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 on tap this month.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 4
An Evening with St. Bernardus & Marco Passarella
There will be no fewer than eight selections on hand from St. Bernardus, and the Belgian brewery’s own Marco Passarella will be there to share stories about the beers. For the occasion, there will be bottles of St. Bernardus Abt 12 Vintage 2006, an 11 percent batch brewed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the brewery and cellared for the past 11 years. 6-11 p.m. Free entry. The Sovereign: 1206 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.thesovereigndc.com
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7
BadWolf Brewing Company’s Fall Festival 2017
Enjoy live music, treats from food trucks and local vendors, and of course, local beer in 6-oz. pours. Plus, beer from Tin Cannon Brewing, Ornery Beer Company, Heroic Ale Works, Adroit Theory, Adventure Brewing, Forge Brew Works, Brew Republic, Bold Rock, Old Ox and Growling Bear. This year, BadWolf will be releasing its coveted pumpkin saison and a specialty cask for the event. 2-8 p.m. $15. BadWolf Brewing Company: 8420 Kao Circle, Manassas, VA; www.badwolfbrewingcompany.com
Oktoberfest at the Bird
This is your last chance to celebrate Oktoberfest at the Bird. There will be specials all day, and furry friends are welcome. There will also be a prize for best dressed, so be sure to wear any lederhosen you have hiding in the back of your closet. 3-7 p.m. The Bird: 1337 11th St. NW, DC; www.thebirddc.com
Oktoberfest at Sweetwater Tavern
Sweetwater Tavern in Merrifield is hosting Oktoberfest, so bring your friends and enjoy an outdoor barbecue style event complete with live acoustic music, great food and Sweetwater’s award-winning Oktoberfest lager. Ticket price includes two beer tickets, and endless good eats such as Texas-style smoked brisket, slow-roasted local hog and Best Buns beer cupcakes. 2-7 p.m. $20. Sweetwater Tavern Merrifield: 3066 Gatehouse Plaza, Falls Church, VA; www.greatamericanrestaurants.com/sweetwater
Oktoberfest: IPA & Cider Festival
Don’t miss the definitive IPA & Cider Festival in Northern Virginia. Hop on over to the Tysons Biergarten for 50-plus of local breweries’ hoppiest beers and most delicious ciders! Tickets include 10 tasting tickets and a color-changing souvenir cup. 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. $20-$30. Tysons Biergarten: 8346 Leesburg Pike, Tysons, VA; www.tysonsbiergarten.com
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7 – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8
Das Oktoberfest will include nonstop music, dancing, activities, food and the very best of local and German beers. Festival passes include 16-oz. drink tickets, and additional drink tickets are available for $6 at the event. $8-$35. Vanish Farmwoods Brewery: 42245 Black Hops Ln. Leesburg, VA; www.dasoktoberfestloudoun.com
Sample the best in fall brews and traditional Oktoberfest fare provided by some of Reston’s finest eateries. The day will include German fare and fall seasonal beer, live music (both traditional German tunes and favorites from a variety of local musicians), as well as a chili cookoff and the Great Pumpkin 5K race. 12-11 p.m. Free entry. Reston Town Center: 11900 Market St. Reston, VA; www.OktoberfestReston.com
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8
DC Homebrewers Sixth Annual BBQ Fundraiser
The DC Homebrewers barbecue fundraiser is back for its sixth year, with 3 Stars hosting again. Come celebrate the art and community of homebrewing with homebrewers, beer lovers, family and friends. Your entry ticket includes a plate from Rocklands BBQ, as well as a pint of 3 Stars beer. Included with your ticket is the opportunity to sample a variety of homebrewed beers. 1-4 p.m. $16-$22.50. 3 Stars Brewing Company: 6400 Chillum Pl. NW, DC; www.3starsbrewing.com
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11
Gordon Biersch Fall Seasonal Beer Sampling
Join for a beer sampling event at Gordon Biersch in Tysons Corner Mall. There will be delicious samples of great, refreshing beers in addition to complimentary appetizers. Space is limited, so please RSVP at www.ontaponline.com. Must be 21+ to attend this event. 6-8 p.m. Free to RSVP. Gordon Biersch: 7861 Tysons Corner Center, McLean, VA; www.gordonbiersch.com
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12
Four-Course Beer Dinner
