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Photo: Shantel Mitchell Breen
Photo: Shantel Mitchell Breen

This is SOME Burger Battle

When you think summer, many images come to mind. From beaches to barbecues, the warmest season brings with it outdoor adventures and meals to be had. Two constants for most folks during the middle months are beers and burgers, and luckily for you, DC Burger Battle is slated to host its second annual event on August 23.

Meat and beer lovers will gather at the Hill Country Backyard Barbecue lawn at the National Building Museum as 10 restaurants battle burger vs. burger to see who reigns supreme. This year’s participants are b DC Penn Quarter, Bullfeathers, Blackfinn Ameripub, The Capital Burger, Due South, Hard Rock Cafe, Hill Country Barbecue Market, Rebellion, Sign of the Whale and Stoney’s on L. (More info on the participants below.)

While this event is meant to get people out and celebrating the weather, the DC Burger Battle also acts as a benefit for the nonprofit organization So Others Might Eat (SOME), which provides food, clothing and health care to impoverished people in DC.

“We know there’s about 7,000 people experiencing homelessness in Washington, and the number of people living in poverty is more than that,” says Kate Wiley, SOME’s marketing and communications manager. “We provide crucial services for people to help get by and improve their quality of life. We hope people are excited and motivated by our great cause, and we appreciate the support.”

Aside from the contributions from proceeds, SOME is also excited to gain more traction with young professionals. For them, the added exposure makes participating in events like these a no-brainer because if people can find out more about them, they may be more likely to get involved.

“We’re excited to be able to share what we do with a whole new audience,” Wiley says. “We just want to get our name recognition out there, and we’re able to provide a description of a multitude of services that are talked about onstage.”

Though SOME provides a serious contribution to the residents of the District, even Wiley is excited to simply enjoy the outdoor weather in late August.

“I think there was a lot of enthusiasm around [last year’s] event and being able to have a good time but also support a good cause,” she says. “It’s gratifying for us to be a part of an event like that.”

The second annual DC Burger Battle takes place on Thursday, August 23 from 6-9 p.m. Tickets include burger samples and all-you-care-to-enjoy Budweiser. Tickets cost $30. Learn more at www.dcburgerbattle.com.

Hill Country Backyard Barbecue at the National Building Museum: 401 F St. NW, DC; 202-556-2050; www.dcburgerbattle.com


Burger Battlers

b DC Penn Quarter
Last year’s first-place finisher and Burger Battle champion, b DC Penn Quarter offers a variety of burgers at their locations including some non-beef varieties. “Our featured burger will be the same as last year, the Classic B Cheeseburger, with meat, cheese and bread, keeping it simple and focusing on what’s important: the beef,” says general manager Brian Beauregard. 801 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, DC; www.burgersbeerbourbon.com

Blackfinn Ameripub
A serious competitor, Blackfinn Ameripub brings real ingredients by real people, and their menu always delivers a competitive burger. Though they don’t get wild with the ingredients; they focus on a traditional style, and the flavor is always present. 1620 I St. NW, DC; www.blackfinnameripub.com

Bullfeathers
With a name like Bullfeathers, you know this eatery means business. Their approach to burgers is not to be taken lightly; with a number of signature styles, variety is always an option at Bullfeathers. 410 1st St. SE, DC; www.fb.com/BullfeathersDC

The Capital Burger
Touting what they call “luxury burgers,” the Capital Burger offers a myriad of options at their brick-and-mortar site including their famous Capital Burger, featuring caramelized onions, Wisconsin Grand Cru gruyère and shallot aioli. 1005 7th St. NW, DC; www.thecapitalburger.com

Due South
A returning competitor from last year’s edition, Rusty Holman says they are still fine-tuning their burger for this year’s battle. “We will start with a high-quality brisket and chuck blend beef patty.” If you like meat on top of your meat, Due South might be for you. 301 Water St. SE, DC; www.duesouth.com

Hard Rock Cafe
Known for their décor and memorabilia adorning the restaurant, Hard Rock also serves up a fantastic burger. Last year’s burger featured a Budweiser beer sauce, look for something creative this year too. 999 E St. NW, DC; www.hardrock.com

Hill Country Barbecue Market
Though they don’t have a burger on their regular menu, the hosting Hill Country Barbecue grilled exquisite patties last year. While their expertise may lie in barbecue, the burgers from Hill Country at the DC Burger Battle will leave you wanting them when you visit the restaurant. 410 7th St. NW, DC; www.hillcountry.com

