Photo: Trent Johnson
Photo: Trent Johnson

What’s On Tap: May 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.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 2

Dacha Beer Club
Join Dacha for New Belgium Brewing Company’s release of the self-proclaimed “World’s Dankest Ale” Hemperor HPA release party. Come learn about what makes up the Hemp IPA and play plinko for some New Belgium swag. Also on tap: the Tartastic Strawberry Lemon Ale and Citradelic Tangerine IPA. 4-10:30 p.m. Free to attend. Dacha Beer Garden: 1600 7th St. NW, DC; www.dachadc.com

FRIDAY, MAY 4

Tröegs Beer and Victory Beer Craft Beer Party
Join for the first Craft Beer Garden Party on Kingbird Terrace to celebrate the opening of this new beer garden. From 5-7 p.m., enjoy bottomless draft pints from Tröegs Independent Brewing and Victory Brewing Company. After 7 p.m., drinks will be available for purchase by the glass. Tickets are $25. The Watergate Hotel: 2650 Virginia Ave. NW, DC; www.thewatergatehotel.com

SUNDAY, MAY 6 and MAY 20

Sun, Salutations and Suds
Who can resist the combination of sun, salutations, and suds? Denizens Brewing Co. is taking its monthly yoga series back outside in the beer garden so you can enjoy all three! Join for an all-levels yoga class in the sunshine, followed by a pint (or three) in the beer garden. No previous experience necessary. Class will be led by Stephanie Nale of Gingerbean Health & Wellness. Starts at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $18. Denizens Brewing Co.: 1115 East-West Hwy. Silver Spring, MD; www.denizensbrewingco.com

TUESDAY, MAY 8

Beer Dinner with DC Brau
Craft beer is a passion, an obsession and a journey. Join the team at DC Brau for a beer dinner. From hoppy to malty to sour, take a trip through all the flavors. You’ll enjoy a welcome reception with passed bites and a glass of Brau Pils before moving to a seated dinner featuring four brews and four courses from Executive Chef Stuart Ameter. 6-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $65. Matchbox Vintage Pizza Bistro: 521 8th St. SE, DC; www.matchboxrestaurants.com

WEDNESDAY, MAY 9

The Allagash Brewing Coolship Bash
Join The Sovereign as they welcome the fine folks from Allagash Brewing Company. On this night, they’ll showcase 20 different beers from the Portland, Maine brewery, including rare kegs of Coolship Red, Belfius and Saison Gratis. Back in 2007, Allagash became the first American craft brewery to install their very own Coolship. This unique fermentation vessel – shaped like a wide, shallow brownie pan – is most famously used to produce the legendary Lambics of Belgium. 5-11 p.m. Free to attend. The Sovereign: 1206 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.thesovereigndc.com

Bell’s Brewery Presents Hops, Hops and More Hops
Join Rustico Ballston as they host the team from Bell’s Brewery. On this night, they’ll pour 10 different drafts from their good friends from Michigan, including rare kegs of Double Two Hearted and Hopsolution. Headlining the list is Double Two Hearted Ale. Don’t miss this intensely hoppy brew, bursting with notes of grapefruit and pine. 5-11 p.m. Free to attend. Rustico Ballston: 4075 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.rusticorestuarant.com

THURSDAY, MAY 10

The Founders Brewing Beast Feast
Join B Side and Red Apron Butcher as they celebrate their partnership with the North Carolina Hog Grower’s Association and their beautiful Berkshire Hogs with a no-holds-barred Beast Feast. The party kicks off at 6:30 p.m. with a live butchering demo and cocktail hour featuring Red Apron charcuterie and Founders Solid Gold. Afterward, guests will sit down with a four-course meal showcasing the different cuts of the pig paired with Founders Brewing Company beers. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $60. B Side: 8298 Glass Alley, Farifax, VA; www.bsidecuts.com

THURSDAY, MAY 10 and MAY 24

Beer and Board Games at Sugar Shack
A little beer, a little sugar, classic board games and a few friends – it’s the perfect casual weeknight hang every Thursday at Sugar Shack Arlington. On alternating Thursdays, they’ll have a new craft brewery in-house to talk beer and take over three taps for two weeks. Enjoy flights, pints, beer-glazed donut hole pairings and more. 4:30-9 p.m. Free to attend. Sugar Shack Donuts and Coffee: 1014 S Glebe Rd. Arlington, VA; www.sugarshackdonuts.com

SATURDAY, MAY 12

Bleu & Brew Festival
Don’t miss the Bleu & Brew Festival, where you can drink beers paired with gourmet cheeses specially selected by the Culpeper Cheese Company. The event features over 18 breweries and cideries with more than 44 beers on tap. Come for the beer and stay for the music, as live bands are set to perform throughout the day. Food trucks will also be onsite. 12-6 p.m. $60-$70. Old Bust Head Brewing Company: 7134 Farm Station Rd. Warrenton, VA; www.oldbusthead.com

