarthy. They’re overflowing with juicy taste and arroma, while still being light in body and having just the right kick of bitterness. We explored the craft of the Dulles brewery in a Freshly Tapped profile this summer. It’s worth a read.

On Thursday, Ocelot takes over some of the taps at Brookland Pint. Here’s what you can expect: Planets Align IPA, Penny Arcade IPA, See the Light DIPA, Gravity Always Wins Wee Heavy, and Sunnyside Dweller Pils. Make sure to grab a pint of that last one. McCarthy has told me before that the hoppy Bohemian Pilsner is secretly one of the best beers that Ocelot makes.


Rocky Mountain Hops: Colorado Beer Night

Where: The Black Squirrel

When: 5:00pm – 2:00am

The Black Squirrel continues its Savor-esque approach to DC Beer Week with a Colorado showcase. (That’s not shade. Diversity is good!)

On Tuesday, you’ll be able to get Rocky Mountain high off beers from Oskar Blues, Left Hand, Avery, Epic, and Breckenridge. Check the list at the link above. Highlights include Avery’s Ale to the Chief, Breckenridge’s new Pulp Fusion Blood Orange IPA; and Left Hand’s 2015 Vintage Oak-Aged Wake Up the Dead and Imperial Rye on the Prize.


The 3 Fonteinen Bottle Share

Where: The Sovereign

When: 5:00pm

Every once and a while, the Sovereign’s beer director Greg Engert likes to dip into the extra-special part of the cellar. Given the Sovereign’s “regular” selection of Belgian and Belgian-inspired beers, that says a lot.

On this particular Wednesday, Engert is showcasing beer from 129-year-old Belgian brewery 3 Fonteinen. I am told that the stars of the show are “extremely rare” bottles of Armand & Gaston and Hommage 2015. The Cuvée Armand & Gaston is a blend of 1, 2 and 3 year-old Lambics brewed exclusively by 3 Fonteinen. Hommage, meanwhile, is a Lambic blended with 30% Pajottenland raspberries and 5% sour cherries.


Devil’s Backbone and Fordham & Dominion present: A pop-up Brewery Experience

Where: Mess Hall

When: 6:00pm – 9:00pm

On Wednesday, Fordham & Dominion and Devils Backbone turn Mess Hall into a brewery. Or something like that. The event promises “a multi-sensory, hands-on ‘tour’ of the breweries accompanied by representatives who work on the brewing process explaining how it all works.”  This sounds neat to me, but it also might be some sort of trap. Only one way to find out.

Tickets cost $15 and include a commemorative pint glass, four beer tickets, and “light fare.”


Devils Backbone Tap Takeover at The Brig

Where: The Brig

Devils Backbone is going all-in on DC Beer Week, huh?

Did you know the Virginia brewery was recently acquired by Anheuser-Busch InBev? Yeah, it’s kind of flying under the radar. Some people think these sort of deals are good. Some people do not. What’s yr take on Cassavetes?

Anyway, here’s a tap takeover at The Brig, a beer garden on the Hill. The theme is Oktoberfest. Slated to appear: Schwartz Bier, O’Fest, Eight Point, Pumpkin Hunter, and Ale of Two Cities. Smells like autumn to me.


SAVOR 06.02.16. Photo Credit: Nicholas Karlin www.nicholaskarlin.comthursday-22

DC Total Tap Takeover at ChurchKey

Where: ChurchKey

When: 4:00pm

55 tap and casks lines. 100% DC beer.

For the second year running, ChurchKey will do what was once unthinkable and dedicate everything it has to DC Beer.

All seven DC Brewers Guild members will be supplying multiple beers: 3 Stars, Atlas Brew Works, Bluejacket, DC Brau, District Chophouse, Hellbender and Right Proper.

I’d recommend some beers, but we don’t have all day here. Check the list at the link above.


DC Brau Presents: 2nd Annual Hopped Up Comedy Night at DC Improv

Where: DC Improv

When: 7:30pm – 10:30pm

You have to give DC Brau credit for thinking outside the box with its DC Beer Week Offerings. In addition to Friday’s “Magical Mystery Tour” (see below), the brewery is serving up some beer comedy on Thursday night, when it takes over DC Improv for the second Hopped Up Comedy night.

The headlining act is Sean Patton, a veteran of “Maron”, “Inside Amy Schumer”, “Comedy Central Presents”, and “This is Not Happening”. The amateur entertainment, meanwhile, is provided by regular folks who submitted their best drinking stories to the DC Improv. (The five “best” were chosen.)

