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Photo: Courtesy of Mike Stein
Photo: Courtesy of Mike Stein

What’s On Tap: Lost Lager’s Mike Stein

We’ve spoken to bar managers, brewers, beer directors and even distributors about how and why they’re connected to beer. This month, we wanted to talk to someone who spends a tremendous amount of time looking backward rather than forward. Mike Stein has written about beer – both journalistically and academically – and is currently a beer historian at DC Brau. He also helped found Lost Lagers, a title attached to numerous events around the city pertaining to historic brews. We got a chance to talk to Stein about his passion for beer, his connection to the craft and what’s next for Lost Lagers.

On Tap: You’re passionate enough about beer to have written an MFA thesis on the topic. Where does your excitement about beer stem from?
Mike Stein: My passion for beer springs from a deep spiritual well. For me, beer is more than a beverage. [It’s] a way to convene with the ancestors. It’s also an opportunity to taste history in a glass, especially when recreating beers with recipes from [hundreds of years ago]. My father was born in Prague, and the Czechs drink the most beer per person in the world. So, beer is part of the national identity. My father’s identity was half Catholic, half Jewish, so my passion for beer has evolved from a fascinating intersection of identity, religion and beer. For me, beer and identity are inseparable.

OT: When did you know you were more than a casual drinker, and when did you decide to diversify your tastes?
MS: I am still, for the most part, a casual drinker. I can turn off my hyper-analytical mind and put away my chattering monkey to simply enjoy the beverage in front of me. You might be surprised to find me enjoying some dry cider or a French rosé. It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve begun to diversify my tastes for fermented beverages as I’ve branched into wine writing.

OT: As a historian, what are some of the most interesting things you’ve discovered about beer?
MS: I think the most interesting thing is how misled most of us have been by popular culture. Yes, Thomas Jefferson drank beer, but did you know his wife and daughter brewed a healthy portion of it? Or that James Hemings, older brother of Sally Hemings, was America’s first chef de cuisine and served dinner to both Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton? Or that his younger brother Peter oversaw brewing operations at Monticello and was so impressive that Jefferson told James Madison to send someone to study with Hemings? Because brewing today is so pale and male, I think some of the most interesting times in American history [have been] when this paradigm was upset – and it’s so rarely discussed.

OT: Why is the DC area so conducive for good breweries, especially ones experimenting with new methods?
MS: Part of the DC area’s strength in being a hotbed of brewing action is that the scene is relatively young. Considering DC Brau is the first production brewery in DC since 1956, it shows how recently the trend of good drink and food has seen an uptick in the city. The rise of good food has allowed Brau to work with restaurants like All-Purpose [Pizzeria] and Maketto to produce amazing lagers like Full Count and Tuk Tuk, respectively. These pale lagers were designed specifically to suit the cuisines of those restaurants, and this is the kind of thoughtful work that the food makers and beer crafters are doing in unison to elevate the scene.

OT: You work for DC Brau and a few other places, but from a flavor perspective, who’s churning out beers that people should pay attention to?
MS: Obviously, I love DC Brau and our Brau Pils remains my favorite, though Oktoberfest is currently giving it a run for its money. Port City is also creating some fantastic, world-class lager with their lager series, so I’m always paying attention to them. The brewpubs in DC are typically cranking out quality product, [including] Bluejacket, District ChopHouse and Right Proper Brewing Company.

OT: Any Lost Lager events coming up this fall?
MS: [This year] is the 160th anniversary of the first lager being brewed in Alexandria. We may or may not be brewing a historic lager with Port City, and we may or may not be piloting a batch with [Lost Rhino’s] Favio Garcia at the newly-opened Dynasty Brewing in Ashburn. We may or may not be making several historic ales and lagers with Dynasty. However, we’re definitely leading our Historic Homebrewing: Porter from George Washington to Near Extinction class at the Hill Center just south of Eastern Market on November 18.

For more information about Mike Stein and Lost Lagers, follow them on Twitter at @beermadeclear and @LostLagers.

For tickets and more information on Stein’s historic homebrewing class, visit www.hillcenterdc.org/partner/lost-lagers.


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, OCTOBER 3

Left Hand Brewing 25th Anniversary Beer Release
Join Left Hand Brewery at Dacha Beer Garden for their 25th anniversary beer release. In addition to the special anniversary brew, there will be Chai Milk Stout and Pixan Pepper Porter available on draft. 4-10:30 p.m. Free to attend. Dacha Beer Garden: 1600 7th St. NW, DC; www.dachadc.com

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4

The Great Lakes 30th Anniversary Celebration
Join as ChurchKey and Great Lakes Brewing Company celebrate with 14 beers from the Cleveland, Ohio brewery. The party includes an unbelievable list of beers including their hard-to-find keg of 30th Anniversary Imperial Oyster Stout. There will also be five different barrel-aged rarities from Great Lakes. 4-11 p.m. Free to attend. ChurchKey: 1337 14th St. NW, DC; www.churchkeydc.com

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5

Brewers Chili Throwdown
Join for the annual chili cook-off event where local breweries bring in their own chili recipes to compete in a heated contest of which brewery can craft the tastiest chili. Along with great beer, what more can you ask for? 5-8 p.m. Tickets $20. Tysons Biergarten: 8436 Leesburg Pike, Tysons, VA;  www.tysonsbiergarten.com

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6

Hoppy Oktoberfest
Join as Mad Fox turns the Market Square they call home into an Oktoberfest biergarden, where they’ll showcase a large selection of hoppy beers from some of Virginia’s finest breweries including traditional German Oktoberfest beers. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tickets available online. Mad Fox Brewery: 444 W. Broad St. Falls Church, VA; www.madfoxbrewing.com

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6 – SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7

Love Beer Fest
Don’t miss the first annual Love Beer Fest, a celebration of great beer and the passionate people who brew it. Held in DC near Yards Park, this family-friendly event is open to all beer lovers at no cost. Explore and enjoy a curated selection of 100-plus beers from more than 15 breweries across the country. Festivalgoers will have the opportunity to sample limited edition and seasonal beers, some of which will be available for the first time on the DC market. Devils Backbone will debut a unique, extra dry, brut-style lager with a light body and dry finish brewed specially for the festival. Love Beer Fest: First and M Streets and New Jersey Avenue in SE, DC; www.lovebeerfest2018.com

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7

Pugs & Pints
Join the Pigs & Pugs Project for an afternoon of sipping locally made craft beers in the Denizens beer garden with your favorite pug for a good cause. Your $20 ticket includes a pint of beer, vegan treats for you (and your pup), lawn games, and a reusable Pigs & Pugs Project tote. All proceeds will go toward microgrants that support pug rescues in need. 1-3 p.m. $10-$20. Denizens Brewing Co.: 1115 East West Hwy. Silver Spring, MD; www.denizensbrewingco.com

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13

Snallygaster 2018
Snallygaster is making its triumphant return to DC for its seventh year as a rollicking salute to craft beer. Festivalgoers can expect an unbelievable array of no fewer than 350 small-batch, highly sought-after brews on draft from the finest American and international producers set against a backdrop of local food trucks and two stages of live music. 1:30-7 p.m. Tickets $40-$65. Snallygaster: 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in NW, DC; www.snallygasterdc.com

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16

Seabee OktoBEEfest DC
Gather your crew for an awesome evening at The Brig DC, including a dog-friendly atmosphere, cornhole, food, plenty of room to move and plenty of beers on tap. Those with an official SHF OktoBEEfest glass get extended happy hour pricing for drinks. 3-11:30 p.m. Tickets $10. The Brig DC: 1007 8th St. SE, DC; www.thebrigdc.com

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18

Pumpkin Carving with Devils Backbone
One ticket purchase will include one pumpkin and one beer from the Devils Backbone draft selection. The Embassy Row Hotel will provide all the essential tools and decorations you’ll need to create the best pumpkin in DC. The carving will commence around 6 p.m. on the patio of Station Kitchen and Cocktails. Tickets $12. The Embassy Row Hotel: 2015 Massachusetts Ave. NW, DC; www.destinationhotel.com/embassy-row-hotel

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20

Shucktoberfest Beer and Oyster Festival
Calling all beer and oyster lovers. Don’t miss more than 40 local craft beer tents, food and vendor tents, and more right in Shirlington Village. The event is bringing all of your favorite Virginia breweries together in one place, so come sip your favorite brews, sample new ones and enjoy an array of fresh oysters. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets $30-$35. Village at Shirlington: 2700 Quincy St. Arlington, VA; www.shucktoberfestva.com

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27

Rock the Core Cider Fest
A celebration of cider, beer and great tunes, Rock the Core transports the orchard to your mug with more than 50-plus ciders and craft beers offered onsite. Sip on a Granny Smith, swig a sweet Golden Russet and discover untapped apple flavors while savoring local eats and live entertainment. 1-9 p.m. $50-$75. Akridge Lot at Buzzard Point: 1926 2nd St. SW, DC; www.rockthecorefest.com

Photos: Lizzie Sorkin
Photos: Lizzie Sorkin

Crafting Community at Streetcar 82

The genesis of Streetcar 82 Brewing Co. is not unlike many other microbreweries that now heavily populate the DMV. What was born of a humble homebrewing project among a group of friends and Gallaudet graduates evolved into a brick-and-mortar brewery in the heart of downtown Hyattsville.

