Posts

What’s On Tap: June 2019

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.

THURSDAY, JUNE 6

#PridePils Launch
DC Brau and The Washington Blade are thrilled to announce this year’s winner of the third annual Pride Pils Can Design competition: local DC artist Maggie Dougherty. Her vibrant and inspiring label depicting notable LGBTQ activist and prominent Stonewall figure Marsha P. Johnson, best known for her tireless work on behalf of the homeless and transgender communities in NYC, will appear on approximately 28,000 cans of specially packaged Brau Pils this summer. Head to Dacha Beer Garden to celebrate the release. 6-9 p.m. Free to attend. Dacha Beer Garden: 1600 7th St. NW, DC; www.dcbrau.com

FRIDAY, JUNE 7

Art on Tap 2019
Craft beers from local breweries have been artfully paired with selected artwork. Local restaurants have chosen a brew-and-artwork coupling to serve as their muse to create the perfect complimentary appetizer. Sample the creative combinations while drinking from a take-home Art on Tap beer tasting glass and then vote for your favorite at the end of the event. 7-9:30 p.m. Tickets $45. The Art League: 105 N Union St. Alexandria, VA; www.theartleague.org

FRIDAYS, JUNE 7, 14, 21 and 28

Tour de Pour
Friday nights just got way more fun. Join us for a weekly happy hour ride series between Bike Lane Brewing and Lake Anne Brew House. Park and gear up at Bike Lane Brewing then take a short, fun group ride to Lake Anne Brew House for a beer and pretzel pitstop before returning to Bike Lane for another. Don’t have a bike? Contact Bike Lane about a test ride on one of theirs. 6-8 p.m. Bike Lane Brewing: 11150 Sunset Hills Rd. Reston, VA; www.thebikelane.com

SATURDAY, JUNE 8

Rooftop Pride Kickoff Party
Help Red Bear Brewing kick off their very first Pride festival with an open bar and all-inclusive party on the roof of the historic Uline Arena, directly above the brewery. Drag yourself up to the roof for open-bar brews, Stoli cocktails and delicious bites. Hosted by Desiree Dik and blasting the sounds of DJ Nico DiMarco, you might feel guilty enjoying so much fun in one afternoon if you didn’t know the proceeds were going to help fund SMYAL’s work to empower LGBTQ youth and educate their local community. 4-8 p.m. Tickets $65-$95. Uline Arena: 1140 3rd St. NE, DC; www.redbear.beer

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12

Chef Egg Live: Cooking with Astro Lab Brewing
Join Chef Egg at Astro Lab Brewing for an out-of-this-world, live cooking show. The chef will set up shop in the brewery and show you how to pair vibrant recipes with Astro Lab’s craft brews. Chef Egg will cook sweet and savory recipes while giving you the culinary skills you need to succeed in the kitchen. 7-9:30 p.m. $25. Astro Lab Brewing: 8216 Georgia Ave. Silver Spring, MD; www.astrolabbrewing.com

FRIDAY, JUNE 14

Four-Course Beer Dinner
Pinstripes is bringing craft beer lovers a taste of their chef’s culinary expertise with a special dinner inspired by and paired with selections from Heavy Seas Beer. A rep from Heavy Seas and Pinstripes’ chef will lead guests through a deliciously fun four-course dinner. 7-9 p.m. $60. Pinstripes: 1064 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.pinstripes.com

SATURDAY, JUNE 15

Old Ox & Friends
Old Ox turns five this June and they’re throwing a party. Come celebrate with new beer releases, old beer revivals, two awesome bands and delicious food all day long (did someone say free cake?) Plus, this provides the chance to be one of the first to see (and drink in) the new Middleburg location. 12-9 p.m. Tickets for a bus tour from the Ashburn location to Middleburg are $50. Old Ox Brewery: 44652 Guilford Dr. Ashburn, VA; www.oldoxbrewery.com

SATURDAY, JUNE 22

Silver Spring Block Party
Mark your calendars and join as Silver Branch Brewing Company releases their Gold Line Classic American Pilsner. Hill Country Barbecue Market will be on hand to serve delicious barbecue, and Hill Country LIVE will be producing live music on the plaza with The Dirty Grass Players. 12 p.m. – 12 a.m. Silver Branch Brewing Company: 8401 Colesville Rd. Silver Spring, MD; www.silverbranchbrewing.com

SUNDAY, JUNE 23

Pints and Paws
Studies have shown that pet ownership and beer drinking may contribute to a longer life. In that spirit, DC Brau will be hosting the Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA) for a meet and greet of some of DC’s most eligible kitties and canines. Join for a dog and cat adoption event. Enjoy a brew ($1 per pint will be donated to the HRA) while shopping the newest pet gear and treats from The Big Bad Woof, and maybe even go home with your new best friend. 12-3 p.m. DC Brau: 3178 Bladensburg Rd. NE, DC; www.dcbrau.com

TUESDAY, JUNE 25

Profs and Pints: The Real Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is one of the most popular in television history. Come learn the history from which the show draws. It might not feature real dragons or Khaleesi, but it does have nearly all the violence, treachery and strange family relationships. It was called the Wars of the Roses because it involved a protracted fight for England’s throne between two branches of its royal family: one represented by a red rose and the other by a white one. 6-9 p.m. Tickets $12-$15. The Bier Baron Tavern and Comedy Loft: 1523 22nd St. NW, DC; www.bierbarondc.com

Photos: M.K. Koszycki

Behind The Bar: Archipelago, Paladar and Bar Charley

Rum is so much more than the liquor component of a piña colada. We chatted with three local experts about the vibrant world of rum and tiki, and the best drinks their spots have to offer in honor of National Rum Day on August 16.


