“It was all a dream / I used to have to drive to Philly for everything” – The Notorious B.I.G, “Juicy IPAs” (1994)
2018 marks the tenth anniversary of DC Beer Week. As we explored in last year’s Freshly Tapped feature on Right Proper’s Solidarity Brett IPA, a lot has changed since 2009. To start with the obvious, there are many more breweries in the area. There are also more beer bars, with bigger and better selections than ever before. And there’s better distribution. I’d argue that the draft list on a random night at ChurchKey or Meridian Pint is probably more impressive than a marquee event line-up would have been six or seven years ago.
Logically, DC Beer Week has changed with the times. Under the control of the DC Brewer’s Guild for the second year, the focus is again more on local beer in 2018. The week’s biggest events spotlight brews produced within (or within 30 miles of) the city. And when beer directors look outside of the area, it’s usually to showcase a particular brewery: The Veil, RAR, Triple Crossing, Great Raft, Allagash, Maine Beer Company. So, while there are more events than ever before, they’re more discreetly curated.
Let’s take a step back. If you’re unfamiliar with DC Beer Week, here’s the deal: For eight crazy days and nights, all of our local breweries (and some from further away) descend upon the area’s bars, restaurants, and less conventional spaces for dozens of events. These events include keg kills, beer dinners, friendly competitions, art discussions, regionally themed or style-centric tastings, tap takeovers, and much more.
I humbly present you with this guide to everything DC Beer Week. Read it. Learn it. Memorize it.
Where: City Winery
When: 1:00pm – 5:00pm
“Lager Fest.” It’s the combination of words that every local brewer has been waiting to hear… for years? Since the inaugural DC Beer Week? Since they came out of the womb?
Yes, after barely registering on your average whale chaser’s radar for the majority of this decade, it is officially lager’s time in the sun. And I do mean “the sun.” It’s August. It’s hot. The sun physically pains me. So, with all due respect to IPAs, it’s time for a beer that’s light, crisp, and refreshing. Or, like, 40 of them.
For Lager Fest – the official kickoff of DC Beer Week – the DC Brewers’ Guild has pulled together an impressive collection of lagers from over 30(!) DMV breweries, including the farm operation Vanish, new kid on the block Eavesdrop, and literally every local-ish brewery you can think of. Welcome to the land of pilsners, Helles lagers, Oktoberfests, and anything else that ferments at cool temperatures with, um, lager yeast.
For $40, you get unlimited fills of these beers, plus “spectacular views of Northeast Washington” from City Winery’s “new ivy covered 3rd Floor Wine Garden and 4th Floor Rooftop Patio.” There will also be wine for purchase, but if you’d like to hear more about that, I kindly invite you to exit Draft Picks immediately.
Lager Fest serves as the draft debut of Solidarity Pilsner (pictured in can form above). This 5.0% ABV beauty was brewed at Atlas Brew Works with fruity, new school German hops. Want to know more? Well, rejoice, we have a Freshly Tapped profile on the beer dropping on Monday.
On August 19, Logan Circle beer bar and tater tot den ChurchKey will welcome Great Raft Brewing, the highly regarded Shreveport brewery co-founded by DCBeer.com alumnus (and frequent Bluejacket collaborator) Andrew Nations.
Nations will be bringing seven beers with him, including the latest batch of rotating-hop Brett IPA Oceans Between Us (this one is El Dorado), a bourbon barrel-aged Baltic porter, and two pilsners (one American, one German). You might even call these offerings [throws on sunglasses] a seven Nations army. (Sorry.) (Not sorry.)
Orders of The Company I Keep (the new American pilsner ) will be served with “a complimentary side of authentic Cajun cracklins, flown-in directly from Louisiana, while supplies last.”
As with most ChurchKey events, this is all you-can drink for all you can pay affair.
- Glen’s Garden Market hosts DC Brau and Port City for a patio party. On the menu: beer (duh) and burgers. The beef for said burgers will come from Sierra Linda Farm, who feeds its cows spent grain from… Port City and DC Brau. It’s the circle of liiiiiiiiiife.