Streetcar 82, newly opened in July, is named for an actual streetcar that connected bustling neighborhoods through DC and Maryland during its 70-year run. While the streetcar itself is now defunct, the brewery’s namesake serves as a fitting metaphor for its ability to connect multiple communities in one place – over delicious beer, of course.

The space aims to create connections among Gallaudet grads, the larger deaf community, Hyattsville residents and craft beer enthusiasts, to name a few. But  what really sets co-owners Mark Burke, Jon Cetrano and Sam Costner apart is the fact that they place as much emphasis on creating a welcoming space for people from different communities as they do on their carefully crafted beers.

“The sense of community that we hope to foster has been a driving factor in the creation of Streetcar 82,” Cetrano says. “Having a sense of place is very important. Gallaudet University is the only university in the world for deaf people, and the sense of community and bond that one gets there is very powerful. As a deaf person, it is an instant connection. Whether you attend there – or are just visiting campus to see and be in a place that welcomes you – [it’s] powerful.”

Their communities were integral in the actual creation of the brewery. The co-owners explain they were encouraged by a professor in Gallaudet’s Department of Business to open their own brewery, and even went on to win a fan favorite award at a university-hosted business pitch competition.

Social media also proved to be an important aspect of the launch. They posted updates on the brewery’s progress via their Instagram account while preparing to open, including ways for thirsty future patrons to contribute to their launch through a Kickstarter page. That alone was indicative of the area’s desire for a space like this. Streetcar 82 raised over $25,000, surpassing their goal before the campaign even closed.

Burke says they also received an outpouring of support from the Hyattsville community, including Kickstarter contributions and help from the Hyattsville Community Development Corporation to get the business up and running. He describes Hyattsville as a place where “we felt comfortable starting a business because we knew the community there would help us thrive.”

Still, the support they received didn’t make them immune to the growing pains many new businesses face and the challenge of a more limited budget than they had hoped for. Costner explains that while they obtained loans in addition to the funding from their supporters, they still had to dramatically readjust their expectations.

“We had to plan on doing a lot of the work ourselves to save money,” Costner says. “We did all the demolition work, a lot of physical labor and all the cosmetic work.”

Their efforts included painting, building the bar and installing the walk-in refrigerator, all as a way to conserve funds.

“In the end, this turned out to be a boon because we moved along a lot faster than if we waited for contractors to do the work. So not having all the money we wanted turned out to be a blessing in disguise.”

Streetcar 82 has felt support from other local breweries and members of the DMV beer community. The teams at Shaw’s Right Proper Brewing Company and Baltimore-based Suspended Brewing, and local brewer Matt Humbard (formerly of Handsome Brewing Company), have offered their professional opinions and even lent equipment when needed. Streetcar’s brewers have also forged a friendship with their neighbors at Pizzeria Paradiso and are currently planning the release of a coffee stout with Hyattsville roasters Vigilante Coffee Company.

As for beer options, the co-founders consider Streetcar to be Belgian-inspired due to the prevalence of Belgian yeasts in their brews. While you can find those varieties shining in their interpretations of New England and farmhouse IPAs and a Belgian dark strong ale, don’t expect only one style from Streetcar 82. The trio is plotting to add Märzens and Oktoberfest-style beers to their roster this month and aim to have at least half a dozen beers on tap on any given day.

And while their ties to the deaf community are strong and the presence of American Sign Language is apparent, Streetcar 82 is a place for everyone to call their own.

“We worked hard to develop a place that is diverse, neighborly and intimate,” Cetrano says. “Our brewery is a place where people can really chat with each other and see people with their kids and dogs. When you’re there, you feel like you belong.”

Check www.streetcar82brewing.com for more information about Streetcar 82. Follow them on Instagram at @streetcar82brewingco and Facebook at @Streetcar82 for the brewery’s most updated hours.

Streetcar 82 Brewing Co.: 4824 Rhode Island Ave. Hyattsville, MD; www.streetcar82brewing.com

Streetcar 82 2 (Photo - Lizzie Sorkin)

Photo: www.facebook.com/sankofabeer
Photo: www.facebook.com/sankofabeer

What’s On Tap September 2018: Sankofa Beer

Ever heard of Sankofa Beer? With how large the DC brewing scene has gotten, it’s possible these brewers slipped through the cracks. However, just because they’re new and relatively small doesn’t mean their beer has failed to drum up interest. West African founders Amado Carsky and Kofi Meroe received almost $29,000 from a Kickstarter campaign last year, including donations from around the globe. Sankofa’s flagship Hypebiscus, a hibiscus pale ale, is now available in several DC locations. With two more beers on the way, On Tap decided to chat with Meroe about the pair’s unique influences, the international support they’ve received and what’s next for them.

On Tap: What West African influences did you draw from?
Kofi Meroe: The things we experimented with were cool and different and things we’d grown up with. We’ve done cola nuts, something that’s native to West Africa. [It’s] basically just a bigger nut with caffeine, so we’d use that to make porters and stouts. We used hibiscus because we wanted to experiment with that. Obviously, we’ve used spicy foods and peppers. We get these inspirations from our upbringings and it was easy for us, because it’s who we are. Sankofa is the Twi language of Ghana, and it means to go back and take. It’s not taboo to take your past to reinforce the future. You can’t have a strong future if you don’t know where you came from. For us embarking in this new industry, we wanted to be authentic.

OT: How did you get started in brewing?
KM: I relocated to DC after I graduated. I left college with a passion for exploring craft beer. I started homebrewing, thinking I could save some money as opposed to going to stores to buy six-packs. It just so happens that my business partner, who is also my cousin [Carsky], was living here as well. We were brewing a German hefeweizen and we loved that process, and the beer came out pretty good. Since then, we’ve been homebrewing together for eight years. We never really intended to have a company, but two years ago we decided to go for it.

OT: What spurred you toward turning your hobby into a business?
KM: Essentially, we thought our beer was really good, and we were finally starting to make relationships with brewers and people in the industry. We finally got to the place where we thought it was good enough to put out there. We tried to hedge our process by taking little steps. First was to establish the business, second was to share our beer to people who matter and getting feedback from professionals. For most of 2017, we took our homebrews on tour and found private events and folks who didn’t mind if we set up in the corner and did tastings. We created the hashtag #SankofaSummer, but that excitement that we generated led us to the next step, which was figuring out what we needed to start a business.

OT: Your next step was starting a Kickstarter campaign for your business. How did raising almost $29,000 change things for you and Amado?
KM: I had to ship a Kickstarter award to Denmark and other places I hadn’t been. At the end of the day, our friends really came through for us in ways that I wouldn’t have been able to imagine. Even if they couldn’t give, they were spreading the word and they were very fervent about doing that. We had a lot of help in facilitating that campaign. It was also scary, because we raised this money and now we have to do something. We have to go out and do what we know we can do. We’re excited.

OT: Why do you think you were able to get so many donations from around the world? What about your product and background do you think resonates with so many beer drinkers?
KM: We have generated a following. There’s not a lot of people that look like us in beer who own craft beer brands. A lot of people get excited when they see us for that reason. And the beer, on top of that, is really good. We’ve gone to a lot of cultural events, and we’re always in places with cultural diversity, so we’re starting to build followings in these other communities. If anything, it’s an homage to the regions here – that someone in another state or country would pick our beer up.

OT: Where are you guys right now with the process?
KM: We just launched [at the end of June], and we’re still going through our first batch. We plan to brew in the next two to three weeks [late August]. What we do now is brew at Calvert Brewing Company in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. We wanted to find someone who could work with our culture, and the technical part just involved figuring out a recipe to work with their system.

For more information about future releases or to see the entire list of places Hypebiscus is currently available, visit www.sankofabeer.com.


MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 3

Wild Hare Hard Cider at Herndon Labor Day Festival
Head to downtown Herndon for this annual Labor Day Festival featuring craft beers, great music, outstanding sponsors, delicious food vendors and lawn games. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Herndon Town Green: 777 Lynn St. Herndon, VA; www.wildharecider.com

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8

Beer Yoga
Flow through a flight of brewery favorites during this hour-long power yoga class. Come for yoga, nama’stay for beer. Don’t forget to bring your own mat. Three-glass flights included in yoga class ticket purchase. This 21-plus class is suitable for yogis of all levels. 12-1 p.m. Tickets $15. Right Proper Brewing Company Brookland Production House + Tasting Room: 920 Girard St. NE, DC; www.rightproperbrewing.com

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9

Fairfax Beer Garden
With over 700 people in attendance at the first Fairfax Beer Garden, High Side is excited to host another round. The garden will feature a 10-tap beer trailer with an amazing lineup of brews. Try out unique Asian street food or check out what Coyote Grille’s “Roaming Coyote” food truck will be serving. Play games like life-sized Jenga, Connect Four and cornhole, and catch some football games via livestream. 12-8 p.m. Tickets $19-$23. High Side: 4009 Chain Bridge Rd. Fairfax, VA; www.fairfaxbeergarden.com

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13

The Aslin Three-Year Anniversary Pre-Party
For those who can’t make the official anniversary party at Aslin, which will happen on September 15, come to ChurchKey on Thursday for an incredible lineup of out-of-market breweries to celebrate the third anniversary of Aslin Beer Company. ChurchKey will pour a slew of specialty beers from Aslin and friends, featuring hard-to-find kegs from nearly 15 different breweries. Highlights include Southern Grist, Dancing Gnome, Narrow Gauge, Deciduous and Resident Culture, with more to be announced. ChurchKey: 1337 14th St. NW, DC;
www.churchkeydc.com

