Photo: The Brig’s Facebook page
Photo: The Brig’s Facebook page

What’s On Tap: September 2017

Greetings, beer nerds! As you likely know, there are a number of fantastic establishments in the DMV where you can grab a pint, and their menus are always evolving and adapting to your tastes. If you’d rather avoid the guessing game, check out some of what’s coming up at a few of these fine establishments.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8

Lager Series: Rauch Märzen Release Party
Join Port City for the release of the latest edition of their lager series: a Rauch Märzen. A brilliant copper in color, the beer showcases a German malt character, including a judicious amount of traditional beechwood-smoked malts that impart an appetizing, savory smokiness. The Borinquen Lunch Box food truck will be in the lot starting at 5:30 p.m. The Walkaways will be providing the jams in the beer garden starting at 7 p.m. Full event is from 3-10 p.m. Free admission. Port City Brewing Company: 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.portcitybrewing.com

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16

Amps and Ales Craft Beer and Music Festival
Loud beer and even louder music: Amps and Ales combines the electricity of rock ‘n’ roll with a handpicked selection of America’s best craft beers at Prince George’s Stadium, home of the Bowie Baysox. In its first year, Amps and Ales is lining up seven of the region’s most thunderous bands with over 25 highly acclaimed breweries offering over 50 beers on tap. Enjoy live performances from the People’s Blues of Richmond, Higher Hands and more, plus beer offerings from breweries such as Heavy Seas, Flying Dog, Jailbreak and more. 12-8 p.m. Tickets are $20-$30. Prince George’s Stadium: 4101 Crain Hwy. Bowie, MD; www.ampsandales.com

Brews, Booze, & Bites: An American History Food Festival
Lounge on the lawn and sample the best of local bakers, brewers, chefs, confectioners and distillers, while grooving to DC’s best – some would say only – Prohibition-era jazz band, the Foggy Bottom Whomp-Stompers, playing favorites from the 20s and 30s. Enjoy victuals and beverages chosen with an eye to Tudor Place history and the region’s culinary traditions. Every artisanal, high-quality mouthful is included in a single all-inclusive ticket, also covering traditional outdoor lawn games and other entertainments. 1-4 p.m. Tickets are $30-$35. Tudor Place Historic House and Garden: 1644 31st St. NW, DC; www.tudorplace.org

District Oktoberfest
Participants enjoy one premium, 12-oz. Oktoberfest beer at each venue they visit, included in the ticket price. You also get $4 specials liquor pairings and additional Oktoberfest beers, food specials and the most fun you can legally have in one day. Chinatown’s best venues will be ready for you. 12-9 p.m. Tickets are $50. Check-in from 12-3 p.m. 10 Tavern: 707 G St. NW, DC; www.districtoktoberfest.com

Fairfax County BrewFest
Join the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce and Mustang Sally Brewing Company for the second annual BrewFest. Come enjoy a day of local craft beer, food and more. A portion of the proceeds will benefit K9s For Warriors and VAVETS. The BrewFest will also include six Fairfax County breweries, multiple food vendors, live music all day and brewery tours. 12-6 p.m. $25-$35. Mustang Sally Brewing Company: 14140 Parke Long Ct. A-C, Chantilly, VA;  www.dulleschamber.org 

Hoppy Oktoberfest
Join Mad Fox Brewing Company as they turn their Market Square into an Oktoberfest biergarten, showcasing a large selection of hoppy beers from some of Virginia’s finest breweries as well as traditional German Oktoberfest beers. Expect live music, great food and fun for the family. Dogs are welcome as long as their humans are well-behaved. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tickets are $25-$55. Mad Fox Brewing Company: 444 W Broad St. I Falls Church, VA;  www.madfoxbrewing.com

RhinO’fest
Join Lost Rhino Brewing Co. and Lost Rhino Retreat as they host the RhinO’fest 2017 beer festival in Brambleton Town Center. They’ll be tapping their Gold Medal winning RhinO’fest Märzen Lager for the season, as well as featuring various tents with unique beers from their Genius Loci sour beer series and beers that they have brewed in-house. Expect live music from Big Al’s Truck, family-friendly activities, and local food vendors and authentic German style fare. 12-6 p.m. Free admission. Lost Rhino Retreat: 22885 Brambleton Plz. Suite 100, Ashburn, VA; www.lostrhinoretreat.com

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Art-toberfest
Join Palette 22 for their first annual Art-toberfest with Three Nothch’d Brewing. Your ticket includes admission to the event, and special pricing on select cocktails and Oktoberfest beers. Appetizers and complimentary platters of globally inspired cuisine will be in full effect as you watch live demonstrations from local artists with the opportunity to take home your favorite original work of art. 6:30-10:30 p.m. $20-$25. Palette 22: 4053 Campbell Ave. Arlington, VA; www.palette22.com

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19

Yoga On Tap at Lost Dog Cafe
Upward facing dogs, downward facing dogs – do it all at Lost Dog Cafe on Columbia Pike. Join in for an intimate Eat.Yoga.Drink. experience, as they flow, drink and nibble tasty bites at the cafe. This vinyasa yoga class is limited to 10 yogis and is perfectly suited for all levels. The ticket includes a yoga class, a post-yoga beer/house wine/nonalcoholic beverage of choice and a sample of your favorite Lost Dog snacks. BYO mat. Namaste and cheers. Tickets are $20. 6-7 p.m. or 7:30-8:30 p.m. Lost Dog Cafe: 2920 Columbia Pike Arlington, VA; www.eatyogadrink.com