Owen Thomson - Photo by M.K

Owen Thomson
Owner, Archipelago

On Tap: Tell me about the different rums featured on your menu.
Owen Thomson: Rum is one of the most varied spirits in the world because no other spirit is produced in as many places. It’s made from sugarcane – most are made from molasses – and you’ll find a few producers making it from fresh-pressed sugarcane juice. There’s a whole manner of ways people try to classify rum, and the easiest way that I was taught has to do with colonial pieces: there’s English, French and Spanish.

OT: How do you decide which style of rum goes in which drink?
OT: Tiki has a pantheon of classic cocktails that call upon certain styles of rum, but more interesting is the fact that most of them call on multiple rums. So rather than a drink needing two ounces of Jamaican rum, you might have three different rums in a tiki drink, which creates a drink you really can’t get anywhere else.

OT: What’s your favorite drink on the menu and why?
OT: I always enjoy the Mai Tai. It is obviously an old school drink that people who don’t even work in tiki learn how to make. It was my introduction to this style of drink, so figuring out our Mai Tai blend was one of my favorites.

OT: What sets Archipelago apart from other bars that heavily feature rum-based drinks?
OT: We are the only tiki bar in the area. This time of year, you’ll see a lot of tiki menus or people will flip their outdoor bar for a summer tiki menu. A lot of people switch to rum this time of year, but we do it all year. Tiki is only partially about the drinks. It encompasses the whole vibe, [including] the décor. If you don’t have that, you don’t have a tiki bar.

Jungle Room Experience 2 - Photo by M.K

The Jungle Room Experience
Rhum agricole
Blue Curaçao
Soursop
Cachaça
Apricot
Lemon

Archipelago: 1201 U St. NW, DC; www.archipelagodc.com

Gavin Nazareth 2 Photo by M.K

Gavin Nazareth
Bartender, Paladar Tysons Corner

On Tap: Your menu features a wide array of rums, and a key to what rums are similar to other types of liquors. What inspired your expansive, detailed menu?
Gavin Nazareth: A lot of people aren’t into rums and don’t know what good rums are. If you’re a bourbon drinker, there are rums that we have that will closely mirror a bourbon flavor. Obviously, rums are a little sweeter than bourbons or whiskeys or scotches that might have a bit of a bite to them.

OT: Can you tell me about the flights you offer?
GN: We encourage people to try our rum flights because you get to taste different flavors. They’re only half-ounce pours – that way, you can get a flight or two and still be okay. You can do a Spanish, English, aged or spiced flight.

OT: What are some of the big differences between rum styles?
GN: Spanish and English styles are boiled down, so they’re close to a honey or molasses. Once you have that concentrated flavor, you add water and yeast to it. The French style is different – it’s almost like a gin. You take out the sugarcane juice and add yeast, and they’re more on the botanical side. Spanish and English are more bold and sweet, with a nice buttery finish.

OT: What’s your favorite rum drink?
GN: We showcase a different rum every month, and this month we’re doing the plantation series. Plantation rums are from Barbados. They age them in Barbados and then bring them to France for an additional step. We have something called the Plantation Jungle Burn where we use pineapple plantation rum, fresh juices [and] campari, so it has a really nice finish.

Plantation Jungle Burn - Photo by M.K

Plantation Jungle Burn
Plantation pineapple rum
Pineapple juice
Simple syrup
Lime juice
Campari

Paladar Tysons Corner: 1934 Old Gallows Rd. Vienna, VA; www.paladarlatinkitchen.com

DSCN4320

Brendan Mullin
Bartender, Bar Charley

On Tap: Tell me about the rum drinks you feature on tap.
Brendan Mullin: We have two cocktails on tap, and a whole tiki menu that contains a lot of our rum drinks. One we have on tap right now is called It’s Not a Mai Tai, It’s Our Tai. It’s white rum, curacao, pineapple, orange – a lot of tasty tropical flavors.

OT: What are your favorite drinks on the tiki menu?
BM: The Frog Smoking a Comically Large Cigar is massive, fun and has a ridiculous garnish in it, and has a blend of mezcal and rum. Our Zombie is also fantastic, but my favorite cocktail is the classic Mai Tai. In my opinion, that’s the best American cocktail. It’s a great way to try different rums.

OT: What about the non-tiki rum-based drinks?
BM: On our house cocktail menu, we have the You Can’t Do That on Television that has three different types of rum. One [rum] is infused with jalapeño and [the cocktail] also has a pistachio orgeat, so it’s kind of a riff on a Mai Tai. You Can’t Do That on Television was a show on Nickelodeon back in the day, and the drink is green and looks like slime and is reminiscent of the 90s.

OT: What food pairs best with tiki or tropical drinks?
BM: The best thing on our food menu to have next to our rum drinks is the pupu platter. It has a bunch of different food options like pork belly, wagyu beef skewers, half-smoke pierogies and crab tater tots. Anything that’s salty and has a tropical flavor to it will go really well with a sweeter tiki drink.

OT: What sets Bar Charley apart from other bars with tiki menus and large rum selections?
BM: I’d say just how comprehensive we are. People ask us if we’re a classics bar, a tiki bar or a wine bar. The answer is “Yes” across the board. We have a great wine selection, we have classics and we’re creative on our own. We can also do tiki!

You Can’t Do That On Television
Havana Club rum
Clément V.S.O.P.
Chacho
Dry curaçao
Lime juice
Pistachio orgeat

DSCN4325

Bar Charley: 1825 18th St. NW, DC; www.barcharley.com