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14

Fonta Flora Brewery Tap Takeover at ANXO
Fonta Flora Brewery in Morgantown, North Carolina was kind enough to send seven kegs of delicious farmhouse ales and lagers to ANXO Cidery for guests to try this month for a special event. The tasting starts at 5 p.m. along with the pintxo happy hour with pairings and flights, and continues all night until close. Don’t miss this opportunity to try some amazing beer from one of the best breweries in the country. 5 p.m. – 12 a.m. ANXO Cidery & Pintxos Bar: 300 Florida Ave. NW, DC; www.anxodc.com

Spontaneous: The Art of Natural Wine & Beer
Let The Sovereign introduce you to the incredible world of spontaneously fermented wine and beer by showcasing five natural wines side-by-side with five wild ales. The Sovereign proudly features a wide array of spontaneously fermented beers, from Belgian lambic to American wild ales, and a selection of natural wines from France, Italy and Austria. Don’t miss some fantastic avant-garde winemakers showcasing rarely seen varietals such as Negrette and Grauburgunder along with some American and Italian examples of spontaneously fermented ales. 5-11 p.m. Free to attend. The Sovereign: 1206 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.thesovereigndc.com

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15

Capital BrewFest
Celebrate local beer, wine and music at Capital BrewFest. Each ticket includes your own tasting cup where you’ll get to sample more than 50 rare and seasonal beers from the region’s very best craft breweries, 30 wines including a ton of rosé varietals, and tons of cider and gluten-free options. There will be seven amazing food options available for purchase, plus live music all day on the mainstage and inside to keep the party going, and lots of fun outdoor games, activities and arts. 12:30-8 p.m. Tickets $19.95-$59.95. The Fairgrounds: 1299 Half St. SE, DC; www.brewfestdc.com

End of Summer Beer Garden & Hoedown
Come celebrate the spring with a rooftop beer garden event at Up Top Acres. Standing on a roof at a farm, you will enjoy a memorable day of good beer, delicious food and live music. So bring your friends and come and enjoy an afternoon at the farm and drink and eat until the sun sets over the city. Each ticket grants entrance to the venue and unlimited samplings of four beer and food pairings. 4-7 p.m. Tickets $35-$45. The Farm at 55 M Street: 55 M St. SE, DC; www.uptopacres.com

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18

Beer Dinner & Pairing Course
Would you call yourself a foodie? Or perhaps a connoisseur of the ales? Maybe both? Heritage Brewpub will be hosting a private five-course beer dinner, handcrafted by Executive Chef Josh Ber, and expertly paired with Heritage brews by Michael Smythe. Settle in for an evening of sensory experiences as you’re taken on a journey of seasonal dishes and handcrafted treats: a total of five expertly paired courses, each accompanying an ale that was chosen to accentuate and build upon the flavors of the dish. 6-9 p.m. Tickets $88. Heritage Brewpub & Roastery: 1300-1398 N. Fillmore St. Arlington, VA; www.heritagebrewing.com

Bell’s Beer Dinner
Zaytinya is thrilled to welcome back Bell’s Brewery for an evening of beer, food and conversation. Head Chef Michael Costa has created a unique five-course menu to pair with the brewery’s delicious array of award-winning and fan favorite brews. Space is limited so be sure to book a seat soon. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets $65. Zaytinya: 701 9th St. NW, DC; www.zaytinya.com

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22

Oktoberfest at The Republic
Republic is once again 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 in the tap room and outdoor biergarten. There will be a Märzen competition, featuring several locally brewed Oktoberfest lagers from the best regional breweries. Enjoy the beers and then determine which is the best – the people’s champion will take home the coveted Märzen Cup and bragging rights until next year. You’ll also get a handsome commemorative glass stein to help you remember the festival, just in case the beers make it hard to do that on your own. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets $5-$29.99. Brew Republic Bierwerks: 15201 Potomac Town Pl. Woodbridge, VA; www.brewrepublic.beer

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29

Crystal City Oktoberfest
Swing by Crystal City for Northern Virginia’s largest Oktoberfest celebration. Try over 100 craft beers from over 50 regional craft breweries. And food will be more than just sausages and pretzels: satisfy your hunger with a wide assortment of food trucks from New York-style pizza to tacos and more. Tickets include 10 4-oz. beer sampling tickets (you can purchase additional beer tickets once you’re there), entry into the festival and live entertainment. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tickets $15-$45. Crystal City Oktoberfest: 220 20th St. S, Crystal City, VA www.crystalcity.org

District Oktoberfest
Celebrate Oktoberfest in style with a beer-fueled tour of Chinatown’s best venues. A different 12-oz. Oktoberfest beer at each and every venue is included in the ticket price. Start at the check-in location and then go on to five other great venues in any order and at any pace you choose. All guests receive specials on food pairings and $4 liquor pairings, and $4 specials on additional servings of the featured Oktoberfest beers. A portion of proceeds from this event will benefit local DC charities. Cheers! Check in from 12-3 p.m. Event is from 12-10 p.m. Tickets $50. Buffalo Billiards: 1330 19th St. NW, DC; www.buffalobilliardsdc.com

Photo: Aja Neal
Photo: Aja Neal

Fall Forecast: Fresh Autumn Brews

Swig the last gulps of refreshing summer sours and get ready for fresh autumn brews recommended by some of our favorite local retailers. If you’re not too pumped about pumpkin ales, there are plenty of other familiar flavors brewed or sold locally – from sweet beers with hints of pecan, yams or coffee to malty Belgians and crisp brut IPAs. And don’t worry, you won’t have to give up sours completely, with some fall-forward fruit options on the horizon. Learn more about what’s hot for fall from these beer experts.

Photo: Aja Neal

Photo: Aja Neal

Julie Drews and Beth Helle
Co-Owners, The Brew Shop

On Tap: What beers are you looking forward to stocking in fall?
Beth Helle: One thing we love to do in the fall is create our own pumpkin patch, which is our own in-house, mixed six different pumpkin beers. It allows customers to have their pumpkin fix and to try a bunch of different ones without committing to a full six-pack.

OT: Which local brands are popular sellers in the fall?
Julie Drews: Port City’s Oktoberfest is always a big hit. Old Ox does a can, which is somewhat unique.
BH: Three Notch’d always does well. They always hit us up with amazing seasonals. Their seasonal gose will be pomegranate during [fall]. It’s fun to see the sour trend continuing over the fall. I’m sure that it’ll continue to be popular with the changing of fruits for the season.

OT: What brands will you have on tap?
BH: We always have a dedicated sour line, and that will continue all year. We’ll be shifting our fruited sours to more fall-forward fruits. I also think we’ll have an opportunity to play around with more brut beers versus true sours. As we move into the cooler weather, we can play around with a little more funk on that sour line.

The Brew Shop: 2004 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.arlbrew.com

Photo: Fareeha Rehman

Photo: Fareeha Rehman

Erika Goedrich
Owner, Craft Beer Cellars

OT:  When people think fall, they often think pumpkin. Is there another top flavor people overlook?
Erika Goedrich: 3 Stars’ Southern Belle imperial brown ale is year-round now, but that’s a good fall drink. Abita comes out with a pecan harvest at that time. There are different pecan beers available that I think are good for that time of year.

OT:  Is there a summer beer that you think people can still enjoy in the fall?  
EG: I feel like DC summers go into the fall, so are you going by weather or calendar year? [Laughs] I drink lagers and pilsners year-round – for me that’s great. The Old Pro from Union [Craft Brewing] is a gose that our customers can’t seem to get enough of. That one’s technically a summer seasonal. It goes until September I think; it’s a gose-style, which is a salt-forward sour. Again, people are looking for that year-round.

Craft Beer Cellar: 301 H St. NE, DC; https://dc.craftbeercellar.com

Photo: Fareeha Rehman

Photo: Fareeha Rehman

Sean Michaels and Josh Whisenant
Society fulfillment associates, The Bruery Store

On Tap: What Bruery flavors are on-trend for fall?
Sean Michaels: We actually have fall beers we carry year-round. We use a lot of yam and spices like cinnamon – a lot of the beers for fall are darker.
Josh Whisenant: I don’t think we have a specific “every fall we produce this beer” apart from The Bruery’s flagship beer, which is called Black Tuesday and comes out every October.

OT: What is your favorite fall beer crafted by The Bruery?
JW: We have so many different beers that come in every month. I really do like Autumn Maple; I think it’s a wonderful beer. It’s easy to drink and it’s not super heavy.
SM: I would probably go for the So Happens It’s Tuesday or [something] with coffee. It’s just a heavier, darker style that kind of gives you that fall feeling. But don’t get me wrong – you can drink it year-round.

The Bruery: 513 Morse St. NE, DC; www.thebruery.com

Photo: Fareeha Rehman

Photo: Fareeha Rehman

Tristan Walton
Store manager, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill

On Tap: What are some hot sellers for fall?
Tristan Walton: I’m always a big fan of the traditional German Oktoberfest – Hacker-Pschorr, Paulaner. Those are always the biggest sellers for me, the traditional styles.

OT: What about the best summer-to-fall flavor transition?
TW: You can do like a nice amber, like Chin Music from Center of the Universe [Brewing Company] is a good one. So, [beers] keeping in the amber themes.