Where: Right Proper (Shaw)
When: 6:30pm – 9:00pm
It’s time for a history lesson. A history lesson you can drink. The best kind of history lesson.
Yes, the devilish beer nerds at Lost Lagers are back with another freshly resurrected recipe. This time, they’ve partnered with Right Proper and The Bruery Store to produce a pale lager that’s laid dormant in the annals of forgotten brew logs for 78 years.
The original beer, Amsterdam Lager, was brewed in upstate New York by the Amsterdam Brewing Company between 1933 and 1940. According to Lost Lagers president Mike Stein, one of the most notable element of the recipe was that it specifically called for hops from New York, Oregon, and Germany.
To brew their version of the beer – reborn as “Amsterdam, 1940” – this ragtag collection of superheroes sourced heritage New York hops along with the Hallertau Mittelfrüh varietal from Bavaria. And the Oregon hops. I don’t know anything about the Oregon hops. But you know who does? Mike Stein. And you know what he’ll be doing on August 20? Talking about this beer.
At Right Proper’s Shaw brewpub, he’ll be speaking on a panel with Katharine Mead (Food and Agriculture Program Manager at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History), author and historian Garrett Peck, and Lost Lagers cohort Peter Jones.
The evening will also highlight historic recipes from the Museum’s Archives Center, and a “delicious historic dish selected… by food historians will be served alongside the delectable pre-war lager.” For $22, you get all of these consumable items, plus a side of knowledge.
When: 5:00pm – 10:00pm
You want to see some crab bodies?
For the seventh year running, DC Brau is teaming with the crab experts at Rosslyn’s Quarterdeck for an evening of crustacean indulgence. Tickets costs $50, which gets you bottomless crab, plus access to $1 DC Brau drafts and $5 pitchers.
Where: The Sovereign
When: 5:00pm – 11:00pm
The Veil are this region’s hot shit brewery. Sure, we also have Ocelot, and we have Aslin, and we have RAR and Crooked Run and Cushwa and Burley Oak… but no one attracts buzz (and backs it up over a variety styles) like the Richmond brewery. Extravagantly hopped and pillowy soft IPAs, ridiculously fruited (and, um, explosive) kettle sours, mixed-fermentation saisons: These guys crush most everything. (Except for lagers.) (Which are still pretty good.) (But not on the level of, say, Sunnyside Dweller or For the Company.) (But, hey: still solid.)
Like other hot shit breweries across the country, The Veil doesn’t let much beer leave the brewery for distribution. It doesn’t have to: If Matt Tarpey brews it, they will come. But there is one person in DC that gets The Veil: Greg Engert. Thankfully, Engert is the Beer Director for Neighborhood Restaurant Group, and he shares it with us normies. On any given night, you’ll find a The Veil beer or two on tap at ChurchKey or the Partisan or Red Apron or any other jewel in the gaudy NRG crown. And that’s dope.
But Engert is flexing a little harder for DC Beer Week. On Monday, he’s lined up 10 drafts at Georgetown beer bar / classy Belgian restaurant The Sovereign. At top of the line-up are some barrel-aged farmhouse ales, including the only keg of Brenner Pass: Grand Cru (a blend of French-inspired saisons aged in freshly dumped French oak barrels) to leave the brewery, and Raspberry All That You Are (an oak barrel-aged mixed-fermentation saison with raspberry). The Sovereign will also be serving Concentric (a red wine barrel-aged wild ale brewed with Oxbow) and, of course, a handful of IPAs.
Where: The Heurich House
When: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Some quasi-personal news…
On August 21 at the Heurich House, I will be moderating a panel on beer art, labels, posters, logos, and design with a ridiculously loaded collection of individuals: David Kammerdeiner (exclusive artist for Ocelot and former creative director of Dogfish Head), Mike Van Hall (Stillwater Artisanal creative director and exclusive label designer for Aslin Beer Co.), Kendra Kuliga (exclusive designer for 3 Stars), and Andy Sides (design for DC Beer Week and Right Proper). Seriously, what a line-up! #blessed
We’ll be digging deep into their inspiration, the challenges and limitations they face, and what’s it like working with the Francis Ford Coppola on the set of “Apocalypse Now” (i.e., brewery owners). Since beer talks go better with beer, you’ll be able to enjoy brews from Ocelot, Aslin, and 3 Stars – along with the Solidarity Pilsner – during the event.