Good idea. Good execution. Go DC Brau.


The Debut of the Virginia Beer Company

Where: Meridian Pint

When: 5:00pm – 11:59pm

Meridian Pint has a knack for snagging the DC debuts of nearby states’ buzziest breweries. It’s a subject we explored in our Freshly Tapped profile of the Columbia Heights bar’s collaboration with Aslin, The Adventures of Audrey. You should read that. I’ll wait.

The beer director notches another win on Thursday with the debut of Williamsburg’s The Virginia Beer Company. Stop by to try over a dozen of its beers, including Green Gables (a New England-style IPA dry-hopped with a boatload of Simcoe, Centennial, and HBC 342), Apricot Orchard (a 100% Brettanomyces-fermented golden ale aged on 200 pounds of apricots); and Keepsake (a 10% Imperial Porter brewed with pecan smoked malt from Corsair Distillery and aged in Heaven Hill bourbon barrels).


Handsome Bee Co. Goes Belgian

Where: Brasserie Beck

When: 5pm – 8pm

Given that most of Handsome Beer Co.’s offerings are unconventional twists on Belgian classics, or Belgian twists on other styles, I don’t know how the DC-based gypsy brewery can “go Belgian,” but you know what? I’m just going to shut up and enjoy the fact that they’re having a tap takeover in downtown DC. Handsome Beer is making some very thoughtful, creative beers, and I’m always happy to find one of them on tap.

Taste for yourself on Thursday, when the brewery will be taking over at Brasserie Beck. Beers will be sold individually, but special happy hour pricing is rumored to apply.


RAR Release at Boundary Stone

Where: Boundary Stone

When: 5:00pm – 11:59pm

Let’s start with some facts. There is a brewery outside of Columbus, Ohio called Hoof Hearted. Say it fast. Now, say it like a question. Can you hear me giggling?

An opinion presented as fact: RAR makes some of the best IPAs in the region. Actually, I love everything I’ve had from the Cambridge brewery, from the hoppy blonde Marylan to the Belgian strong dark ale 3870. But the IPAs are next-level.

Another fact: RAR and Hoof Hearted collaborated on a double IPA called Hoof RARted.

You can’t make this stuff.

Along with Hoof RARted, RAR’s collaboration with Aslin, Walk of Shame (a blonde ale brewed with coffee and chocolate), will be on tap at Boundary Stone on Thursday night.

As if the mere presence of these beers wasn’t enough to compel your attendance, RAR will also be premiering a “new unique aromatic pint glass” specifically for DC Beer Week, which is yours to keep with the purchase of both beers.

I will be there. Come say hi.


The Allagash Sour & Barrel-Aged Night

Where: Rustico (Ballston)

When: 5:00pm – 11:59pm

Never heard of these guys. They’re not going to make it with a name like Allagash. They should consider a fart joke.

OK, never mind, I just Googled “Allagash” and apparently the Maine brewery is doing all right. And, on Thursday, Ballston’s Rustico pours 12 of their sour and barrel-aged beers.

Unsolicited advice: Order a glass of the Dougernaut. The 7.5% Belgian Stout is blended with cold-brew coffee, and it’s the best coffee stout I’ve ever had.


Atlas Brew Works Tap Takeover & Snacklins Tasting

Where: Glen’s Garden Market (Dupont)

When: 5:00pm – 9:45pm

Glen’s Garden Market highlights DC’s Atlas Brew Works on Friday. We highlighted them in a recent Freshly Tapped profile of the hoppy wheat ale Dance of Days. Do your homework, then go drink some beer. Further fueling your beer consumption will be Snacklins, a local producer of vegan pork rinds.


Foedor Tour at Right Proper Brookland

Where: Right Proper Production House & Tasting Room ·

Right Proper is city’s reigning champ of wild and sour beers. A lot of them come out of their big old wooden foeders. Don’t know what a foeder is? Head to the brewery’s Brookland Production House and head brewer Nathan Zeender will explain foeders in terms for more clear and eloquent than I ever could. Reserve your spot in advance.


Photography by Clarissa Villondo www.clarissavillondo.comfriday-22

DC Brau Magical Mystery Tour

Where: It’s a mystery, dude.

When: 6:00pm – 11:00pm

For its DC Beer Week marquee event, DC Brau is up to… something. The brewery is calling it an “Evening of Magical Mystery,” and they’re keeping some of the details purposefully scant.