OT: Your personal fall favorite?
TW: During the fall, I always enjoy a good Schlafly pumpkin [ale].

Schneider’s of Capitol Hill: 300 Massachusetts Ave. NE, DC; www.cellar.com

Photo: Aja Neal

Photo: Aja Neal

Shawntel Pike
Assistant manager, Total Wine Alexandria

On Tap: Tell us about your favorite fall seasonals.
Shawntel Pike: I like a lot of the more Belgian-style dark beers. Hardywood will start putting out some really nice stuff [for fall]. They do some nice Belgian-style, and they will start doing some barrel-aged, darker stuff in the fall, but they’re still on the lighter side now. I like their peach one now. I like fruity flavors for fall; I don’t think people really look for them, but I like them. Blackbeard’s Breakfast by Heavy Seas is really good – it’s very dark and boozy.

OT: What are some of your best-selling beers?
SP: I know we do really well with the pumpkin beers. They’re really popular, but those will die off around Thanksgiving. As far as the rest of the fall beers, they’re just all over the place depending on what people are looking for. Schlafly flies out of here.

OT: What do you feature in the growler station during the fall?
SP: I try to feature different beers all the time because we don’t want to do the same beers over and over – people get burnt out that way. We tend to have a couple of IPAs on tap. We’ll have a couple of darker beers like a stout or a porter. We normally keep a sour on tap, and we’ll do a couple of pale, golden wheat-style ales.

Total Wine Alexandria: 6240 Little River Turnpike, Alexandria, VA; www.totalwine.com

Dc Beer Week

What’s On Tap: August 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, AUGUST 1

My Imaginary Girlfriend at Lost Rhino Brewing Company
Join Lost Rhino Brewing Company for the release of their My Imaginary Girlfriend IPA. The brewery will have special pricing, giveaways and an opportunity to show off your gaming skills. There is a limited amount of M.I.G. available in cans at the brewery – only 300 cases are available. Festivities start at 1 p.m., free to attend. Lost Rhino: 21730 Red Rum Dr. Ste. 142, Ashburn, VA; www.lostrhino.com

Summer of Sour Series: De Leite
The Sovereign is thrilled to pour six drafts from one of their favorite lesser-known brewers in Belgium: Brouwerij De Leite. Highlights include Cuvée Jeune Homme, a perfectly balanced bitter-sour gem, and Cuvée Soeur’ise, in which a base tripel is soured with lacto then rolled into wine barrels with whole sour Polish cherries for six months. They will also have some Fils a Papa V, a strong ale aged in Bruichladdich Scotch barrels. 5-11 p.m. Free to attend. The Sovereign: 1206 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.thesovereigndc.com

Unibroue Beer Dinner
Featuring salmon tartare, filet mignon and house made cheesecake, Granville Moore’s is offering a wonderful food lineup for the Unibroue beer pairing. All guests will receive the official Unibroue cookbook and glassware. Unibroue is located in Chambly, Quebec and is world-famous for their adaptation of traditional Belgian ales of the Trappiste varieties and food pairings with traditional French and Belgian cuisine. 7-10 p.m. $60. Granville Moore’s: 1238 H St. NE, DC; www.granvillemoores.com

THURSDAY, AUGUST 2

CyberBrews
Join for an evening of networking, conversation and drinks with industry peers. We’re talking all things cyber and folks from the Fifth Domain’s award-winning editorial team will be there to chat with you. Oh, and beer, of course. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Free to attend. Tysons Biergarten: 8346 Leesburg Pike, Tysons, VA; www.tysonsbiergarten.com

FRIDAY, AUGUST 3

Lost in the Wilderness at ChurchKey
ChurchKey will tap six exceptional beers from the two hard-to-find West Coast brewers. Headlining the list is a rare keg of the Lost Abbey Falling Rock, brewed for legendary beer bar Falling Rock Tap House’s 21st anniversary. This special brew is a blend of a sour blonde ale with nectarines, a cherry-infused sour red ale and a tequila barrel-aged beer. There is no admission fee for this event. All beers will be priced individually by the glass and in 4-oz. tasting pours. 4-11 p.m. Free to attend. ChurchKey: 1337 14th St. NW, DC; www.churchkeydc.com

SATURDAY, AUGUST 4

DC Country Crawl
The DC Country Crawl is the largest, wildest and rowdiest country-themed bar crawl in the city. Put on your boots and Daisy Dukes because it’s time to saddle up to the best bars on U Street. With admission, you’ll receive a signature country mug, rowdy party favors, cover free access to the U Street corridor’s best venues, specials, pictures and a raffle entry for prizes. DC Country Crawl: Various locations on U Street in NW, DC; www.projectdcevents.com

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8

Guided Cider Tasting
The District’s newest cidery, Capitol Cider House, is opening up on a Wednesday for a special treat: a grand tasting with the cider maker. You’ll learn about how cider is made and get a tour of the production area. The best part: you’ll be able to taste 10 Mid-Atlantic ciders. Following the tasting, the venue will remain open for those wishing to partake in the rest of the menu. 6-9 p.m. Tickets $20. Capitol Cider House: 3930 Georgia Ave. NW, DC; www.capitolciderhouse.com

SATURDAY, AUGUST 11

Port City Beer Event Featuring King Street Bluegrass and Big Timber
Join Port City Brewing Company at Union Stage for this free event featuring an extensive tap list of the brewery’s best beers, plus a full menu. The event will also feature music from King Street Bluegrass, a traditional blues/folk band from DC, and Big Timber. Drinks at 5 p.m., music at 7 p.m. Free to attend. Union Stage: 740 Water St. SW, DC; www.unionstage.com

MONDAY, AUGUST 13

Summer GAINs: 5K and Beer Tasting
Start your week off with a Monday evening run from Port City Brewing Company, now back to runs every Monday evening. Runners meet at the brewery tasting room before heading out for a one, three or five-mile run (it’s an out-and-back route so really, it’s as long as you care to make it). It’s a pleasant route through a park, then picking up a paved path along Holmes Run. 6:30-9 p.m. Port City Brewing: 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.portcitybrewing.com

FRIDAY, AUGUST 17

8th Annual Cask Night at District ChopHouse
Don’t miss the eighth annual cask night at District ChopHouse featuring “Casks and Classics.” This tasting event features 20 local casks, abundant ChopHouse food offerings and a professional glass. 6-11 p.m. $50 per person. District ChopHouse and Brewery: 509 7th St. NW, DC; www.districtchophouse.com

SATURDAY, AUGUST 18

Paint Your Glass Off
At this beer-themed Paint Your Glass Off party, you will receive two glasses to paint (pilsner or stein), a glass of beer, all the supplies needed to paint your glass off, chances to win prizes, music, and of course, the opportunity to purchase amazing, delectable, scrumptious and savory food at happy hour prices. 1-3 p.m. Tickets $35. Brew Republic Bierwerks: 15201 Potomac Town Pl. Woodbridge, VA; www.brewrepublic.beer

Pizzeria Paradiso Summer Fest
This season’s beer fest will take place at Pizzeria Paradiso’s Dupont Circle location, which includes the spot’s lovely patio. Enjoy unlimited pizza and beer, included in ticket purchase for the four-hour event. The summer fest will also feature a draft line of rare and exception beers from several breweries. 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Tickets $80. Pizzeria Paradiso: 2003 P St. NW, DC; www.eatyourpizza.com

TUESDAY, AUGUST 21

5th Annual Battle of the Barrel Ages
Brought to you by Boundary Stone Public House, local brewing legends DC Brau, Atlas, 3 Stars and Right Proper square off in a battle royale of barrel-aged beers. A panel of judges as well as the popular vote from the public will decide which brewery wins the coveted dedicated draft line for an entire year. 5:30-10:30 p.m. Boundary Stone: 116 Rhode Island Ave. NW, DC; www.boundarystonedc.com

Tap Challenge at Dacha
When talking about a new Double IPA on tap, Dacha Beer Garden thought, “Our beer club members could help!” This week, Dacha will feature three mystery Double IPAs and ask customers which one tastes best. Buy a flight and vote for which beer you think should be the beer garden’s newest tap line. 4-10:30 p.m. Free to attend. Dacha Beer Garden: 1600 7th St. NW, DC; www.dachadc.com

Sneak Peek: DC Beer Week 2018

The week-long celebration of the DMV’s craft beer scene is back once again. Presented by the DC Brewers’ Guild, the 10th annual DC Beer Week is set to run from Sunday, August 19 to Sunday, August 26. Throughout the week, local breweries, restaurants, bars and community partners are set to offer unique tastings, collaborations and events. Taste delicious brews and learn all about the world of craft beer at educational seminars. Below is just a taste of what you’ll see, as events are still being planned for the week. Be sure to check out www.dcbeerweek.net for more information as the dates draw near.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 19

DC Brewers’ Guild/City Winery Lager Fest
Lager Fest is an event planned by the local brewing community to showcase this region’s best lagers for your enjoyment. This event will bring together more than 30 craft breweries for an afternoon of refreshing lager-style beers, pilsners and related summer favorites, including hard-to-find brews. The event will also feature live music from some of your favorite local bands. 1-5 p.m. $40. City Winery DC: 1350 Okie St. NE, DC; www.dcbeerweek.net