I repeat: Ocelot, Aslin, 3 Stars, and Atlas Brew Works are sending cans our way.
Snacks will be provided with your ticket.
If you can’t make the event: 1. I will take it very personally. 2. These artists’ works will be exhibited in the Heurich House Museum’s Carriage House Gallery from August 3 to September 29.
Where: Boundary Stone
When: 5:30pm – 9:00pm
DC Beer Week isn’t about solidarity. It’s about cutthroat competition.
OK, it’s about solidarity, too, but the competitions are more fun.
The biggest annual showdown – and one of the scene’s biggest “industry nights” – is Boundary Stone’s Battle of Barrel-Aged. The event is back for the fifth year, and as usual DC Brau, Atlas Brew Works, Port City, Right Proper, and 3 Stars are each bringing a keg of something that’s been barrelled for at least one month.
Here’s the fun twist: Everyone has to use the same type of barrel, and it changes each year. You win, you get to choose the next year’s barrel. Right Proper won 2017, and it chose… drum roll, please… white wine barrels! Fuck yes! Call me basic but I want everything to spend at least one month in white wine barrels. I drink it up!
Admission is $27.50, which gets you a four-ounce tasting from each brewery, plus a pint of the 2018 Solidarity brew. The winner gets a dedicated line at Boundary Stone’s back bar for a year. This winner will be determined by popular vote, plus a judge’s panel, because you can’t completely trust the commoners with matters of such importance.
When: 4:00pm – 11:00pm
55 tap and casks lines. 100% DC beer.
For the fourth 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.
- Tuesday’s other #DCBrews showcase is at City Tap House in Dupont. The new-ish bar will be pouring Solidarity Pilsner, along with offerings from 3 Stars, DC Brau, Right Proper, Port City, Hellbender, Denizens, and Atlas. They’ll also have their collaboration with Atlas Brew Works, a dry-hopped pale ale called A Priest and a Rabbi Walked Into a Bar.
- UNION Craft’s sixth anniversary tour stops at Roofers Union with some presumably delicious beers (and a roundtable discussion on making cask beer).
- Tonic at Quigley’s is throwing a Nelson County Hootenanny with Devils Backbone Company and Bold Rock Hard Cider. They’ll have the former’s Glitter Bomb sour on tap, because you can’t have a hootenanny without glitter beer. Grandpa wouldn’t allow it.
Where: Meridian Pint
When: 5:00pm – 11:45pm
Arguably no one in the DC-area beer scene is more attuned with what’s up-and-coming than Meridian Pint beer director Jace Gonnerman. I’ve written about this at length twice before. He always wants to be pouring that new-new, and he wants to pouring it first.
Three years ago, Gonnerman rolled out a new Virginia brewery showcase for SAVOR, spotlighting breweries like Ocelot and Aslin before they blew up. Last year for DC Beer Week, he introduced a counterpart for Maryland breweries. On Wednesday, it returns with a new slate of fresh faces (and one encore).
First, the newbies: Crooked Crab (Odenton), True Respite (Rockville), Black Flag (Columbia), and Mully’s (Prince Frederick). With the exception of Black Flag (who just celebrated its second-year anniversary), there’s a good chance these names are new to you. Go see what the buzz is about! Since it’s 2018, you should expect a heavy dose of hazy IPAs.
Speaking of which… Cushwa Brewing is returning this year. The Williamsport brewery is basically in Pennsylvania, and it brews on a very small system, and it doesn’t distribute beer in DC. So… you may not be familiar. But there is hype, and the hype is real. Phenomenal IPAs, a fantastic pilsner, great stouts, a zippy Berliner (served with house-made syrup!), and a spot-on Scotch ale. I’ve got a story coming on these guys on the other side of DC Beer Week. Stay tuned. But go enjoy a rare DC appearance of their stuff before then.