Here’s the publicly available details: On Friday night, attendees will be picked up at City Center and whisked away to a “truly one-of-a-kind outdoor location,” where a five-course beer dinner awaits. Preparing the food? *Airhorn* *Siren emoji* Red Hen chef and owner Mike Friedman.

A ticket costs $100, but includes tax, gratuity, and “round-trip transportation between City Center and the event site.” That’s right: DC Brau will not “Castaway” you at the mystery location. Guaranteed.

If you’re going to splurge on one DC Beer Week event, this might be the winner: It’s intimate, it sounds delicious, and it will induce nothing but jealousy in your Instagram feed.


Cask Night at District ChopHouse & Brewery

Where: District ChopHouse & Brewery

When: 5:00pm – 11:00pm

District ChopHouse’s Cask Night is a popular event with local brewers. It makes sense: Most brewers love casks. They’re little, self-contained experiments.

As in past years, the sixth iteration is an all-you-can drink affair with over 20 local casks. Unmitigated access to these casks will only cost you a cool $50. And it comes with a complimentary glass. DC Beer Week is keeping the glass industry alive.

Seriously, this is a great O.G. event. Don’t let it pass by.


Manor Hill & RAR Night

Where: Meridian Pint

When: 5:00pm

I can never get enough Manor Hill. I can never get enough RAR. Unfortunately for me, I am not the only one who loves these two Maryland  breweries, so it can be hard to track down their limited releases, particularly of the IPA variety. On Friday night, Meridian Pint makes our lives a lot easier by tapping a whole lot of beer from each.

The showstoppers of the list are eight (!) barrel-aged beer from Manor Hill.  Additionally, Meridian Pint will have the Ellicott City brewery’s Citra Splendor and the new Hidden Hopyard 5, which rumor has it is a (gasp) New England-style IPA.


The Ballast Point 20th Anniversary Party

Where: Churchkey

When: 4:00pm

From Avery to Bell’s to Union, everyone wants to celebrate their birthday at ChurchKey. It’s like the Chuck E. Cheese of craft beer.

Now, it’s Ballast Point’s turn. For the occasion, the San Diego brewery is sending 25 beers. Highlights include five small-batch beers from their Roots to Boots program, which features recipes created by the brewery’s own employees. Additionally, there will be four specialty casks available exclusively at this event.


The Avery Barrel-Aged Bottle Night

Where: Rustico (Alexandria)

When: 5:00pm – 11:59pm

For the fifth event of Rustico’s ten-year anniversary jubilee, the Alexandria restaurant is putting every single Avery bottle in its collection – 24 in total – on sale for only $15 each.

Yes, that is a deal. Yes, they’re worth it. Check the list in the link above.


Most Local Beer Night at Glen’s Garden Market

Where: Glen’s Garden Market – Dupont

When: 5:00pm – 9:45pm

Glen’s Garden Market is secretly the best place in DC to get a pint of great craft beer for not a whole lot of money. All day, every day, a glass will run you $4. Maybe it’s like Best Buy with cheap CDs in ‘90s, where they lured you in with a cheap Jay-Z album and then sold you a TV? Except, you know, it’s an inexpensive Port City beer and they’re trying to sell you organic chickpeas.

Anyway, on this particular evening, they’ll have a full line-up of one-offs and rarities from local breweries for $4 each  Additionally, they’ve  invited “a bunch of our favorite local vendors to treat you to their handiwork – so expect free snacks to enhance your impossibly cheap local craft beer.”

I see a drunk purchase in your future.


Lock, Stock, and all of the Taps!

Where: Smoke & Barrel

When: 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Devils Backbone. Smoke & Barrel. 24 taps. It’s going down.

The big ticket item is the DC release of Tectonic Barleywine, an 11.6% monster (and the latest entry in the brewery’s Peak Series).



DC Brewers’ Guild Cask & Community Event

Where: Atlas Brew Works

When: 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Can’t make it to District ChopHouse’s Cask Night? Have an unquenchable thirst for naturally carbonated beer? Atlas Brew Works has you covered.

On Sunday, the Ivy City brewery hosts a cask party in its slick new taproom. It event will feature drafts and special cask offerings from all of the DC breweries, and for $50, you get unlimited samples and… wait for it… a commemorative glass.