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23

Brew Republic Bierwerks Oktoberfest
It’s Oktoberfest in the Republic. They’re bringing the world-famous German beer festival from Munich to Woodbridge. Join them for great beer, delicious German-inspired food, traditional music, cool vendors and fun, both in the tap room and their expanded outdoor biergarten. They’ll also be hosting a marzen competition, featuring several locally brewed marzenbiers (Oktoberfest lagers) from several local breweries. 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Tickets start at $24.99. Brew Republic Bierwerks: 15201 Potomac Town Pl. Woodbridge, VA; www.brewrepublic.beer

Second Annual Sip & Savor
Sip & Savor is a celebration of local craft beer, wine, cider, food and music in support of the city’s homeless population. Come for unlimited food and beverage samples from many of the Capitol Hill area’s best restaurants, breweries, cideries and wine stores. Enjoy music performed by local artists as you bid on great silent auction prizes, and enjoy the photo booth and yard games. All proceeds support CHGM’s services to the homeless and at-risk communities. 7-10 p.m. Tickets are $25-$55. Eastern Market: 225 7th St. SE, DC; www.sipandsavor.chgm.net

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24

Historic Homebrew: Oktoberfest at Hill Center
Lost Lagers takes you back in time with the history of pale, golden and amber lagers. Covering historical recipes from Bavaria, Vienna and America, join Pete and Mike as they demonstrate how to brew gut lagerbier. They will fast-forward to today to discuss the pale, corn, amber and dark lagers they brewed with DC Brau, Lake Anne Brew House, Devils Backbone and Lost Rhino. With beer for sampling, Lost Lagers will walk you through the steps of brewing München bier, as well as American corn and dark lagers. Pretzels will be served and the history of lager brewing in America and Munich will come alive as you drink history. 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tickets are $60-$85. Hill Center DC: 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, DC; www.hillcenterdc.org

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30

Mansion House Whiskey Tasting
Come for a unique and intimate evening with old and new friends to taste extraordinary whiskeys paired with delectable food, harkening back to the days when the Green family ran the Mansion House Hotel on the property. This event includes an evening tour of the Carlyle House, four whiskeys and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Local historian Rich Gillespie will share stories of the Civil War in Virginia, and guide you on your whiskey tasting journey. 7-9 p.m. Tickets are $100. Carlyle House Historic Park: 121 N. Fairfax St. Alexandria, VA; www.novaparks.com

Oktoberfest: Euro Beer & Sausage Fest
Join Tysons Biergarten as they showcase 25 top-shelf beers from Germany, Belgium and Austria. Come meet representatives from each brewery, learn about the breweries and beers, and take home some awesome gifts. Like always, their festivals will be filled with games, live music, contests and loads of prizes. 1-6 p.m. $20-$30. Tysons Biergarten: 8346 Leesburg Pike Tysons, VA; www.tysonsbiergarten.com


Q&A with The Brig & Gordon Biersch

It’s that wonderful time of year known as Oktoberfest! Strap up your lederhosen, grab your stein and head to these two Capitol Riverfront spots.

Ryan Roller
General Manager, The Brig

On Tap: What’s the appeal of biergartens?
Ryan Roller: I think when you come to a biergarten, you expect a certain kind of friendliness – not just from staff, but from patrons as well. With larger tables in the garden, you are more likely to sit next to and across from other smaller parties and be more social.

OT: Do you keep outside weather in mind when selecting beers?
RR: When I select beers to put on tap, or in cans and bottles, I don’t think of what I would like to drink. Instead, I try to keep in mind what our customers would like. Now that we’re coming into the fall, we can start coming back with some of the medium-bodied IPAs, and as it gets colder, we’ll put on a porter or two.

OT: How often do you add new brews? Are you always looking?
RR: We usually change at least one tap once a week, if not more than that. We changed out three beers this week alone. We are always looking for new beer, and the breweries come down all the time. They bring down four or five direct sales reps a week to have us try out new stuff.

OT: What events or beer releases do you have planned around Oktoberfest?
RR: The goal right now is to have a couple different beers lined up that haven’t hit the market. One of the ones we’re waiting on is Flying Dog Oktoberfest.

OT: What sets The Brig apart from other biergartens in the city?
RR: I think a lot of it is the location that we’re in. A lot of people refer to us as the “secret biergarten” due to the smaller foot traffic we receive compared to other biergartens. For the most part, we get a lot of people that come in here and are surprised that we’re here. We try to keep our prices a little bit lower because of where we are; we want to make this the neighborhood spot.

The Brig: 1007 8th St. SE, DC; www.thebrigdc.com


Logan McVaugh
General Manager, Gordon Biersch

On Tap: How do you determine the flavor profile for Gordon Biersch brews?
Logan McVaugh: We have some things that are staples for us, and others we choose for qualities like light body and drinkability. Flavors like citrus really complement the weather and make it easier to drink a beer.

OT: Are there certain beers you’re excited to debut for Oktoberfest?
LM: Yes, we have our traditional FestBier, which is our biggest beer of the year. It’s our traditional Oktoberfest beer that’s very popular; I think it’s our highest-selling seasonal beer. We will be tapping that at our tapping party on September 20.

OT: What makes Gordon Biersch’s biergarten a great fall spot?
LM: We usually open our [biergarten] for big events. We do things a little differently where we focus on quick service. It makes it easier for customers to get their own beer, hang out and play corn hole. You’re outside relaxing, but at the same time you are still connected to the restaurant, so it’s the best of both worlds.

Gordon Biersch: 100 M St. SE, DC; www.gordonbiersch.com