Also, while we’re talking Meridian Pint, the restaurant group (which includes Brookland Pin, Smoke & Barrel, and Rosario’s Tacos and Tequilia) has a very cool DC Beer Week loyalty special running. Every dollar you send at one of these restaurants during DC Beer Week goes towards procuring a bottle from their cellar. Check out the details here.
Where: The Partisan
When: 5:00pm – 11:00pm
Last year, the Mad Fox Taproom (R.I.P.) hosted an Aslin tap takeover for DC Beer Week. The beer was kicked by the end of happy hour. I’ve heard it was the bar’s single biggest night of sales.
But a lot has changed for the many DC fans of the Herndon operation in the past year Namely, it has become much easier to find Aslin beer in the city. For one, there’s the Nats Park beer garden, Additionally, Neighborhood Restaurant Group and the Meridian Pint family are safe bets to have the brewery’s hot fiyah when there’s no baseball in town.
Nevertheless, when NRG rolls out the red carpet for an Aslin event, it’s reason to celebrate. On Wednesday, The Partisan welcomes the Herndon (and soon-to-be-Alexandria) brewery. (Side note: Since the installation of a new bar – with full draft list access – on the Red Apron side of the restaurant, The Partisan has become my favorite NRG spot.)
Of the 10 beers on tap, NRG seems most pumped about Cocoa Mapalm (an imperial stout finished with cocoa nibs, maple syrup and vanilla) and the Graft collab 50/50 Bar (a popsicle-inspired IPA brewed with passion fruit, pink guava, and vanilla). As a proud co-sponsor of the BAD VIBES Act, I can not get behind 50/50 Bar, but you do you. Personally, I’d be gunning for Humanities Child (a Brut IPA conditioned on raspberries) or either of the fruited goses (a style Aslin does very well).
Where: Pizzeria Paradiso (Georgetown)
When: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Oh hey, another cool Pizzeria Paradiso event. On Wednesday night, the Game Room in Georgetown hosts Allagash for some high-stakes pinball action.
The big attraction: a rare keg of Ghost Lemons, a recent collaboration with Chicago’s Off Color Brewing. This 5.1% witbier was fermented with Brett, and finished with pineapple orange and field lemon. I’ve tried it. It’s real, real good. Don’t ask me to explain what pineapple orange and field lemon are.
Need more Allagash Brett beer in your life? Paradiso has you covered. Most notably, it will have Allagash’s newest, draft-only release Pilsner with Brettanomyces on tap. The 5.6% brew is a gose fruited with blackberries. Wait. No. Sorry. It’s a pilsner with Brettanomyces. My bad. More specifically, the beer was hopped with Strisselspalt and Czech Saaz, and dual fermented with a lager yeast strain and Brett. I’m very ready to let this beer into my life.
On top of that, Paradiso will have Farm to Face (a wild ale aged on peaches), Allagash White, and Little Brett. As fate would have it, I recently dropped a #longread on Little Brett. You know what you should do? 1. Read Freshly Tapped: Allagash’s Little Brett. 2. Read Long Live Paradiso Game Room. 3. Impress everyone at the bar with your knowledge.
- Right Proper and Liquid Integrity have challenged area homebrewers to produce their own versions of this year’s Solidarity Pilsner. Head to the brewery’s Brookland production house to taste who was closest to the mark. Hell, maybe someone made a better beer. It’s possible, OK? I’M JUST SAYING KEEP AN OPEN MIND. (Update: Your boy is going to be one of three judges determining who wins a brew day with 3 Stars. Come say hi!)
- Granville Moore’s is hosting a Saison-a-Thon with some extra special farmhouse ales. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the American Brain Tumor Association. They’ll also have a few kegs of barrel-aged Doctor Dubbel, an abbey-style ale brewed exclusively for the H Street restaurant by DC Brau.
- Speaking of DC Brau, it’s getting those Jameson dollars! Further proof: The DC brewery and the French-owned Irish distillery will team up for a game night triathlon at NoMa duckpin lounge the Eleanor.
- Dacha Beer Garden will be spotlighting three “fall-to-winter style brews” (or maybe it’s three double IPAs?) and allowing patrons to vote for their favorite. The winning brew stays on tap for the year’s cooler months. Come determine what lucky beer will be sold for $10 a pop (and make one local beer rep very happy).