TUESDAY, AUGUST 21

DC Beer Week: The Art of Beer
Phil Runco of Brightest Young Things will moderate a panel discussion about the current state of art, design and the beer industry. This event will focus on the work that goes into the designs featured on the labels, posters and logos of area breweries. Learn more about the process of art design in the beer industry while drinking some local brews. 6-8 p.m. Tickets $15. Carriage House Gallery: 1921 Sunderland Pl. NW, DC; www.heurichhouse.org

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 22

DC Brau Brewing/Jameson Game Night at the Eleanor
DC Brau and Jameson will host a Wednesday evening party at the newly opened Eleanor to celebrate their caskmates partnership. 5-11 p.m. The Eleanor: 100 Florida Ave. NE, DC;
www.eleanordc.com

SATURDAY, AUGUST 25

5th Annual Brewers on The Block
Don’t miss out on brews, food, music and more. Buffalo & Bergen and Suburbia are proud to announce the fifth annual Brewers on the Block at Union Market’s Suburbia, bringing together more than 20 of the region’s top breweries, cideries and meaderies along with friends of the block from across the country. 5-9 p.m. Union Market: 1309 5th St. NE, DC;
www.unionmarketdc.com

SUNDAY, AUGUST 26

Fire Works Pizza 8th Anniversary Bash and Solidarity Pig Roast
Celebrate Fire Work’s anniversary and DC Beer Week 2018 with a solidarity pig roast. Chef Thomas will be firing up the grill and serving roasted pig, street corn and potato salad, plus enjoy live music, drink specials, prizes and giveaways. Be the first in Virginia to taste the DC Brewers’ Guild collaboration, Solidarity Pilsner, in cans. The price of a ticket gets you all-you-can-eat, plus one can of Solidarity Pilsner, Right Proper Brewing Raised by Wolves or Atlas Ponzi IPA. 12-8 p.m. $20 per ticket. Fire Works Pizza Arlington: 2350 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.fireworkspizza.com

Photo; Courtesy of The Bruery
Photo; Courtesy of The Bruery

Summer of the Sour Beer

Sour is the beer of summer. No, we’re not bestowing the varietal brew with this title simply for alliteration. When your body is being beaten down by 90-degree heat regularly, your taste buds don’t yearn for a malty ale, nor do they beg for a deep chocolate stout. Your tongue desires dry acidity in a beer, something with a lower alcohol percentage so you can return to the bartender or fridge again and again. You want a sour.

Now that we’ve discovered your heart’s sour desire, it’s time to figure out what factors contribute to a delicious sour beer. There are two popular methods to brewing sours: 1) the traditional fermenting process with equipment specifically suited for crafting a sour beer and 2) the kettle method, which allows brewers to sour unfermented wort in a few days by introducing a lactobacillus that transforms sugars into lactic acid, providing a tart flavor.

Many breweries handle the process differently. Some operate in two brewhouses to keep sours separate from their regularly offered varietals, and others just take extreme precautions to prevent contamination. Within these processes comes the additions of fruit flavors and other options that create the unique, tangy flavors that help quench thirst while providing a buzz.

Luckily for us, there are a number of breweries offering sours in the area using both techniques, and if you don’t buy what we’re saying about the summer belonging to sours, perhaps you’ll listen to them.

Photo: Rose Collins

Photo: Rose Collins

Bluejacket

Whereas most breweries lean one side or the other as far as the methodology for sours, beer director Greg Engbert says Bluejacket does both. With the need to keep sours on two to three taps at all times, the turnover of kettle sours is helpful. But the brewery still uses a mixed-fermentation, barrel-aged process for select offerings.

“We have a steady stream of delicious sours coming out at all times,” Engbert says. “Recently, we released a cherry-raspberry sour called Eighties Fan, and we also had a limited bottling of Mural, a sour brown ale aged 14 months in Napa Valley Cabernet Franc barrels.”

With this diversity, and the production of other “clean” beers, Engbert says the team at Bluejacket is extremely fastidious in their approach. To him, sour brewing is the most traditional practice when it comes to making beer.

“It embraces yeasts and bacteria known for producing wilder, often acidic flavors not typically associated with the cleaner styles created over the last few hundred years,” he says. “By once again involving some of the wilder flavors born of older forms of fermentation, we are enhancing and expanding the flavor possibility of craft beer today.”

Engbert says that hints of butter, candy corn and Cheerios represent items of flavor you don’t want in your sour, and even though that seems obvious, he assures it’s common.

“We consider a great sour to be one where all flavors are deliciously impactful, yet balanced. We seek to deliver a clean sour: one that is briskly tart, composted and aromatically inviting, with fruit and funk side by side in harmony.”

Bluejacket: 300 Tingey St. SE, DC; www.bluejacketdc.com

Photo: Courtesy of The Bruery

Photo: Courtesy of The Bruery

Bruery Terreux

Bruery Terreux, the sour sister brand of The Bruery, is a brewery in California completely tasked with crafting traditional sours and American wilds. Ethen Adams, the manager at Union Market-based The Bruery Store, says the brand became its own in 2005 when they decided to use two separate facilities to isolate all the diverse bacteria.

“We saw a need after having the experience of an infection issue,” Adams says. “There are a lot of breweries that are still brewing both in the same facility, and it can screw up really good beers. We learned the hard way early on, and since we had the space, we decided to segregate the two.”

This has spurred a friendly competition between Bruery Terreux and The Bruery’s brewhouses, with each offering radically different taprooms on the West Coast.

“The guys at Terreux have been making great sour beers, and figured out some new varieties to level the playing field.”

Nearly all of the sours touch oak at some point at Terreux, Adams says. And a majority of gallons run through their foeder, an 8,000-gallon barrel.

“We like the traditional, historical approach to our sour beers because the microbes take up residence in the wood and the beer sours on its own terms,” he continues. “We feel like there are more complexities and nuance with the traditional method, but a lot of breweries unfortunately don’t have the option.”

Popular Terreux products at The Bruery Store include goses, Berliner weisses and American wild ales.

“Sour and the Rye is an American wild ale, and you’re getting a different level of acidity with those labels,” Adams says. “They’ll still maintain complexities and be very approachable, but the acidity is very high and might pucker a newcomer to sour beers.”

The Bruery Store: 513 Morse St. NE, DC; www.thebruery.com/the-bruery-dc

Photo: Courtesy of Devils Backbone

Photo: Courtesy of Devils Backbone

Devils Backbone

With a Cranberry Gose offered year-round, Devils Backbone doesn’t do too much tinkering when it comes to sour beers. But the ones they do concoct offer a change of pace for the brewery as it shifts the order of operations for a few days, says production brewmaster Joshua French.

“It’s not a hassle,” French says. “We do kettle sours because of the precautions, and it’s interesting because we have to manipulate our one-way system in order to do one. It’s time consuming, because it sits in a mash kettle for 48 hours, and while it sits there you can’t do anything else. You have to rearrange the whole brew house.”

As for the difference between kettle sours and traditional sours, French says it’s generally a personal preference.

“It’s such a divided line in the industry,” he says. “With the kettle, you can take the acidity and start the process there, and it’s very controllable. On the other side, there’s the art and skill of blending different cultures and barrels to achieve the taste you want.”

French is all about the traditional Belgian sours because the taste provides nostalgic feels, but most importantly, he doesn’t want too much meddling in those old-school varietals. Too much of anything in a sour is off-putting.

“I don’t want to drink sour raspberry jam,” he says. “I still want the beer flavor and subtle lactic acid notes. I want subtlety in my sours – that’s what I prefer.”

Devils Backbone brews are carried at various locations throughout the DMV. Go to www.dbbrewingcompany.com for a list of spots to pick them up.

Devils Backbone Basecamp Brewpub: 200 Mosbys Run, Roseland, VA; www.dbbrewingcompany.com

Photo: Courtesy of Mad Fox

Photo: Courtesy of Mad Fox

Mad Fox Brewing Company

Bill Madden has been brewing sours at the Mad Fox Brewing Company in Falls Church since about 2014, but the first time was a complete accident. After bacteria jumped into a barrel batch of another brew, the team decided to blend and bottle the beer to keep the microscopic invaders from infiltrating the rest of the brewery. In order to sanitize the workspace, Mad Fox painted walls, cleared out the barrels and underwent a sour hiatus.

“Now we’re doing kettle sours because it controls bacteria better,” Madden says. “We’ve been doing that since last year, and we’ve done about half a dozen so far.”

Though he’s only been operating the kettle process for less than a year, Madden says he actively studied the method beforehand to ensure he was comfortable after the sour hiccup in 2014.

“Souring beer goes against everything I learned at brewing school,” he continues. “You’re always taught to keep those bacteria out. But once you invite them in, you have to control it because if they get into everything, it doesn’t fare well for a kölsch beer or pale ale.”

Mad Fox offers a Berliner weisse called the Humdinger year-round, and the brew showcases light stone fruit notes and tartness.

“We were so focused on getting our Berliner weisse right,” Maddens says. “We wanted to get that first one near perfect before we moved onto other sour beers. Patrons are asking for [fruity] versions, such as our cherry sour. I’m taking steps to slowly work through different styles, so we can perfect what we want out of the flavor profile.”

