Sunday, August 29, 2010

Max's 3rd Annual German Beer Fest (& those gravity kegs)

It may be the little sister to the Belgian Beer Fest, but the September 10-12 German Beer Festival at Maxs Taphouse in Baltimore, Maryland, is still full of good beer. Maybe it's the lagers, or maybe it's the less than astronomical rates of IBUs and ABVs (with exceptions!), but this informal festival seems to bring out less geeky rambunctiousness and more Gemütlichkeit.

From the website and email:

Sept 10-12, 2010
11am to close each day
Over 50 German beers on draft:

1809 Berliner Weisse
Ahornberger Dark Märzen
Aecht Schlenkerla Urbock
Aecht Schlenkerla Märzen
Aecht Schlenkerla Helles
Bitburger Pils
Erdinger Hefeweizen
Erdinger Dunkel Weiss
Erdinger Oktoberfest
Franziskaner Hefeweizen
Franziskaner Dunkel Weiss
Gunter Brau Amber Märzen
Hartman Amaber Märzen
Hofstetten Aurora
Hofstetten Bio Honigsbock
Hofstetten Granit Bock
Hofstetten Kueblebier
Koning Ludwig Hefeweizen
Langbrau Amber Märzen
Mahrs Weisse
Mahrs Unfiltered Pils
Mahrs Ungespundet Lager
Rothenbach Dark Märzen
Schneider Aventinus
Schneider Aventinus Eisbock
Schneider Edel Weisse
Schneider Hopfen Weisse
Schneider Weisse
Spaten Dunkel
Spaten Lager
Spaten Oktoberfest
Spaten Optimator
Steigel Lager
Uerige Classic
Uerige Dopplesticke
Uerige Sticke
Warsteiner Dunkel
Warsteiner Oktoberfest
Warsteiner Pils
Wurzburger Oktoberfest
Wurzburger Pils


General Manager/Beer Manager Casey Hard says that his list is 80% completed. In addition, at current count, he has 20 bottled German beers, and more than 10 German gravity kegs. He continues to work on securing more draughts. Beers will be served in mugs, Maßkrugs (one-liter steins, pronounced "mahss"), one liter boots, and some 2-liter boots (modeled below by long-time bartender Jamie).

Das Boot

A riff on those 'gravity' kegs ...

I noticed a Washington, D.C., area beer bar recently mentioning that they would be serving German firkins at an event they would hold.

Well, not really.

The term 'firkin' explicitly refers to a 9 UK gallon cask, or, as measured in US terms, 10.8 gallons. The Germans don't measure in gallons; they use the metric system. A common size for a German keg is 50 liters, which roughly corresponds to 13.2 US gallons. More to the point, a firkin is a cask, a vessel in which a secondary or tertiary re-fermentation occurs. Though one might encounter kellerbier —lager re-fermented in a keg, or served unfiltered from a tank, such as zwickelbier— a German brewer would bemused to hear her kegs referred to with a British term.

Here's a picture of a Reisssdorf Kölsch keg, which has a spring-loaded bung, on its side near the bottom, through which a bartender can insert a tap.

Reissdorf Koelsch

Since extraneous CO2 is not used to push the beer through the lines, serving it by gravity tap will result in a less gassy mouthfeel —similar to beer from a cask. And, yes, the beer is unpasteurized —as are many kegged beers, by the way— but it is not a cask! It is filtered, kegged beer, that can also be dispensed via a 'standard' draught system through a top spear and coupler.

Take none of this as disparagement. Fresh, well-made, full-flavored lagers (and ales, such as Kölsch) can be sublime.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pic(k) of the Week: Got beer?

Got beer?

It's Sweetness the St. Bernard. His flask, unfortunately, was not filled with beer.

The photo was taken at the 2008 Capitol City Brewing Company Oktoberfest, in Arlington, Virginia. This year's festival is scheduled for Saturday, 2 October 2010. More information is available at the festival Facebook page.

Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, usually posted on a Saturday, and often of a good fermentable as subject.