Eat Your Pizza Four Seasons Beer Festival
Spring Fest will be hosted at Pizzeria Paradiso’s location in Hyattsville, Maryland with a mobile pizza oven, local vendors and independent breweries. All proceeds from Spring Fest will benefit the local Hyattsville nonprofit ArtWorks Now. Beverage Director Drew McCormick has selected Mid-Atlantic breweries including local breweries DC Brau and Right Proper Brewing Company to pour at Spring Fest. 12-5 p.m. Tickets are $20-$25. Pizzeria Paradiso Hyattsville: 2034, 4800 Rhode Island Ave. Hyattsville, MD;
www.eatyourpizza.com

FRIDAY, MAY 18

Port City Debut of Ideaal Tripel
Port City is unveiling its latest addition to their lineup of Belgian-style ales: the Ideaal Tripel. Honey gold with a thick cap of mousse-like foam, Ideaal Tripel’s deceptively dry body provides a perfect playground for spicy Belgian yeast character, marrying complexity and approachability. Ideaal will be available on draft and in six packs to take home. 3-11 p.m. Free to attend. Port City Brewery: 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.portcitybrewing.com

SATURDAY, MAY 19

Sour Mania Beer Festival at Mad Fox
Pucker up and come help Mad Fox celebrate all things sour at the brewing company’s first-ever sour beer festival at Market Square in the City of Falls Church. Mad Fox’s team is searching high and low for an excellent selection of sour beers. They will be grilling some awesome food and will have live go-go band music too. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tickets are $25-$65. Mad Fox Brewing Company: 444 West Broad St. Falls Church, VA; www.madfoxbrewing.com


A Destination Worth Visiting: Farm Brew Live

Farm Brew LIVE is an immersive experience for anyone in search of a catch-all outdoor hangout spot. At the center of this 10-acre operation in Manassas, Virginia is 2 Silos Brewing Company, a local brewery specializing in delectable beers that are exclusively found at Farm Brew. 2 Silos is accompanied by Yard Stage, where local musicians play in front of folks enjoying food and beer from The Pit BBQ or treats from the La Gringa food truck.

“Every part of this whole campus is the experience,” says Meredith Arnest, Villaglo Hospitality Group’s Director of Brand Development. “We want to bring people here, whether they’re coming for the live music and they get a beer or they’re here to drink and they see the music. Our shows are free, so you can come enjoy the music while enjoying the craft beer or craft food and make a real experience out of it. It’s a great place to hang out. Pets are welcome as well.”

The brewery has been thriving since its October 2017 opening, and is even expanding. With added equipment in the form of tanks and barrels, 2 Silos is set to unveil more beer varieties and quantities.

“The response has been absolutely wonderful,” Arnest says.

Another feature set to debut later this year is The Black Sheep Whiskey + Wine + Noshery, which is the now-renovated original Thomasson Barn, including exposed-beam vaulted ceilings. The vintage locale will also serve as an additional space for entertainment and provide private dining rooms.

“We’re bringing it back to life,” Arnest says. “We took pictures of everything to make sure we preserved the integrity of the building. There will be locally sourced whiskeys, and it’ll feature a great wine menu as well.”

The barn itself served as a major draw when scouting locations for the campus, Arnest says. Despite its distance from the District, cofounders Forrest Morgan and Marcus Silva were confident that people would make the trek if they knew quality awaited them.

“It’s a great location and is very visible,” Arnest says. “A lot of the vision was that this would be a true destination. We have to make people want to come out here to see live music and have craft beer. Every time you come here, it’s something unique.”

Cohesion is a big part of the experience that Farm Brew LIVE is creating, with brew styles meant to accentuate the food menus and vice versa. Because all the meats are smoked in-house, and all of the brews are executed in the neighboring building, collaboration between the creatives lends itself to memorable mixtures.

“There are so many options,” Arnest says. “[We] have a full-service restaurant, barbecue and a food truck all right here in the backyard.”

She says the response for the beer in particular has been very positive.

“Our flagships (Virginia Cream Ale, Commonwealth Black IPA, NOVA White Belgian and Old Dominion Imperial Stout) provide a good array in levels of ABV, taste and flavor. All of our bartenders are well-versed in beer and are excited to talk about it.”

Virginia Cream Ale is Arnest’s favorite, but like everything else at Farm Brew LIVE, there are numerous options so you have the ability to choose more than one aspect to enjoy.
For more information about Farm Brew LIVE’s beers, music calendar and upcoming additions, visit www.farmbrewlive.com.

Farm Brew LIVE: 9901 Discovery Blvd. Manassas, VA; 703-420-2264; www.farmbrewlive.com