- Devils Backbone is taking over the taps at Blackfin and are bringing Revenge of the Mariner (an oak-aged barleywine) with them.
Where: Roofers Union
When: 5:30 pm – 10:30pm
Ah, keg kills. I get older, they stay the same in concept and execution.
My favorite adult keg kill? That would be Roofers Union’s annual DC Beer Royale.
The friendly competition pits all six DC production breweries (roll call: 3 Stars, DC Brau, Hellbender, Right Proper, Bluejacket, and Atlas Brew Works) against each other. And since breweries like to win things, they bring the good stuff. (Seriously.)
In the past, this charitable event was a “winner take all” set-up with door donations going to the champion’s charity of choice, but this year a portion of proceeds from the drafts will be spread amongst a few charities chosen by the breweries.
Blah, blah, blah. KEG KILL.
Where: Meridian Pint
When: 11:30am – 11:00pm
I don’t know how or why it happened, but Richmond has become the region’s hottest hotbed for hot breweries. And while there are many excellent operations in the city (including Hardywood, Ardent, and Final Gravity), there is also a clear triumvirate: The Veil, brewpub The Answer, and Triple Crossing.
We’ve already talked about The Veil and its DC scarcity, and that story has been more or less the same for Triple Crossing. They’ll send a few beers to Neighborhood Restaurant Group, but that’s been about it.
Thankfully, the brewery appears primed to open the floodgates just a little, beginning with Thursday’s “official DC launch” at Meridian Pint. This is a big deal. Triple Crossing’s beer is incredible.
The draft list will lean very heavily towards the heavily hopped (and intentionally hazy): El Dorado Triangles IPA, Clever Girl IPA, Night Call DIPA, Vallhala DIPA, and Blank Shore DIPA. There will also be a keg of Seeing Things, a “10% bourbon-soaked-vanilla-bean-laced imperial stout” that’s currently rocking a 4.25 on Untappd. (If you don’t know what Untappd is, immediately throw your phone in the nearest body of water and keep living an otherwise fulfilling life.)
To sweeten the pot, Meridian Pint will also be pouring Ocelot’s newly released collaboration with Triple Crossing Seek & Destroy.
When: 4:00pm – 11:00pm
As my friend (and Merge Records pusher) Mike Caulo once said: “Maine Beer Company is like that band that writes the same song over and over and over but it’s a really good song.” If you’ve had one beer from Maine brewery, you know the deal: clean, balanced, nuanced, deeply flavorful, hop-forward. Sometimes I wonder how its maintained cache in the era of hazy joose bombs, but a lot of people went to see “Lady Bird”, so maybe I’m shortchanging humanity.
Anyway, what were we talking about? Right, Maine Beer Company. Earlier this year, it brought a 60-barrel brewhouse on line, so we’ve been seeing a lot more Maine Beer Company around DC. Pop into Craft Beer Cellar or Calvert Woodley today, and you’re likely to find greatest hits like MO, Lunch, or (my personal favorite) Woods & Waters on the shelf. Life is good.
But one beer pretty much never leaves the brewery: Dinner, a double IPA hopped with six-pounds-per-barrel of Citra, Falconer’s Flight, Mosaic, and Simcoe. This beer has been a scorchingly sought commodity since it was introduced in late 2013.
Brewer Ben Little singled it out in last year’s BYT Beer in Review. “Not new, I know, but new to me,” he wrote of trying it for the first time. “I love a good hazy DIPA, but this beer blew me away. It definitely had a level of haze, but it was obviously from an extensive use of hops. As Maine does with most of their beers, this was a focus in simplicity and beauty. Perfectly balanced and crafted.”
There are beer directors in the area that have been trying to get kegs of Dinner for years. It just doesn’t happen. Until now. On Thursday, Dinner will be served at ChurchKey. They’ll have other Maine Beer Company Beers, but this is all about Dinner.