Friday, August 27, 2010

'Craft' beer sales reach 8.7% of total US market

According to the Symphony IRI Group, sales of 'craft' beer were up 11.9% in the first half of 2010. As comparison, sales of the beers of the top 10 'mainstream' brewing conglomerates decreased by more than 5 million cases. For example, Anheuser-Busch Inbev sales were down 1.9%, SABMiller/Coors down 2.4%.

Here's the really big news. In recent years, 'craft' beer sales have comprised about 5% of the total US beer market. During the first half of 2010, they dramatically surpassed that level, reaching 8.7%.

Wall of Beer 02

The Symphony IRI figures account for sales at retail outlets such as grocery stores, beer/wine shops, etc., but do not include draft sales. They were presented to the Brewers Association —a trade group for US brewers producing less than 2 million barrels— during an online conference yesterday

Of the top 'craft' breweries, New Belgium grew the most, up 28% in sales dollars. Sierra Nevada Brewing's Torpedo an IPA named for a special piece of hopping equipment— grew 200% versus 2009, best among the top 15 'craft' beers.

Ray Daniels tweeted the results as they were announced. Beer Advocate aggregated those tweetsJay Brooks summarized them. Stan Hieronymous compared the results to those from 2006.

Preliminary figures released in early August showed that 'craft' breweries had sold approximately 4.6 million barrels (31 gallons = 13.78 cases) for the first six months of this year, versus 4.2 million in the same period last year. That's 9.1% growth, which, although robust, doesn't quite match the 11.9% number above. Does that discrepancy indicate lower growth —or loss— for sales of draught 'craft' beer? I don't know (even though anecdotally I wouldn't believe so.) I look forward to the Brewers Association publishing a more thorough recap and analysis.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Clamps & Gaskets: Roundup for 2010 Week 33

Clamps and Gaskets: weekly roundupWeek 33
15 August 2010 - 21 August 2010

  • 2010.08.21
    Music and food, and beer of 4 Virginia breweries at the 2nd annual Brew Ridge Trail Music Fest.
  • 2010.08.20
    DC Beer Week begins Friday, 20 August, continues through Saturday, 28 August.

  • A Smoking Romance
  • 2010.08.19
    13 arrested for ... smoking, in Falls Church, Virginia, restaurants:
  • 2010.08.19
    Computer chip maker Intel purchases internet security company McAfee for $7.68 Billion.
  • 2010.08.19
    SABMiller/Coors has established a 'craft' beer department, something Miller did once before ... in 1995.
  • 2010.08.18
    Chardonnay, when unoaked, has a place at the summer table. Wine from the Maconnais, in Burgundy, France:
  • 2010.08.17
    Anheuser-Busch targets the Craft Brewers Alliance for a possible takeover:
  • 2010.08.17
    What exactly IS a stone fruit? Richmond, Virginia's Secco Wine Bar explains:
  • 2010.08.17
    Austrian Pinot Noir the best in the world? The surprising results of an international 'blind' tasting.
  • 2010.08.17
    New York State gives a grant to the Brooklyn Brewery for a major expansion:
  • 2010.08.17
    The number of brewing plants vs. the number of brewing companies: setting the US historical statistical record straight.
  • 2010.08.16
    Hurricane Katrina destroyed his prints, but NOT the negatives. Herman Leonard —photographer of the jazz scene of the 40s, 50, and 60s— has died at age 87.
  • 2010.08.16
    At Saratoga, trainers are feeding their race horses Guinness rather than carrots.

  • Mr Boh
  • 2010.08.16
    Now brewed by SABMiller/Coors, Baltimore, Maryland's venerable Natty Boh beer makes a comeback.
  • 2010.08.15
    Now she's singing with the angels. Abbey Lincoln, 80 —jazz singer, songwriter, and actress— has died.
  • 2010.08.15
    "An aptitude for transformative potentiality. Nuances imparted by degeneration." How and why beer can age gracefully (and which particular brands do so exceptionally):

  • The couple pictured above, smoking, was NOT among those arrested. It remains legal to smoke OUTSIDE of a Virginia restaurant.
  • Clamps and Gaskets is a weekly wrap-up of stories  not posted at Yours For Good Most deal with beer (or wine, or whisky); some do not. But all are brief, and many are re-posts from my Twitter account:
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Fire Works Pizza Opens Tonight in Arlington, Va.