Mad Fox Brewing Company: 444 West Broad St. Falls Church, VA; www.madfoxbrewing.com

Photo: Right Proper

Photo: Right Proper

Right Proper

Right Proper’s Brookland Production House offers four different Berliner weisse sours including Jammy Smears, Convergent Worlds, Vol. 2, and Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne. Using the more traditional method of brewing sours with fermenter tanks and barrels, brewmaster Nathan Zeedner says the strict regimen that brewing sour beers calls is par for the course, as the mainstays haven’t changed radically over the years.

“How I usually explain it is we have one brew house and two breweries within these walls,” Zeedner says. “On certain days, we’re only using specific equipment, and we have it color-coded so we don’t mess up. We use very strict sanitation practices, so we don’t see any carry over. We’re very strict to our fermentation.”

Though the kettle sour method is popular because it requires less equipment such as fermenter tanks, Zeedner feels the taste misses out on the full fermentation process. While the acidity is there in kettle sours, there’s generally less character because of how quick the turnaround is.

“[The traditional method] takes longer, and [with the kettle method], you don’t have to segment equipment,” he continues. “And most people are worried about lactate jumping to other beers. But when we allow for our beers to undergo the longer process, you end up with a really beautiful fermentation character because the flavor compounds.”

Zeedner is proud of Right Proper’s family of Berliner weisse brews, saying the beers offer “a strong fermentation character and a pleasing tartness and dryness.”

Right Proper Brookland Production House: 920 Girard St. NE, DC; www.rightproperbrewing.com


Supplemental Sours

Oh hello, looking to skip the article and just find out where you can score some delicious sour beers near you? Well, we caught you peeking, but don’t feel bad. These delicious brews are worth a trip, and here are a few places in the DMV that will give you your fill.

3 Stars Brewing
With a rotating list and expansive distribution list, 3 Stars mentioned their American wild ales like Ricky Rose and Two Headed Unicorn, and the sour ale Saber Tooth Unicorn. 6400 Chillum Pl. NW, DC; www.3starsbrewing.com

Atlas Brew Works
The Ivy City-based brewery has a canned Blood Orange Gose brewed with blood orange and Himalayan pink salt, and Ugly & Stoned, an American sour with “ugly stone fruit.” 2052 West Virginia Ave. NE, DC; www.atlasbrewworks.com

Brookland Pint, Meridian Pint, and Smoke and Barrel
Beer aficionado Jace Gonnerman – also the beverage director at Brookland Pint, Meridian Pint, and Smoke and Barrel – told On Tap that he gets sours from all over the country. Despite that, and because of the great brewing culture in DC, he’s always rotating beers from local spots as well. For sours, he recommends Right Proper’s Silver Branch Convergent Worlds Vol. 2 and The Bruery’s Tart of Darkness with black currants.
Brookland Pint: 716 Monroe St. NE, DC; www.brooklandpint.com
Meridian Pint: 3400 11th St. NW, DC; www.meridianpint.com
Smoke and Barrel: 2471 18th St. NW, DC; www.smokeandbarreldc.com

City Tap House
In the mood for some variety? City Tap House has a variety of sours on the menu, and you can even partake in multiple at a time with a flight. 901 9th St. NW, DC and 1250 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC
www.citytap.com

Dacha Beer Garden
On the heels of their late-June celebration, Sour Liz, this beer garden is flush with remaining gallons of beer, so hurry before they run out for good. 1600 7th St. NW, DC; www.dachadc.com

Granville Moore’s
Granville Moore’s carries a variety of big format sours, whether bottled or canned, and routinely have at least one on tap. 1238 H St. NE, DC; www.granvillemoores.com

High Side
High Side offers a variety of sour beers including Old Ox Funky Face Margarita Gose, Collective Arts Gose with blackberry, black currant and lemon zest, and a number of others on draft and in bottles. 4009 Chain Bridge Rd. Fairfax, VA; www.highsideva.com

Roofers Union
Roofers Union in Adams Morgan offers multiple sour beers, including Sierra Nevada’s Otra Vez, Allagash’s Interlude and even a graft cider titled Fields & Flowers. And that’s only a touch of the expansive menu at this spot. 2446 18th St. NW, DC; www.roofersuniondc.com

Photo: Nicholas Karlin
Photo: Nicholas Karlin

What’s On Tap: Church Hall

After taking the dead space leftover from an indoor mall, Georgetown’s newest craft beer spot Church Hall is already turning heads with their robust selection of brews and delectable bar food. Opened in late March, this kind of spot was desperately sought after in the Northwest neighborhood by college students and residents alike. We checked in with assistant general manager Jessica Cooter to see how the new bar was fitting in on Wisconsin Avenue.

On Tap: I noticed a ton of DC beers in your rotating draft list, is that a focus for you guys to maintain a relatively local feel?
Jessica Cooter: We do like to have a focus on local beers, if we can, to highlight what people are doing in the area. That worked out well for us, our rotating menu changes pretty frequently, and some might only last a week or a couple of days. The frequency depends on the availability and how well it’s selling, and what our focus of the month is. Right now, we’re trying to do a bunch of sour beers, so it depends on what we can get and how much we can get.

OT: Being in Georgetown, in the midst of upper class people and college students, is there any difficulty to finding the right balance?
JC: Not really, most people tend to gravitate toward the same sort of selections. The college kids and older folks want to the same kind of things. A really popular order is to get a beer in a liter glass. We do that for our main draft beers, and everyone really likes to grab those. People like the look of them and just the simple fact that you can get a ton of beer at once.

OT: You have a robust craft menu, how much thought did you guys put into the menu when constructing it, and how much input do the patrons have?
JC: We sit down and do research on the kinds of beers we’re looking for. Distributors bring us samples as well, but we do a ton of that independently.

OT: I don’t know of many craft places in Georgetown before. Do you guys feel like you’re filling the craft beer void in the neighborhood?
JC: Hopefully! We like to think we’re filling that void. It’s nice to offer such a wide variety in the neighborhood and it works out for us. We’re happy to be the one fulfilling the need.

OT: How has the response been in the last three months?
JC: I would say it’s been what we expected. We’ve seen happy hour groups come in and people just responding to the look and feel of the space; those things are always nice.

Church Hall: 1070 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.churchhalldc.com


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, JULY 4

Brau, Brats and Freedom 4th of July Party
Join the crew of DC Brau at Dacha Beer Garden as they celebrate with Brau, Brats and Freedom. DC Brau will be on special and Dacha will be serving up some delicious Fourth of July fare. There will be games in the garden and plenty of chances to win prizes and DC Brau swag. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free to attend. Dacha Beer Garden: 1600 7th St. NW, DC; www.dachadc.com

City Tap House’s 4th of July Beer-BBQ Battle
The City Tap House patio will feature breweries like 3 Stars Brewing Company, Evolution Craft Brewing Company and the Center of the Universe Brewing who will battle it out while serving up barbecue samples, potato salad and coleslaw. The brewery with the most guest votes will be crowned with the title. For more liquid delight, there will be a la carte frozen John Daly’s and beer floats. City Tap House Penn Quarter: 901 9th St. NW, DC; www.pennquartersportstavern.com

THURSDAY, JULY 5 and THURSDAY, JULY 19

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

SATURDAY, JULY 7

5th Annual Old Town Pub Crawl at Port City Brewing Company
The annual Pub Crawl returns for the 5th time on the streets of Old Town. The Port City team will be at nine local restaurants, near the Alexandria waterfront, stamping pub crawl passes and handing out swag. Complete your Pub Crawl Pass by 5:30 p.m. and get a limited-edition pint glass. 2-6 p.m. Free to attend. Old Town Pub Crawl: Various locations in Alexandria, VA; www.portcitybrewing.com

MONDAY, JULY 9

A Superbly Off-Centered Beer Dinner at Chatter
Join for a 5-course Dogfish Head Beer Dinner with Calvert Woodley Wines and Spirits. The event includes multiple food items including grilled peach caprese salad, fried green tomatoes, crab benedict, chicken fried short rib and an espresso panna cotta. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets $65. Chatter: 5247 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC;
www.chatterdc.com

TUESDAY, JULY 10

The Bluejacket Beer Dinner at Rustico Slaters
On this night, Rustico will offer five exceptional beers from Bluejacket alongside a specially designed menu by Chef de Cuisine Aaron Wright. Don’t miss this opportunity to try some deliciously rare treats from this very special Navy Yard brewery. Greg Engert, beer director for both Bluejacket and Rustico, will be back at Rustico as the host for the evening, sharing stories behind the beers, the brewery and more. 7-9 p.m. Tickets $55. Rustico: 827 Slaters Ln. Alexandria, VA; www.rusticorestaurant.com

FRIDAY, JULY 13 and FRIDAY, JULY 27

Brewmaster Tours Featuring Atlas Brew Works
Includes an hour-long guided tour of the museum and a local craft beer tasting. Receive one beer flight per person, featuring 4 ounce pours of three local beers, and experience the Brewmaster’s Castle with a drink in your hand. After the tour, guests are welcome to mingle in the Conservatory and purchase full beers if they wish. 5-6:30 p.m. Tickets $30. Heurich House Museum: 1307 New Hampshire Ave. NW, DC; www.heurichhouse.org

SATURDAY, JULY 14

Mad Fox Brewing Company 8th Anniversary Party
Come join the fun as Mad Fox celebrates eight wonderful years with eight exceptional beers at their Brewpub in Falls Church. In honor of this special occasion, they are releasing some new beers and some rare editions of their favorite beers. There will be live music and the annual Anniversary glass giveaway. Oh, and cake too. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Free to attend. Mad Fox Brewing Company: 444 West Broad St. Falls Church, VA; www.madfoxbrewing.com