And to make you feel good about your financial indiscretion, ChurchKey will be donating $1 from every Maine beer sold to the Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters, a non-profit working to preserve 87,562 acres of Maine forest, including more than 30 miles of rivers, streams and crucial wildlife habitats.
Where: Pizzeria Paradiso (Dupont)
When: 11:30am – 11:00pm
When it comes to IPAs, it’s all about keeping it #ultrafresh. As Nas once rapped: “Oxidation is the cousin of death.”
Pizzeria Paradiso executive beverage director Drew McCormick knows this. She would never serve you stale IPA. Nope. Not on her watch. Just the idea of faded aromatics keeps her up at night.
To prove this point, she’s brought us another entry in her Fresh to Death series. The concept is pretty simple: 12 beers, all kegged out less than a week ago. “What about eight days, Phil?” you may be wondering. POUR IT DOWN THE DRAIN, ALEX.
Of course, fresh beer is only as good as the brewery it comes from, and on Wednesday the Dupont Pizzeria Paradiso will be spotlighting some A+ Virginia and Maryland operations: Aslin, Reason, RaR, Solace, Crooked Run, Denizens, Diamondback, Vasen, Old Ox, and Manor Hill.
- Smoke & Barrel welcomes Boston’s haze maestros Lord Hobo. In addition to the names beer nerds will be familiar with (Boomsauce, Lord Hobo Citra Session IPA, Glorious), the draft list will feature the new Virtuoso NE Double IPA and the wonder Mosaic-hopped wheat ale Angelica.
- There’s The Great DC Brau Cornholio Cornhole Tournament at Moreland’s Tavern. There’s a $30 entry fee per team, but it gets your six DC Brau beers, so it’s a solid deal.
- Denizens celebrates the addition of bratwurst to its menu with a sick $15 brat and beer combo (with a $1 going to the DC Brewers Guild).
When: 5:00pm – 11:00pm
Kelsey & Greg’s Wedding Ale is one of the best beers produced annually by Bluejacket. A vestige of the Josh Chapman era (the brewer has since moved on to found his own Black Narrows Brewing), the low-ABV sour blond ale is conditioned on a new assortment of stone fruit each year: peaches, nectarines, apricots, etc.
For the 2018 edition, the brewery has opted for… just straight-up Virginia-grown peaches. Nothing wrong with a ton of peaches. This tart wonder will be released Friday at the brewery in can form, alongside 16oz receptacles of Caribou (a peanut butter cup-infused sweet stout) and an as-yet-unrevealed IPA.
To mark the occasion, Bluejacket will also be tapping a number of vintage kegs, including Blue Monday 2015, Travlr’s 12K 2014, and Fields of Friendly Strife: Apricots 2015. Meanwhile, Red Apron Butcher Chef Nate Anda will be cooking a special menu of sausages and burgers outside on the patio. And to bring home the wedding theme, there will be a live wedding band kicking out the jams.
Where: Cotton & Reed
When: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
For the second year running, DC’s very own rum distillery Cotton & Reed and Alexandria’s Port City are teaming up for a Super Fun Party Time.
On tap: rum cocktails made with Port City beers. Also: probably just regular Port City beers. Also: free “sample bowls” from CAVA. Also: WTF is a sample bowl.
Per the brewery, there will be “games setup throughout the distillery with a special guest referee,” which sounds both fun and dangerous.
The theme is Beach Party, so dress accordingly.
DC Brau Shrimp Boil
Where: Brookland Pint
When: 5:00pm – 11:00pm
If you haven’t noticed, DC Brau is going hard in the paint this DC Beer Week. In addition to 47 event appearances, it is unleashing three special beers for the week: Your Trip is Short (6.4% dry-hopped and barrel-fermented saison), Time is a Mortals Master (6.9% wine barrel-aged Brett saison), and Whiskey Barrel-aged Doctors Dubbel (7.6% Belgian Dubbel).
All three of these beers, plus the 2018 edition of all-Mosaic double IPA Space Reaper, will be on draft for the brewery’s low country boil at Brookland Pint. If you are unfamiliar with a low country boil, it includes shrimp, potatoes, corn, and sausage. And it is divine.