Restaurant Tuscarora Mill was well ahead of the curve when it opened in Leesburg, Virginia, in the early 1990s. Draught 'craft' beer was more difficult to come by than it is now, but Tuskies (as locals affectionately refer to it) was offering good draught beer in both a casual cafe setting and a more formal room with 'white-tablecloth' service.

Have cask, will travel.

In the 2000s, proprietors Kevin and Shawn Malone (the latter, pictured above, carrying a firkin), opened a second restaurant, Magnolias, even more beer-centric, also in a converted mill, but further west, in Purcellville, Virginia.

In 2007, they opened a third, much smaller location, in the same historic mill building in Leesburg as Tuskies. Called Fire Works, the intimate pizzeria featured a domed wood-burning oven for making Neapolitan-style pizzas, and a fascinating array of import and 'craft' draughts. It would prove to be a harbinger of the direction the brothers would take.

Fire Works Arlington, al fresco (01)

A second Fire Works American Pizzeria & Bar opens tonight in the Court House district of Arlington, Virginia.

All set!

To call it a 'second' location, hides Fire Works' extent. Seating over 200, inside and out, it features 30 draught beer lines, 2 dedicated cask-conditioned ale lines, (yes, a wine list), and, again, a domed wood-burning pizza oven.


The glassed-in refrigerated keg room is situated just inside the front door. The kegs and maze of lines and gauges are clearly visible though large windows.

Fire Works draught system (01)

Large metal pipes carry the draught lines overhead to the bar.

Fire Works draught system (02)

Fire Works also has an extensive bottled beer list, and will offer 2-liter resealable bottles of draught-beer-to-go, called growlers.

Fire Works draught system (04)

Here's a photo of the crowd, and the brewery banners festooning the ceiling, taken during a preliminary 'soft opening' on Thursday, 19 August:

Banners & drinkers

And, here's the vegetarian Siciliana pizza pie (Grilled artichokes, spinach, roasted eggplant, black olives, roasted garlic, crushed red pepper, white sauce, and, upon request, white truffle essence.)

'Siciliana' Veggie Pizza (01)

  • According to Fire Works' Facebook page, the public grand opening is scheduled for 5pm tonight. The address is 2350 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia, at the intersection of Clarendon Boulevard with Adams Street. The phone number is 703-527-8700.
  • The cask ale lines may not be operational tonight, but beer manager Jesse Prevatte promises soon!
  • See a slideshow of construction and pre-opening: here.
  • Caveat lector: As a representative of Select Wines, Inc. —a northern Virginia wholesaler— I sell wine and beer to Fire Works.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pic(k) of the Week: A Smoking Romance

A couple shares an intimate moment —smoking together— outside Fire Works, an Arlington, Virginia, restaurant.

Smoking romance

Smoking has been prohibited inside Virginia restaurants since December of 2009. In nearby Falls Church City, police recently arrested 13 people for smoking, and allowing smoking, inside several restaurants.

Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, usually posted on a Saturday, and often of a good fermentable as subject.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Clamps & Gaskets: Roundup for 2010 Week 32

Clamps and Gaskets: weekly roundupWeek 32
8 August 2010 - 14 August 2010

  • 2010.08.14
    How a 'craft' brewery treats its waste water.

  • Folkman and Wells
  • 2010.08.14
    The website for DC Beer Week 2010 [20-28 August] is 'live' with a new logo:
  • 2010.08.14
    Morbid but interesting. What happens to your Twitter account when you die?
  • 2010.08.14
    'Gypsy' brewing, and food flavors in beer: Brian Strumke of Maryland's Stillwater Ales, and Greg Engert of Churchkey D.C. Via National Public Radio's Weekend Edition:
  • 2010.08.13
    The Great American Beer Festival has sold out, five weeks in advance.

