Greetings, beer nerds! As you likely know, there are a number of wonderful events in the DMV where you can grab a pint, and every month offers new opportunities to hoist old reliables and new brews. If you’d rather avoid the guessing game, check out some of what’s coming up on tap below.
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 8
DC Brau at Dacha Dinner
Head to the loft at Dacha Beer Garden with Executive Chef Quinten Frye and DC Brau CEO and Founder Brandon Skall for a four-course meal with beer pairings to celebrate the release of DC Brau’s El Hefe Speaks Seasonal Brew. El Hefe Speaks is a traditionally-brewed, German-style Hefe. The dinner will include three other brews from DC Brau, including their limited-release, German-style helles lager Savor the Swill, a collaboration with the band The Darkest Hour. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets $75. Dacha Beer Garden: 1602 7th St. NW, DC; www.dachadc.com
FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 17, 24, 31
Friday Night Beers & Bites Tour
The Bluejacket Friday Night Tasting Tour is a special brewery tour offered weekly. Upon arrival, guests will be treated to one of Bluejacket’s signature drafts, followed by a full tour of the brewery and operations with three tasters throughout the tour. At the conclusion, guests will head to the bottle shop and tasting room to enjoy a flight of three additional tasters, each expertly paired with a snack from the culinary team led by Chef de Cuisine Marcelle Afram. 7-10 p.m. Tickets are $35. Bluejacket Brewery: 300 Tingey St. SE, DC; www.bluejacketdc.com
SATURDAY, MARCH 11
Beer 101: Brewery Tour and Tasting
Learn all about your favorite craft beers from production to taste characteristics at Mad Fox’s Beer 101 class! As a veteran of the young craft brewing industry, experience the Mad Fox brewery tour and tasting with brewers Bill Madden and Matt Ryan. The ticket includes a brewery tour with Q&A, a beer sampler hand-picked by the brewers themselves, a discussion and bar snacks. The event starts at noon. Tickets cost $15. Mad Fox Brewing Company: 444 W. Broad St. #1, Falls Church, VA; www.madfoxbrewing.com
Beer 101: What You Taste & Why
Just about everyone loves beer, but few people know very much about it. How can thousands of different beers come from the same four ingredients? In this course, you will explore the basics of brewing, as well as what each ingredient does for the beer’s color, aroma, alcohol content, body and flavor. 12-2 p.m. Tickets are $25. Heavy Seas Alehouse: 1501 Wilson Blvd. Suite 105, Arlington, VA; www.heavyseasalehouse.com
Péché Mortal Day at ChurchKey
Celebrate ChurchKey’s third annaul Péché Mortel Day! ChurchKey is honored to be one of 40 bars, restaurants and breweries in the world participating in this festive occasion. French for “mortal sin,” Péché Mortel is an unrivaled imperial coffee stout from the venerable Montreal brewpub Dieu du Ciel. ChurchKey will feature six special variants of this remarkable brew. Highlights include Péché Mortel Spécial, brewed with a M’Beguka coffee beans from Kenya, Péché Mortel Bourbon 2016, aged six months in Bourbon barrels, and Péché aux Pêches, finished with fresh peaches. Noon to midnight. Free admission. ChurchKey: 1337 14th St. NW, DC; www.churckeydc.com
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15
Great Lakes’ Turntable Pils release party at B-Side
B-Side will host the official re-release party for Great Lakes’ newest year-round beer, Turntable Pils. To help celebrate, B-Side asking patrons to bring in some of your favorite vinyl records to spin all night. The bar is also raffling off a limited edition Great Lakes turntable! Guests will receive a free raffle ticket with every purchase of Turntable Pils. All Great Lakes beers will be priced individually by the glass and in four-oz. tasting pours. Red Apron Butcher, located directly next door, will host a simultaneous tasting. This event starts at 5 p.m. There is no admission fee for this event. B-Side: Mosaic District, 8298 Glass Alley, Fairfax, VA; www.bsidecuts.com
Red’s Table Presents O’Connor Brewing Dinner
Red’s Table will host a beer dinner featuring craft brews from O’Connor Brewing Company, a craft brewery located in Norfolk’s Ghent neighborhood/district. Guests attending this special evening will have the pleasure of enjoying a world-class craft beer experience featuring O’Connor Brewing Company’s innovative, evolving products paired with a four-course dinner created by Executive Chef Adam Stein. The evening’s menu will highlight classic Irish dishes with a modern twist in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Beers featured for the evening are El Guapo Agave IPA, Great Dismal Black IPA, ODIS Dry Irish Stout and Zephyrweisse Hefeweizen. 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $65. Red’s Table: 11150 South Lakes Dr. Reston, VA; www.redstableva.com
THURSDAY, MARCH 16
Brews & Brains at BadWolf Brewing Company