We’re bringing beer and food lovers a taste of the chef at Pinstripes’ culinary expertise with a special dinner inspired by and paired with selections from Flying Dog Brewery. A Flying Dog representative and Pinstripes’ chef will lead guests through an interactive dinner and discussion demonstrating how each pairing enhances the dining experience. 7-9 p.m. Pinstripes: 1064 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.pinstripes.com
Ocelot Brewing Company Tap Takeover at Mad Fox Taproom
This is another rare opportunity to try Ocelot’s much sought-after beers. If you haven’t heard already, Ocelot has been doing some amazing things and brews some of the best IPAs in the area. They don’t often do tap takeovers, so this is not an opportunity to pass up. 7-10 p.m. Mad Fox Taproom: 2218 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.madfoxbrewing.com
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13
The Embassy Row Hotel will commemorate DC Oktoberfest every Friday in October. Head to the front patio of Station Kitchen & Cocktails for traditional German games, drink specials and more. When you dress up in your best German attire (i.e., lederhosen), you’ll receive a free bucket of beer and pretzels as the perfect accessory to your outfit. In Station Kitchen & Cocktails, participate in a beer pong tournament for the chance to win a complimentary meal for two, or two cocktails on The Rooftop. 4-10 p.m. Station Kitchen & Cocktails at The Embassy Row Hotel: 2015 Massachusetts Ave. NW, DC; www.destinationhotels.com/station-kitchen-dc
MONDAY, OCTOBER 16
The Near & Far Beer Dinner Series
This is the fifth installment of Rustico’s Near & Far Dinner Series and features The Answer Brewpub. The event will feature a five-course meal tailored to go with the beers from The Answer. The beer list has yet to be finalized, but look for the hazy IPAs and decadently dark imperial stouts. The Answer’s head brewer will also be in-house to share stories about the beers. 7 p.m. $60. Rustico Alexandria: 827 Slater Ln. Alexandria, VA; www.rusticorestaurant.com
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19
American Beauty: USA’s Best Cheese & Craft Beer
Spend an evening with Righteous Cheese in an intimate class discovering and savoring seasonal cheeses. Explore the world of cheese pairing by tasting four artisanal U.S. cheeses paired with four craft beers from the good ol’ US of A, as well as paired accompaniments. Fromager and beer aficionado Melissa Provinsal will delve into the story behind each cheese, as well as give advice about selecting, serving, pairing and more. 7 p.m. $49. Righteous Cheese: 1309 5th St. NE, DC; www.righteouscheese.com
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28
Come trick or treat at a favorite local biergarten. There will be free candy, a $300 prize for best costume, Halloween specials and much more. 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tysons Biergarten: 8346 Leesburg Pike, Tysons, VA; www.tysonsbiergarten.com
Q&A With Atlas Brew Works
Rachel Murray, Tap Room Manager
Jay Morse, Accounts Manager
On Tap: What are your favorite fall beers? What do your customers like?
Rachel Murray: I really like the festbier we did this year; I really like how it turned out. Festbiers are generally the same style as an Oktoberfest, but they’re a little lighter with more hop. Our La Saison Des Fêtes is one of my favorite fall beers that comes out. We also do our Town & Country in the fall. Both are aged in wine [barrels].
OT: Where does the fall season rank for beer drinkers among lighter summer options and heavier winter brews?
RM: I like them a lot, and they come out earlier and earlier. I like the Oktoberfest because they’re a good, malty taste, but they’re not quite the super dark beers of winter. I’ll have to drink one, maybe two pumpkin beers for the season, and that’s probably enough. It’s a good transition season, before when the darker beers come out.
OT: Tell us about the Volksfest D.C. event on October 19. Why did you think it was a good fit for your brewery?
Jay Morse: We started working with Gourmet Symphony close to two years ago. Chris Payton reached out asking if we’d like to be their local brewery for an event, and it went so well that we just kept it going. Our first event was at Beuchert’s Saloon on Capitol Hill. We loved the concept so much that we partnered up again two more times; once at Shaw’s Tavern for last year’s Volkfest, as well as at an additional event at Kapnos. We’re looking forward to this year’s event, especially since we have our festbier.
Volksfest D.C. is at Shaw’s Tavern on Thursday, October 19 from 6-8 p.m. Tickets are $39. Learn more at www.gourmetsymphony.org.
Atlas Brew Works: 2052 West Virginia Ave. #102 NE, DC; 202-832-0420; www.atlasbrewworks.com