  • Legend Hops (02)
  • 2010.08.13
    Central Virginia hop industry takes root; local breweries purchasing.
  • 2010.08.12
    Baltimore Beer Week (7-17 October) adds a third festival:
  • 2010.08.12
    Overall profits for beer conglomerate Anheuser-Busch InBev rise overall in the 2nd quarter 2010, but slump in the US.
  • 2010.08.12
    ‘Craft’ beer & existentialism: an identity crisis? Beer author Stan Hieronymous asks: “What the heck is craft beer anyway?”
  • 2010.08.10
    Google's internal debate over privacy:
  • 2010.08.10
    Beer is now available in the Android Marketplace.
  • 2010.08.09
    Why are there so few 'craft' beer pilsners? It's due to cost, time, and difficulty.
  • 2010.08.09
    'Meatless Monday' gets a boost from a European study: Cut back on meat to maintain weight.
  • 2010.08.08
    Google vs. net neutrality. Analysis: maybe not evil, but wrong.
  • 2010.08.08
    BeerInBaltimore blog debunks the false claim that President Jimmy Carter deregulated the US brewing industry in 1979.

  • Beaker of priming krausen
  • 2010.08.08
    Meillard reactions, sugar caramelization, protein de-naturing: food science for geeks. Via National Public Radio's Science Friday:

  • Clamps and Gaskets is a weekly wrap-up of stories  not posted at Yours For Good Most deal with beer (or wine, or whisky); some do not. But all are brief, and many are re-posts from my Twitter account:
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Support Flood Relief in Pakistan

From Network for Good:

Heavy monsoon rains have caused massive flooding in Pakistan, killing many people and challenging relief efforts in remote areas stranded by washed out roads and bridges. Reports estimate that nearly 14 million people have been affected by the disaster - more than the combined total of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake, according to the United Nations. Critical supplies, especially clean water, are in demand.

Donations are needed to help provide emergency relief to those currently in desperate need.

Network for Good has an extensive list of charities and NGOs now providing care and relief and reconstruction in Pakistan.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Pic(k) of the Week: Still Life - Vegetables on a Stick

Still Life - Vegetables & Stick

Fresh vegetables from a co-worker's garden, in the car, on the drive home (yes, with a stick shift).

Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, usually posted on a Saturday, and often of a good fermentable as subject.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Chef Teddy Folkman responds

The 2nd annual DC Beer Week takes place August 20th through the 28th in Washington, D.C.

I wrote recently that it was my perception that the festival had failed to aggressively reach out for local breweries. Chef Teddy Folkman —a co-founder of DC Beer Week— responded, and with a new logo for the festival:

DC Beer Week 2010

As an organizer of the event I really feel your pain as far as including local breweries. It gets logistical. What is considered too far to be included? Is Star Hill a local brewery? Do we extend out to Frederick? What about the bars and restaurants in those areas that then want to participate in DC Beer Week? With Stars and Bars, Chocolate City, and DC Brau, it is going to get more interesting next year. It is something that we debated and since we are still in our toddler stage of growing the events and participants we can't open that can of worms... yet. Next year we want a home brewing competition, and also try and incorporate those "local" breweries to do events with the various establishments in DC. I love the suggestions and want to grow this into the best it can be. Thanks for all your interest and input, we need the beer community to help guide us.

Teddy Folkman

Teddy Folkman is chef at Granville Moore's in the Atlas District of Washington, D.C. Among his many accomplishments, Folkman bested 'celebrity-chef' Bobby Flay in a televised mussels-cooking competition.

Folkman and Wells

In the photo, Chef Folkman is sitting in the foreground, with beer distributor 'Hoppy' Jeff Wells, fellow co-founder of DC Beer Week.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Washington DC (Summer) Restaurant Week

Next week, August 16-22, 2010, it's the 16th annual Washington DC Restaurant Week, summer edition. (There's another week observed in January.)

