What’s On Tap: Winter 2018

Greetings, beer nerds! As you likely know, there are a number of fantastic spots 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 what’s coming up at a few of these fine establishments.


Aslin Beer Company Tap Takeover
ChurchKey will showcase 25 different beers from Aslin Beer Company in Herndon, Virignia. The tap takeover is in anticipation of Aslin’s opening of their own tasting room in DC. Highlights include Cocoa Mapalm, an imperial stout finished with cocoa nibs, maple syrup and vanilla, and Sorbet, a juicy IPA infused with peach and mango. There will also be a giveaway of Aslin and ChurchKey glassware. 4-11 p.m. Free admission. ChurchKey: 1337 14th St. NW, DC; www.churchkey.com


Devils Backbone Tap Takeover
It’s Wednesday wingsday and tap takeover at DC Tap House. Warm up at happy hour and after with Devils Backbone’s award-winning brews and wings. Plus, there will be giveaways for everyone and a drawing at 7 p.m. for big Devils Backbone beer prizes. Featured beers include Devils Backbone’s Vienna Lager, 16 Point Imperial IPA, Cran-Gose and more. 4-7 p.m. Free admission. DC Tap House: 1825 M St. NW, DC; www.taphousedc.com

The Jester King Rare & Obscure Showcase at the Sovereign
Join the Sovereign for a very special evening with Austin, Texas-based Jester King Brewery. The folks at Jester King have sent a lineup of 15 different beers for this event. Headlining the list are the rarely seen kegs of Montmorency Vs. Balaton, a barrel-aged, sour red ale refermented on Michigan cherries, and Super Ultramega Hyperforce, a farmhouse ale brewed with ginger, salt, tarragon and Texas-grown cantaloupes. 5-11 p.m. Free admission. The Sovereign: 1206 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.thesovereigndc.com


Perennial Takes Over ChurchKey
ChurchKey will pour 20 different beers from the St. Louis-based Perennial Artisan Ales, including multiple versions of Abraxas and Sump. Abraxas is one of ChurchKey’s favorite releases of the year: a sweet imperial stout finished with cocoa nibs, vanilla beans and ancho chili peppers. They will also pour three versions of Sump, their coffee-infused imperial stout. Check it out during ChurchKey’s regular dinner service from 5-10 p.m. ChurchKey: 1337 14th St. NW, DC; www.churchkeydc.com


Balaclavas, Baklava and Beer 2018
Bike Arlington will host this event at Shirlington’s New District Brewing Company. Learn to make your own balaclava and attend the workshop portion to learn how to make your own winter bike accessory, whether that’s an ear cover or a full-head balaclava. 12-4 p.m. The workshop is free, though tickets are required. Or just come and hang out, no tickets required. There will be beer on tap as well as dessert treats. New District Brewing Company: 2709 S Oakland St. Arlington, VA; www.newdistrictbrewing.com

Beer & Cupcake Pairing
At BadWolf Brewing Company, there’s one best way to drink beer, and that is to pair it with some amazing cupcakes. Join BadWolf for a Valentine’s Day-themed cupcake and beer flight pairing. Tickets include a set beer flight and mini-cupcakes from Shameless Bakery. 2-6 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance; $20 day of. BadWolf Brewing Company: 8420 Kao Circle, Manassas, VA; www.badwolfbrewingcompany.com


Love Thy Beer: Winter Warmer Showcase
In the true spirit of FeBREWary, Love Thy Beer attendees will have the opportunity to chat with the experts behind Maryland beer in an intimate setting over seasonal ales. Think stouts, porters, winter seasonals, sours and anything out of the barrel. Tickets include access to light fare, live garage-folk music performed by Skribe, and all-you-care-to-sample tastings from a selection of specialty brews, including winter ales, cask ales, sours and small batch anything. 6-10 p.m. Tickets start at $55. Silver Spring Civic Building: 1 Veterans Pl. Silver Spring, MD; www.marylandbeer.org


Paint & Brew
Come and enjoy the vast selection of beer at Forge Brew Works and paint a flight paddle. Watch some sports while you paint. In each ticket, a flight of four brews, a paddle and paint supplies will be included. 1-3 p.m. Tickets are $29. Forge Brew Works: 8532 Terminal Rd. Lorton, VA; www.uncorkandcolor.com