Join the Prince William Historic Preservation Foundation and BadWolf Brewing as they examine the role of beer throughout American history for the next few months at the Brews & Brains series. From the role of taverns as a social and political venue throughout the 18th and 19th century, the impact of alcohol throughout the Civil War, to the economic influence of the development of breweries throughout the 20th century and Prohibition, alcohol played a role in shaping Northern Virginia today. 6-8 p.m. Donations to the preservation foundation will be accepted. BadWolf Brewing Company: 8420 Kao Circle, Manassas, VA; www.badwolfbrewingcompany.com
Perfect Pairings: Inside the Mind of a Monger
Cheese and beer have been produced side by side for centuries, and when paired together, can truly make each other sing. In this pairings class, we’ll taste and talk about our very favorite four cheese and craft beer matches, and what makes them work. You’ll journey through the fundamentals of pairing cheese and beer, and the funky stories behind our favorites, so you can go confidently on your own pairing adventure. 7 p.m. Tickets are $49. Union Market: 1309 5th St. NE, DC; www.righteouscheese.com
SATURDAY, MARCH 18
Le Trou du Diable Showcase
On this day, ChurchKey will showcase 12 exceptional beers from the Québécois brewery, plus a meet and greet with co-founder Isaac Tremblay. Launched in 2005, Le Trou du Diable has steadily built a reputation for producing world class beer from a wide range of styles, including Belgian-inspired farmhouse ales, imperial stouts and IPAs. Highlights from the event include La Buteuse Brassin Spécial, a strong tripel aged in Michel Jodoin apple brandy barrels with Brettanomyces, and Dulcis Succubus, a saison aged for six months in French oak barrels that previously held botrytized California white wine. 4 p.m. to midnight. Free admission. ChurchKey: 1337 14th St. NW, DC; www.churckeydc.com
The Heights Patio Beer Dinner
Why not kick off spring 2017 on the patio at The Heights? Join in for five exclusive courses, five Devils Backbone beers, giveaways and an evening enjoying the spring air. 7-10 p.m. Tickets $45-$50. The Heights: 3115 14th St. NW, DC; www.theheightsdc.com
SUNDAY, MARCH 26
#ALXBREWTOUR 2017 Historic Breweries Walking Tour & Tasting
Join Alexandria’s Historic Breweries Author, Garrett Peck, and Portner Brewhouse Co-founder Cat Portner on a guided walking tour around Old Town Alexandria to explore the foundations of local brewing. The tour includes highlights from the print brochure, a Portner Brewhouse-sponsored beer sampling and culminates at one of Alexandria’s current Hop Stops. 2-4:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. Old Presbyterian Meeting House: 323 South Fairfax St. Alexandria, VA; www.portnerbrewhouse.com
On Tap would like to extend a nod of our proverbial cap to ChurchKey for being named as the DC representative on CraftBeer.com’s list of Great American Beer Bars. The site mentioned “a meticulous cleaning regimen for their taps, three unique temperature controls for service of beer, a large glassware selection and in-depth training.” The selection was made by the readers of the site, and was generated from more than 7,000 entries. ChurchKey: 1337 14th St. NW, Washington, DC; www.churchkeydc.com
Beer Director, Jack Rose Dining Saloon
On Tap: How did you get into beer?
Nahem Simon: I really started getting into beers when I was in college [in Canada]. There was a beer store with a wall of beer, and I remember the taste of even the cheap beers were memorable.
OT: How does Jack Rose select beers?
NS: It comes down to not only getting samples from reps, but also having what is needed for an overall palate that encompasses every flavor category that someone may be looking for. If it’s chilly outside, even if I know people want sours and hoppy beers, I have to have beers that work with the temperature.
OT: How often do you reach out to distributors to get new stuff in?
NS: They pretty much swing by every day. They come and tell me what is great. It also helps when different reps send in the info coming down the pipeline, like preorders. The communication is really helpful.
OT: How much do you research a beer before bringing it in?
NS: I like to taste it first. I’m not going to spend hours figuring out the minute details of the beers. More so, if there is a beer event, I like to go to the breweries and ask them what they want to feature on the draft lines. From there I touch base and check out the website, and get as much information as I can to pass on to the customer.
OT: Are you open to suggestions from patrons?
NS: Oh, always. Of course, it always comes down to availability, and it’s really important for the quality to be maintained. I have to make sure it tastes good for the customers.
OT: Name some beers you’re looking forward to carrying this month.
NS: There are so many that are popping up here and there, so it’s kind of hard to say. I will point out that we’ll have Firestone Walker Krieky Bones, a funky tart beer that isn’t very easily available. We’re also going to have Flying Dog’s Tropical Bitch coming this month.
Jack Rose Dining Saloon: 2007 18th St. NW, DC; 202-588-7388; www.jackrosediningsaloon.com