Rebellion DC
As their website says, this restaurant values American history, and when delving into the archives of our country, great burgers make frequent appearances. Count on Rebellion to carry on the tradition of churning out this delicious American favorite. 1836 18th St. NW, DC; www.rebelliondc.com

Sign of the Whale
Even though they deliver a mean crab dip and lobster bisque, Sign of the Whale is also purveyors of several burger styles including their namesake Whale Burger, which includes a patty served in between two grilled cheese sandwiches. 1852 M St. NW, DC: www.thewhaledc.com

Stoney’s
Stoney’s delivers a plethora of options at their DC location including the Stoney’s Burger, One Eye Burger and other classic variations. Be sure to try their special sauce. 1433 P St. NW, DC; www.stoneys-dc.com

Brewers Ball
Photos: Mark Raker

Brewer’s Ball 2017 Serving Up Hops & Hope

For over a decade, the Metropolitan Washington, DC chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has been serving up hope, one pint at a time. The gala event returns for its 13th year on March 4 at the National Building Museum, and this year promises to be the best and biggest edition yet. Tickets are on sale now and cost $150, of which $80 is tax-deductible.

The 13th Annual Beer Institute Brewer’s Ball will continue to feature more than 35 of the very best local and regional craft breweries, as well as some national players. Beyond the beers, over 25 great restaurants will keep attendees well-fed while the VIPs keep the crowd moving with live music and dancing.

“Brewer’s Ball is a highlight annually for those that love great beers and better causes,” says Dennis O’Leary, one of three co-chairs of the committee that coordinates Brewer’s Ball each year. O’Leary’s desire to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis (CF) is deeply personal; his son, Casey, was born with the disease. “This event raises funds that have contributed greatly toward research for new treatments, programs and care for those with CF.”

CF is a genetic, life-threatening disease that affects about 30,000 people in the United States. Approximately 10 million additional people are carriers of the gene that causes CF. In people with CF, a defective gene causes a thick buildup of mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs, which clogs the airways and traps bacteria leading to infections, extensive lung damage and eventually, respiratory failure.

A few decades ago, most people with CF didn’t live long enough to attend elementary school. Through the efforts of the CF Foundation, the life expectancy of a person with CF has doubled in the last 30 years. Today, many people with CF are living into their 30s, 40s and beyond. Recent drug discovery and development programs have yielded drugs that have changed the course of CF. For the first time, two FDA-approved therapy (Kalydeco and Orkambi) treat not just the symptoms of the disease but the underlying genetic defect for a small percentage of the population. Recent research shows great potential for additional treatments that will similarly affect a larger percentage of people with CF. Although great progress has been made, there’s still a lot of work to do to put a cure in the hands of every person with CF.

Brewer’s Ball has grown immensely along with the DC area’s craft beer scene. When the event started, there were no production breweries in DC or Northern Virginia. Now, over a decade later, the event features multiple breweries from the DMV. Local favorites like Port City, Flying Dog and Manor Hill will rub elbows with nationally renowned brands like Dogfish Head, Allagash and Boulevard.

The event, which has become well-liked among breweries as well, gives attendees the chance to chat with brewery representatives, and gives lovers of fine ales and lagers plenty of chances to ask questions and find out more about their favorite suds. (Don’t worry, wine, cider and mead fans, there’s something here for you, too). Area restaurants like Ted’s Bulletin, Hill Country Barbecue Market, Matchbox, Hank’s Oyster Bar and Dino’s Grotto in Shaw pull out the culinary stops, often pairing their dishes with the breweries at the event.

Once the well-dressed attendees are fed and watered (or beered, as the case may be), they can bid on silent auction items ranging from brewery tours, to weekend getaways, to themed baskets. Using their smart phones, guests can check back periodically to make sure they haven’t been outbid on that bourbon basket they’re itching to bring home. During the live auction, guests go head to head for one-of-a-kind experiences, which in the past have included a “custom cask build experience” at Heavy Seas, a trip to Hollywood to see The Ellen DeGeneres Show and a week-long trip to Palm Springs.

Brewer’s Ball, which raised $420,000 last year, has grown from more modest roots (it raised $40,000 in its first year) and has now raised close to $3.5 million for the CF Foundation. With the help of the local craft beer community, area restaurants, and attendees and sponsors, the event will hopefully grow even more this year as it taps into the continued push for a cure.

For more information about the event, visit www.dcbrewersball.org


For details regarding sponsorship or to be a brewery and restaurant tasting station, please contact Erin Leahey, Senior Development Director at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at eleahey@cff.org or 303-657-8444.  On Tap is a proud supporter of the DC Brewer’s Ball.