The Partisan & Red Apron Present Sours Week, Vol. 6
When it comes to their preferred pints, the Partisan and Red Apron tend to slant sour – and for good reason. These tantalizingly tart beers are the perfect complement to Chef Nate Anda and Red Apron’s inimitable charcuterie and meaty fare. And what better way to celebrate their love of funky ales than the return of The Partisan’s Sours Week? A menu of 10 tart and funky beers handpicked by their beer director, Greg Engert, will be on draft at The Partisan. Standouts like Hill Farmstead Florence, Grimm Super Spruce and Tilquin Stout Rullquin will be featured. Starting daily at 5 p.m. Flights range from $25-$35. The Partisan: 709 D St. NW, DC; www.thepartisandc.com


Flying Dog Beer & Sake Pairing Dinner
Join Masa 14 and Flying Dog Brewery for a four-course dinner of Masa 14’s Asian fusion cuisine paired with sake and beer from Flying Dog. As an added bonus, finish out the night with a sake bomb toast. 7 p.m. Tickets are $79.20. Masa 14: 1825 14th St. NW, DC; www.eatmasa14.com


Winter Cask Classic 2018
Stick it to Old Man Winter by getting out and having a ball – or a puck – at the Denizens Brewing Co. Winter Cask Classic. They will be pouring Denizens casks, as well as casks from Atlas Brew Works, Bluejacket, Brewer’s Art, DC Brau, District Chophouse, Manor Hill, Oliver Brewing, Pub Dog and Union Craft. It wouldn’t be a Winter Classic without some hockey, so there will also be a (friendly) shoot-out competition outside. 12-5 p.m. Tickets are $35. Denizens Brewing Co.: 1115 East West Hwy. Silver Spring, MD; www.denizensbrewingco.com


8th Annual Barleywine Festival at Mad Fox
Join Mad Fox for their eighth annual Barleywine Festival. This is hands down the largest barley wine festival in the Mid-Atlantic. Mad Fox will be showcasing over 30 barley wines from around the region and across the country. For parties larger than six, please call the restaurant for accommodations ahead of time. Starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Mad Fox Brewing Company: 444 W. Broad St. Falls Church, VA; www.madfoxbrewing.com

Q&A with Adroit Theory Brewing Company

Mark Osbourne, Owner

On Tap: What barley wines will you be offering this winter? Any new releases sold locally?
Mark Osborne: Tenebris, a rum raisin barley wine, was brewed earlier in 2017, but can still be found at some retailers including Wegmans, Total Wine and Costco. It is a classic, English-style, barley wine brewed with rum-soaked raisins. It’s aromatically complex with notes of dried fruit and rum, and flavors of caramel, figs, dates, brown sugar and sweet malt [giving] way to a sticky finish. At the tasting room, we have Auto-Trepanation. This is a more contemporary take on the barley wine style, albeit with less hop character than some American-style barley wines. It’s a delightful balance of malt and hops, semi-sweet molasses and caramel flavors, with a semi-dry finish.

OT: How long have you been making barley wines?
MO: Since early 2014. We are a brewery that does not have flagships, and we constantly brew new beers. We have brewed over 600 distinct beers in the last four years. Tenebris, at least an earlier iteration of our current release, was the fourteenth beer we ever brewed.

OT: What inspired you to make them in the first place?
MO: We are known for making big and boozy beers in general, so a barley wine is a natural fit. We also do quite a bit of barrel-aging, and a barley wine is clearly a style to benefit from some extended aging.

OT: What do you look for in a barley wine?
MO: While we appreciate the classic sticky malt, caramel and dried fruit flavors of a classic style, I personally prefer an assertive hop bite – at least initially. Hops fade with time, and I think an overly bitter barley wine is nice to sample [on] day one, but also over a several-year period. [I like] to see how the hops mellow and the malt blends together.

OT: Any other new releases at Adroit?
MO: We release two to three new beers every week at the tap room, [and] these never leave the tap room. Plus, we do a new beer about every two weeks that we send out [for] distribution in Virginia, Maryland and elsewhere. In the next two months, we are releasing at least 12 new beers.

For more information on barley wines and beers from Adroit Theory Brewing Company, visit www.adroit-theory.com.

Adroit Theory Brewing Company: 404 Browning Ct. Unit C, Purcellville, VA; 703-722-3144; www.adroit-theory.com


Michael Loria

Michael Loria is a writer who focuses on art and music. For On Tap, his work includes a cover story on the Principal Conductor and Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra, Gianandrea Noseda, for the December 2017 print edition, and features like his interviews with Carla Bruni and with Thievery Corporation. Collectively, he's penned more than 40 clips for the magazine.