TUESDAY, JULY 17

44 Beer Comedy Showcase
With some of the best beer in DC, what’s a better pair than comedy? Well on top of some of the lowest prices for craft beers in DC, during the show, you can also get an additional $1 off every beer. The show features five comedians, each performing 10-minute sets with their best material. 8-10:30 p.m. Tickets $10-$20. The Heights Taproom: 3115 14th St. NW, DC; www.theheightstaproom.com

Taco Beer Dinner at Gordon Biersch
Come join at Gordon Biersch Rockville for a taco beer dinner. They’ll be pairing limited-release tacos that you won’t find on the menu with a curated selection of in-house beers. 6-8 p.m. Ticket information available soon. Gordon Biersch: 200 E. Middle Ln. Rockville, MD; www.gordonbiersch.com

THURSDAY, JULY 19

Brew at the Zoo
Drink beer, save wildlife! Join friends of the National Zoo at DC’s best beer festival. Enjoy great times and great brews with unlimited beer tastings from more than 70 breweries, exotic animal encounters, live music and entertainment, and fare from popular food trucks – it’s a unique after-hours zoo experience. Proceeds benefit the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s mission to save species. 6-9 p.m. Tickets $65. Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute: 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; www.nationalzoo.si.edu

THURSDAY, JULY 19

Yoga, Beer and BBQ at the Backyard Barbecue
Hill Country Barbecue Market is excited to revive the Backyard Barbecue, a summer pop-up at the National Building Museum (5th and F Streets). Backyard Barbecue is the place to chow down on authentic central Texas-style barbecue and enjoy live music. Enjoy a one-hour yoga class suitable for all levels, followed by a pint of beer from DC Brau, and dinner from Hill Country Barbecue. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tickets $20. National Building Museum: 401 F St. NW, DC; www.nbm.org

SUNDAY, JULY 22

Shark Week Paint and Brew
Kick off Shark Week with a flight of four beers and follow step-by-step instructions to complete a Shark Week-themed painting. All supplies will be provided. 1-3 p.m. Tickets $35. Forge Brew Works: 8532 Terminal Rd. Lorton, VA; www.forgebrewworks.com

WEDNESDAY, JULY 25

Maryland Blue Crab Feast at Mad Fox Brewing Company
Say hello to summer by enjoying a family style all-you-can-eat Crab feast. Happy Hour pricing will be extended until 9 p.m. for the special occasion. Menu includes all you can eat Maryland blue crabs steamed in Mad Fox beer and Old Bay, butter poached corn on the cob, panzanella salad and famous Old Bay potato chips. 6:30-10 p.m. Tickets $55. Mad Fox Brewing Company: 444 W Broad St. Falls Church, VA; www.madfoxbrewing.com

SATURDAY, JULY 28

Riverside Beer Garden Silent Disco
Nestled between the Anacostia River and Nationals Park, home to the Washington Nationals, is the Bardo Brewery. This riverside beer garden in the Navy Yard district is about to be taken over, quietly. In true Quiet Events fashion, there will be three DJ’s creating the soundtrack to your night and hundreds of party-goers drinking and jiving. Come out, grab a beer (or several) and party under the bridge. 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. Tickets $5-$20. Bardo Brewing: 25 Potomac Ave. SE, DC; www.bardo.beer

Photo: Courtesy of Continental Beer Garden
Photo: Courtesy of Continental Beer Garden

Beer Garden Season

As the sun finally shows its face in the District and the temperature begins to rise, everyone is taking to the streets in search of ways to enjoy the sunshine and quench their thirst in the process. And with the area’s brewing game steadily growing (80-plus local breweries and counting across the DMV), it’s no surprise that beer gardens have become popular gathering spots.

“People want to be outside in the city,” says Ryan Roller, general manager at The Brig. “It goes to show when there’s one weekend in January when it’s 60 degrees and we have people calling to make sure we’re open; we’re open year-round.”

Since opening in 2016 in the thriving Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, The Brig has become a local favorite. The massive outdoor beer garden serves up a variety of 23 brews on tap – along with a Tito’s cocktail available this summer – and is able to seat over 200 and nearly 300 standing outdoors (think an entire section of Nationals Stadium!)

“With beer gardens, as long as you offer something for everyone, they are going to work,” Roller says, noting that he tries to keep beers on tap for everyone’s palate, whether they are looking for a light lager, traditional IPA or testing the waters with something stronger.

“I’ve got this delicious, unfiltered, raspberry sour IPA that literally pours pink out of the tap, and people see that pink coming out and they’re like, ‘Wow!’”

Over on Georgia Avenue, entering Midlands Beer Garden feels much like an escape, with a welcoming outdoor space of communal picnic tables and wooden trellises decorated with lighting to take you away from city life for awhile.

On any given evening or weekend, you can find groups gathered to enjoy one of the 22 beers on draft, including a fair share of local brews, East Coast favorites, and German and Belgian varieties. A limited menu serves up giant pretzels and sandwiches, including a tasty bánh mì, but guests are also welcome to bring in their own food or order delivery.

The popularity of beer gardens in an urban environment like the DMV can also be attributed to the neighborhood feel they provide. Over in the Arlington neighborhood of Rosslyn, Continental Beer Garden does exactly this, with a large open space of high communal tables, lounge chairs and patio sofas along with bocce courts, creating a fun, recreational outlet among the high-rises and busy street traffic.

“We often heard that Rosslyn was missing an outdoor space,” says Katie Smith, Continental’s general manager. “A term I’ve heard is a third place – not a home or work – but another place that people will spend a lot of time. Our vibe is so relaxed even though it’s in the middle of so much activity. We’re an oasis that’s around the corner versus having to travel to enjoy being outdoors.”

Open seasonally when the temps rise above 60 degrees, Continental offers up German Weihenstephaner beers, as well as local craft varieties. A colorful mural by artist Jason Woodside brightens up the outdoor space, while lights strung around create a warm ambiance for when the sun goes down.

Also located in Arlington, Westover Market and Beer Garden is another outdoor beer drinking location to check out. Westover opened in 2009, and happens to be the DC area’s first-ever beer garden. While the market is renowned for its in-house butcher and incredible beer selection, the outdoor garden space has grown in popularity for its unique personality and neighborhood vibe.

The gated stone patio has several picnic tables, surrounded by lush green trees and plants, with live music when the weather prevails. During the summertime, they also offer up tasty barbecue along with burgers and sandwiches, all utilizing local, grass-fed meats. Be sure to chase it down with the variety of beers offered in the garden, including a highly recommended (and refreshing!) mango white ale for the summertime.

Learn more about these area beer gardens below. Cheers!

The Brig: 1007 8th St. SE, DC; www.thebrigdc.com
Continental Beer Garden: 1901 Fort Myer Dr. Arlington, VA; www.continentalpoollounge.com
Midlands Beer Garden: 3333 Georgia Ave. NW, DC; www.midlandsdc.com
Westover Market and Beer Garden: 5863 Washington Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.westovermarketbeergarden.com

Photo: Courtesy of Supreme Core Cider
Photo: Courtesy of Supreme Core Cider

What’s On Tap: Supreme Core Cider Opens Taste Room in District

The story of Supreme Core Cider comes with cider love at first sight – or something close to that. After meeting on a message board and bonding over their adoration for niche cideries on the Left Coast, Will Sullivan and Kyle Crosby figured they’d bring the craft beer aesthetic with a twist to the District. After three years of hard work, architectural investigations and a ton of science experiments involving apples, Supreme Core Cider opened the doors to its taproom on May 12. Just weeks after they began welcoming cider diehards and neophytes into their Ivy City location, we caught up with Sullivan to discuss all things cider.

On Tap: How did you and Kyle meet? When did the idea of a cidery come up?
Will Sullivan: We actually met on a local cidermakers’ chat forum – basically, a place where weirdos hang out and make ciders, and talk recipes, equipment and procedures. I put it out there that I was going to start one in DC, and we started chatting and got together. He ended up having a similar vision, and we had a good alignment there. We’re both craft beer guys at heart, and we wanted to approach cider like craft beer is approached. Our mission is [to use] available input to put out high-integrity, all-natural ciders. We try to source locally. We use real fruits, and our barrel programs are all from local producers.

OT: What do you mean by “real stuff” when it comes to cider?
WS: I’ll start by saying that the cideries we look up to are in the Pacific Northwest in Washington and Oregon, like 2 Towns Ciderhouse and Schilling Hard Cider. They come from a great craft beer culture, and they’re making really great products. Our goal is to hit the sweet spot and work with orchards throughout the season – be less like a winery and more like a brewery, in terms of how you feel when you’re inside and the palate we’re carving out.

OT: What can people expect from the drinks you offer? How did locals respond to your official opening?
WS: People really seemed to like it. We’ve been in the market since September, producing offsite while we waited for the taproom. The fact that we’re hitting the market with something that just wasn’t here – people are excited about that. We’re not for you if you’re into super sweet, but we’re the guys who are making cider without a crazy reliability on sugar. We’ve participated in a bunch of events. We did Snallygaster and different cider festivals. We were involved in a big festival at Nats Park. We do a ton of tastings to introduce people to our ciders, neighborhood by neighborhood.