Make It Funky

Where: Denizens Brewing

When: 12:00pm – 4:00pm

“Eventually bars will have to advertise when they have beers that aren’t sour and funky,” Handsome Beer co-founder and head brewer Matt Humbard joked on Twitter the other day.

Point being: Sour and wild ales are becoming quite popular in the United States.

Whether you’re a convert to the tart arts or looking to let your palate walk on the wild side (ugh, sorry), Denizens has you covered with its second annual Make It Funky festival. Held both inside the Silver Spring brewery’s tasting room and its outside beer garden, the event showcases the DMV’s best producers of a diverse range of funky styles, as well as national heavies like Avery and Crooked Stave. And for $55, you get to try them all, plus take home a souvenir glass that you will cherish forever and hand down to future generations of offspring until the robot uprising.

There are too many IPA festivals and not enough of these. Support your local sour and wild ale festival.


17th Annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest

Where: The Village at Shirlington

Want to talk about an institution? On Saturday, Shirlington’s Capitol City Brewing will host its seventeenth annual Oktoberfest. Seventeen years! Doogie Howser was a doctor in lesser time!

And Cap City isn’t cross-pollinating its Oktoberfest with an IPA festival, either. No, we’re talking Bavarian brews, bratwurst, brezlen, and Alpine music. You’re also encouraged to dress up, if that’s your thing.

More than 65 local breweries will set up taps, so there will be a lot of options. A $30 ticket covers an official Oktoberfest wristband, a Cap City tasting glass, and 10 drink tickets.


Cantillon Zwanze Day 2016

Where: The Sovereign

When: 3:00pm

The Sovereign will host Cantillon’s Zwanze Day for the first time this year.

What is Zwanze Day? Good question.

Each year, Cantillon picks fewer than 60 location around the world to pour its annual Zwanze blend. This year’s Zwanze offering is, well, I’m just to quote the press release: “a throwback to the Framboise Cantillon was producing until about 30 years ago. As the name implies, it was a lambic aged on raspberries, but back in the eighties they used fresh fruit that lost its color quickly and often made filtration difficult, so cherries were also used to help maintain some rosiness and to act as a secondary filter bed beneath the raspberries. Vanilla was also added to round out the flavor of the offering. With modern flash-freezing techniques helping to maintain color and consistency, Cantillon began producing Rosé de Gambrinus with 100% raspberries in the middle of the 1980s as well. This will be the first raspberry/cherry blend they’ve done since 1986, and definitely the only Cantillon lambic to incorporate vanilla since then.”

Got all of that?

Doors open at 11:00 a.m. The Zwanze keg gets tapped at 3:00.


4th Annual Bikes & Brews: Brewery Tour & Growler Ride

Where: City Bikes

When: 12:00pm – 5:00pm

For the fourth year, um, cycling, Glen’s Garden Market and City Bikes have organized a bike-to-the-breweries tour. Meet at City Bikes in Adams Morgan for a guided trip up to Hellbender and then to Atlas Brew Works, before finishing at the Glen’s in Dupont. (A 30% discount on local growler awaits you there.) This is a BYO Bike deal, though, so you better have some wheels.


Locals & Light Drafts

Where: City Tap House

When: 11:00am – 1:00am

City Tap House comes into DC Beer Week like a lion, and goes out like a lamb. After a barrel-aged tap takeover the Saturday before, the Penn Quarter restaurant heads in the opposite direction with an afternoon and evening of “light, refreshing” locals drafts. Good call. Participating breweries include Right Proper, DC Brau, Fair Winds, Port City, Hellbender, Atlas Brew Works, RAR, Union Craft, and Manor Hill.


DC Beer Week Farewell with Wells &Co + Jailbreak Brewing

Where: Songbyrd

When: 7:00pm – 2:00am

Celebrate the end of DC Beer Week (and the extinguishing of tensions with your liver) at Songbyrd. The night will feature a performance from Wells & Co., a band fronted by DC Beer Week co-founder Jeff Wells. Expect to hear their hits “What’s the Dry Hop On This? (Askin’ for a Friend)”, “Her Love Was a Drain Pour”, and “Bury My Heart at Ballast Point”. OK, I made those song titles up.

Jailbreak Brewing will be in the house,too, showcasing their 19th Tee Arnold Palmer Amber Ale (yes, an Arnold Palmer Amber Ale), and slinging the rest of their canned offerings. Eventually, DJ Zach Eser will take over the music responsibilities, but you’ll be so many Arnold Palmer Amber Ales deep that you won’t even notice.