- The Sovereign welcomes saison-focused Colorado brewery Funkwerks and its co-founder Gordon Schuck. Highlights from the list include Sauvin Reserve (a white wine barrel-aged saison hopped with Nelson Sauvin hops) and Saison d’Brett (a saison aged in oak foeders with Brettanomyces).
- Smoke & Barrel is serving up smoked prime rib and an arsenal of 3 Stars rarities.
- Devils Backbone has crabs… and tasty Striped Bass Pale Ale! Zing! Find both at Bier Baron.
Where: Union Market
When: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
There’s no novel way to spin this: Brewers on the Block is just a well-organized, local-focus beer festival. I went two years ago, and I had a blast, and I hate 97% of things in the world.
It starts with the DMV breweries (and meaderies) (and cideries). The number of participants currently sits at 38, and there’s not a scrub amongst them. Alewerks, Oliver, Pale Fire, RAR, Peabody Heights, Solace, UNION Craft, Right Proper – the list goes on. And if past years are any indication, they tend to bring one-offs and seasonals, so you’re not signing up for more of the same flagships.
Tickets are a very reasonable $55. That’s unlimited pours for three hours from the caliber of breweries above… for $55. I’m no expert, but that sounds like a steal.
Also, last year was hot AF, so they’ve wisely moved this to an evening event.
Where: Pizzeria Paradiso (Georgetown)
When: 11:30am – 5:00pm
Beer. Ruby Scoops ice cream. Hot weather. What else do you need to know? Find your inner child, then get him/her drunk.
When: 11:30am – 11:00pm
My girlfriend loves me, but she doesn’t two-hour-drive-to-the-brewery love me. It’s more of a 45-minute-drive-to-the-brewery love. And you know what? Totally fair. I respect that. And I still get to go to Ocelot occasionally.
But I do not get to go to RAR Brewing, which is all the way out in Cambridge, Maryland. That means I miss out on RAR’s annual Dank Day, when it throws a party to release some of its most anticipated beers. Woe is me. All I’m left with is love.
Thankfully, ChurchKey is bringing Dank Day to us this year. On Saturday, it’ll tap nine beers from the Maryland brewery, including very tasty collabs Pulp Friction and Hoof RARted, as well as the weirder Mallwalkers (a milkshake-style IPA infused with guava) and Pulpsicle (a juicy Pale Ale reminiscent of an orange-vanilla creamsicle).
- To celebrate its eighth birthday, Fireworks Pizza in Courthouse will roast a whole pig. For $20, you get “all the roast you can handle” and a can of either Solidarity Pilsner, Right Proper Raised by Wolves, or Atlas Ponzi IPA. Live music and games are on the house.
Where: Drafthouse Comedy
When: 4:00pm -9:00pm
You’ve been drinking for a week straight at this point. It’s time to get some culture into your life! Make your parents proud! They paid for that liberal arts education!
On Sunday evening, Port City will again transform downtown DC’s Drafthouse Comedy into an art gallery as part of its ongoing Arts & Ales series. Here’s your chance to close out DC Beer Week properly: checking out local art with a cold Port City brew in your hands. That’s called living your best possible life. Also, admission is free, so bring a Tinder date.
Did I mention that renowned DJ Laura Lopez will be spinning 45″ records of garage rock and other classics from yesteryear? Talk about burying the lede. Oh, and there will be raffle prizes, too. That’s not as cool as Laura Lopez, but there is nothing wrong with raffle prizes.
Where: Right Proper (Brookland)
When: 12:00pm – 5:00pm
And on the eighth day of DC Beer Week, the Lord said, “Nothing but mellow events involving vinyl today. I gotta chill.” And so it was written.
On Sunday afternoon, Right Proper hosts its second annual Record Fair. This one will feature selections from Songbyrd Music House & Record Cafe, Rasslin’ Records, and Joint Custody. Peruse their wares, have a beer, wake up on Monday with no regrets.
Want to dig deeper into Right Proper’s relationship with music? Give Freshly Tapped: Right Proper’s Soused a read.
Want to know what’s new at the brewery? I got you. Check out Freshly Tapped: Right Proper’s Ravaged by Wolves.