OT: Now that you’ve accomplished opening the tap room, what’s next for you guys?
WS: Total and complete global domination [laughs]. We’re lucky to get in the market and interact with people. Our goal is to get people to our facility, and a big part of what we’re doing here is educational and cultural. We’re always going to have more than what’s on our website at the taproom. We want people to come and see our crazy experiments. Cider can be a cool beverage, but it can also anchor a culture like craft beer does.

Supreme Core Cider’s taproom is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-8 p.m. Follow them on social media at @supremecorecider.

Supreme Core Cider: 2406 T St. NE, DC; 202-215-5029; www.supremecorecider.com


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, JUNE 6

The Reverie Beer Dinner
Join Rustico Ballston for an unforgettable evening of beer and food with their friends from Reverie Distribution. Taste featured beers from five different breweries from Reverie’s portfolio alongside a specially designed menu by chef de cuisine Stephen McRae. 7-9 p.m. Reservations are required. $55. Rustico Ballston: 4075 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.rusticorestaurant.com

THURSDAY, JUNE 7

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

FRIDAY, JUNE 8

Lagunitas Beer Dinner
Join Wildfire for a summer beer dinner when Wildfire’s executive chefs prepare a four-course custom menu paired with craft brews from Lagunitas Brewing Company. William Stanfield of Lagunitas Brewing Company will join as guest speaker for the evening. The dinner begins with a reception of passed appetizers and the first pairing at 6:30-8 p.m. $60. Wildfire at Tysons Galleria: 2001 International Dr. 3rd floor, McLean, VA; www.wildfirerestaurant.com/mclean

Tinner Hill Blues, Brews & BBQ Block Party
Join as Mad Fox closes the Market Square, fires-up the smoker and kicks-off Falls Church’s Tinner Hill Blues Festival with their inaugural Blues, Brews and BBQ Block Party. They will have live Blues music, great food and award-winning Mad Fox beer. 4-10 p.m. Outdoor Block Party ends at 10 p.m. but the restaurant will still be open for even more fun and beer. $7-$10 (beer and barbecue not included). Mad Fox Brewing Company: 444 West Broad St. Falls Church, VA; www.madfoxbrewing.com

FRIDAY, JUNE 8 and JUNE 15

Brewmaster Tours
Spend your evening like a brewmaster! Admission includes an hour-long guided tour of the museum and a local craft beer tasting. Receive one beer flight per person featuring 4-oz. pours of three local beers, and experience the Brewmaster’s Castle with a drink in your hand. This month, the tours will feature a special tasting of Aslin beer. Guests must be 21+ to attend. 5-6:30 p.m. $30. Heurich House Museum: 1307 New Hampshire Ave. NW, DC; www.heurichhouse.org

MONDAY, JUNE 11

Dynamic Duos Aslin and Southern Grist: 20 Rare Drafts
ChurchKey welcomes Aslin Beer Company and Southern Grist Brewing to pour 20 different beers from the two incredible breweries. Rarely available in DC, Southern Grist has sent an unbelievable lineup of beers, including their collaboration with Aslin, Pushing Buttons. This Sour IPA was brewed with oranges, lemons, limes, lactose, vanilla and Jasmine tea. Not to be outdone, the friends at Aslin have sent a slew of specialties, including Cotton, an Imperial Pastry Stout finished with vanilla beans, cocoa nibs, coffee, coconut flakes, marshmallow and macadamia nuts. All Aslin and Southern Grist beers will be priced individually. 4-11 p.m. Free to attend. ChurchKey: 1337 14th St. NW, DC; www.churchkeydc.com

THURSDAY, JUNE 14

The Decadent Ales Showcase
ChurchKey welcomes the fine folks from Decadent Ales with pours of seven hard-to-find beers from the upstate New York brewery and host founder Paul Pignataro. Located in Mamoraneck, New York, Decadent Ales is known for brewing juicy, hazy IPAs and rich, dessert-inspired pastry stouts. Only recently available in the DC metro area, we can’t wait for you to taste these incredible beers. 4-11 p.m. There is no admission fee for this event. All Decadent beers will be priced individually by the glass and in 4-oz. tasting pours. ChurchKey: 1337 14th St. NW, DC; www.churchkeydc.com

The Power of Positive Drinking
The Power of Positive Drinking is back with more great, free comedy featuring some of the best up-and-coming comedians in the DMV. All performers pair nicely with Port City Brewing Company’s delicious craft beer. They will be offering beer in pitchers, so you and your friends won’t miss the show. Doors at 6:30 p.m., event from 7-9 p.m. Port City Brewing Company: 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.portcitybrewing.com

FRIDAY, JUNE 15 – SATURDAY, JUNE 16

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival
Get ready for two big days of beer sipping, bourbon tasting, music listening and barbecue eating. Your admission buys you a sampling glass so you can enjoy an all you can taste samplings of beer and bourbon. Some of the best barbecue vendors will be onsite if you get hungry, in addition to enjoyable seminars in the tasting theater and live music all day. Featuring 60-plus beers, 40 bourbons and tons of barbecue. 6-10 p.m. on Friday, 2-6 p.m. on Saturday. $45-$120. The Plateau: 300 Waterfront St. National Harbor, MD; www.beerandbourbon.com

SATURDAY, JUNE 16

Bluegrass and Crawfish Boil with Rare Craft Beers
For those who haven’t experienced the fine tradition of a Southern Lowcountry boil, this is just the event for you. Join in the outdoor courtyard, where Rustico Ballston’s own chef de cuisine Stephen McRae will be serving up a feast of fresh Louisiana crawfish, Andouille sausage, corn on the cob and red potatoes. No crawfish boil is complete without a cold beer in-hand, so four Virginia breweries will be there to make sure your glasses don’t go empty. Enjoy everything from lawn games to live bluegrass performances from The Grandsons and Jonny Grave. 12-7 p.m. Free to attend. Rustico Ballston: 4075 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.rusticorestaurant.com

Pedals ‘N’ Pints: June Short Ride
Are you a bicyclist who loves beer and lives in the DMV? Be a part of Port City’s Pedals ‘N’ Pints June Short Ride. Come gather for coffee and donuts before departing for a ride, then return to plentiful brews and The Big Cheese food truck. It will be a little more than a 10-mile route from the front door of the tasting room out to the park, up to Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) and back. 10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. Port City Brewing Company: 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.portcitybrewing.com

THURSDAY, JUNE 21

Heavy Seas Beer Tasting
Be the first to the fiesta with a tap takeover with Flying Dog Brewery. Each ticket grants you three different tastes, complimentary house-made chips and more. Additional beers can be purchased for $5 during happy hour until 7 p.m. After, draft beers are $7. 4-10 p.m. Station Kitchen & Cocktails at The Embassy Row Hotel: 2015 Massachusetts Ave. NW, DC; www.destinationhotels.com/embassy-row-hotel

SATURDAY, JUNE 23

Beer 101 at Mad Fox Brewing
Learn all about your favorite craft beers from production to taste characteristics at the Mad Fox Beer 101 class lead by CEO and executive brewer Bill Madden, who is a veteran of the brewing industry. The ticket price includes a brewery tour with a Q&A, a beer sampler handpicked by the brewers themselves, a discussion and a bar snack. There are only 20 slots available for each class. 4-5:30 p.m. $15. Mad Fox Brewing: 444 W. Broad St. Falls Church, VA; www.madfoxbrewing.com

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs: Derecho Party
Celebrate the return of summer and Derecho Common with a party in the Port City parking lot and fundraiser for Friends of Puerto Rico. Port City has also invited Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation to host a pet adoption from 2-4 p.m., so grab a pint and go home with a six-pack and a puppy (please only adopt a puppy if you have time and a loving home for them). Starting at 5 p.m., enjoy live music all night from Levi Stephens and Rabid Flash MoB and friends. Two food trucks will be onsite to satisfy your hunger, Rocklands BBQ and DC Slices. 12-10 p.m. Port City Brewing Company: 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.portcitybrewing.com

MONDAY, JUNE 25

Nama’stay for Beer
Roll out your mat on a deck overlooking the DC horizon for an exhilarating yoga experience under the beautiful sky. You will spend your first hour moving and breathing mindfully in a vinyasa flow, then walk to the tasting room of Heritage Brewing Co. at Market Common for post-class libations. Meet on the top deck of the Fillmore St. Parking Garage (across from Heritage) by 6:45 p.m. to set up your mat. 6:45-8:30 p.m. Each ticket includes an all-levels yoga class and your first drink after class. BYO mat. $20-$25. Heritage Brewing Co. Market Common Brewpub & Roastery: 1300-1398 N. Fillmore St. Arlington, VA; www.heritagebrewing.com

SATURDAY, JUNE 30

Red, White & Brew Festival
Show your patriotic colors while you kick back with friends, food, tunes and a sweet selection of reds, whites and brews. There’s no better way to raise a flag (and a toast) to Uncle Sam than by drinking in America’s fruits of the vine and amber waves of grain. Every ticket purchase gives you unlimited full pours of American beer, unlimited tastings of 100-plus wines, craft beers and ciders, plus access to area food trucks, a local artisan market, live music and entertainment all day. 1-9 p.m. (Session 1 from 1-4 p.m. and Session 2 from 6-9 p.m.) $29-$89. Akridge Lot at Buzzard Point: 1926 2nd St. SW, DC; www.rwbrewfest.com

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