Photos: Courtesy of Neighborhood Restaurant Group

Snallygaster Returns Beastlier Than Ever

One of the greatest craft beer festivals to hit the East Coast, Snallygaster will make its epic return to Yards Park on September 23. Whether you’re a craft beer geek or novice, this is an event you do not want to miss.

Dubbed the District’s “beastliest beer festival,” Snallygaster pays homage to craft beer like nothing you’ve ever seen, with over 400 craft beers and ciders on tap simultaneously from over 150 different breweries expected for its sixth year running.

And while the sheer number of craft brews on draft is incredible, the truly impressive feat is that each beer served at Snallygaster is hand selected and procured by Neighborhood Restaurant Group Beer Director and Partner Greg Engert. The result is a wide array of some of the rarest and most unique beers that you won’t find anywhere else in the city.

“This is not something that happens in a day,” Engert explained to On Tap. “My assistant beer director Tim Liu and I work on this pretty much year-round because we are always scouring the scene for new brewers to introduce at the festival.”

And this year, Engert says the beer lineup is the best list they’ve ever had by far, including the introduction of 40 new out-of-market brewers who normally can’t get into the DC market.

New local brewers to keep an eye out for this year include Baltimore’s Diamondback, and Richmond’s The Answer and Triple Crossing, with more to be announced on the event’s website. New breweries from the national scene this year include Hill Farmstead from Vermont, Other Half Brewing Company from Brooklyn, and Casey Brewing and Blending from Colorado.

“The particular [beer] selections are really outstanding,” Engert added. “To find that many compelling, rare and just ultimately delicious beers in one place is unparalleled.”

Along with the amount of beer, Snallygaster is increasing in every other aspect of the festival. Guests can expect 30 percent more space and double the food offerings with local restaurants and chefs on hand, plus food trucks and more games and activities. And the festival’s music component is getting a bump, with three amazing local bands and DJs scheduled to perform throughout the afternoon.

The event, hosted by Neighborhood Restaurant Group, serves as the largest annual fundraiser for Arcadia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a more equitable and sustainable local food system in the region. Arcadia’s demonstration farm in Alexandria hosts thousands of school children each year, teaching them about sustainable farming practices and healthy eating.

“Arcadia is near and dear to our hearts,” Engert said. “Our founder [Michael Babin] started Arcadia back in 2011, and they do incredible things for the local food culture here in the DMV region.”

Engert said Arcadia’s team organizes and orchestrates a number of mobile farmers markets, bringing locally grown food into underserved, low-income neighborhoods and community school lunch programs, which makes the food both accessible and affordable.

“They also work in training lots of veterans for farm work, which is something special for them.”

Festival-goers have two options for tickets: general admission or “The Cyclops” at $35 each, and VIP admission or “Jabberwock” at $65 each. General admission includes 30 food and drink tickets and a sweet 2017 Snally mug, while the VIP admission includes all the above, and early admission to the event at 11:30 a.m.

Those looking to brunch and pregame before the event can head over to nearby Bluejacket, which will be open early. And festival organizers encourage all to take public transportation via the nearby Navy Yard Metro station, or Uber or Lyft.

Snallygaster is on Saturday, September 23 from 1-6 p.m. at Yards Park. To purchase tickets and for more information, including an updated beer list, visit

Snallygaster at Yards Park: 355 Water St. SE, DC; 202-465-7080

Alex Thompson

Alex is a fan of all things food and sports, as well as a writer. By day she is a nonprofit communications manager, and by night she is searching the District for the best cocktails, whiskey selection and cuisine. Check out her blog at and follow her on twitter at @sportsfoodalex.