As opposed to the following week's DC Beer Week, this foodie celebration extends festivities past the city's boundaries into the greater metropolitan area. According to the official website, participating restaurants will be offering three-course fixed-price lunch menus for $20.10 and three-course fixed-price dinner menus for $35.10. Beverages, gratuity and tax will not included.

Some of the restaurants really get into the swing of things and offer almost their entire menus as part of the deal —a big deal, indeed. As the official website doesn't list this information, a better resource would be from Linda Shapiro at the Washington DC She's compiled (and updates and reviews) the menus for all of the participating venues.

VeggieDag is an occasional Thursday post on vegetarian issues. On hiatus today, it returns next week. Why the name? Here.
Suggestions and submissions from chefs and homecooks welcomed! Here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Clamps & Gaskets: Roundup for 2010 Week 31

Clamps and Gaskets: weekly roundupWeek 31
1 August 2010 - 7 August 2010

  • 2010.08.07
    Famed Belgian brewery De Koninck sold ... to Duvel Moortgat (owners of Brewery Ommegang in the US).
  • 2010.08.06
    Top of the Hops Beer Fest in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday, September 11.

  • Flag, cask, & bottle
  • 2010.08.06
    Heavy Seas Loose Cannon, Maryland real ale, 'places' at the Great British Beer Festival:
  • 2010.08.06
    Google Maps mashup of cask ale outlets in US.
  • 2010.08.05
    Women are craft brewing's future:
  • 2010.08.04
    Mergers & acquistions in the craft beer business.

  • Still Life: Vegetables and Stick Shift
  • 2010.08.04
    Methoxypyrazine: that ol' green bell pepper aroma in wine. In Chilean Carmenere, it's a tasty thing:
  • 2010.08.04
    Black India Pale Ale: a contradiction in terms for a beer style?
  • 2010.08.03
    Study says that swapping beer for wine drinking can help a dieter lose calories:
  • 2010.08.03
    1,625 breweries now in US —an increase of 100 breweries since July 2009— the highest total in 100 years.
  • 2010.08.03
    To mitigate the ongoing weakness in the mainstream US beer market, MillerCoors to focus on faux 'craft beers':
  • 2010.08.03
    Verizon Center owner Ted Leonsis equates industrial lagers with 'craft' beers.
  • 2010.08.03
    Craft beer dollar sales were up 12% in 1st half of 2010 vs 9% in 2009. Volume sold was up 9% vs 5% in 2009. Statistics v the US Brewers Association:
  • 2010.08.02
    Remembering A & M Records' Mitch Miller and his work with Charlie Parker:
  • 2010.08.02
    A vegetarian is often asked: where do you get your proteins? Here:
  • 2010.08.02
    Wine Enthusiast looks at 9 basic American 'craft' beer styles, with examples.
  • 2010.08.02
    Dilution increases the flavor in coffee and alcoholic beverages:
  • 2010.08.02
    Beer, money, and lobbying in Congress:
  • 2010.08.02
    Who is Jack McAuliffe? The rise & fall of New Albion Brewing led the way for the American 'craft' beer revolution.
  • 2010.08.01
    D.C. Restaurant Week menus: August 16-22.

  • Lunch with Real Ale
  • 2010.08.01
    The 7 best restaurants for French fries in Washington D.C., according to the Washington Post:
  • 2010.08.01
    A British blogger believes that the beer business needs "smarter and androgynous" marketing, less macho posturing, and fewer "patronizing female-specific" beers:
  • 2010.08.01
    Twitter hits 20 billion Tweets.
  • 2010.08.01
    When brewers attack: Professioal brewers rate [some unkindly] the beer raters on RateBeer and BeerAdvocate.
  • 2010.08.01
    How the internet knows what it knows about you:

  • Clamps and Gaskets is a weekly wrap-up of stories  not posted at Yours For Good Most deal with beer (or wine, or whisky); some do not. But all are brief, and many are re-posts from my Twitter account:
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

DC Beer Week 2010

DC Beer Week 2010
Washington D.C.'s 2nd annual DC Beer Week —a 9 day "celebration of beer culture in the nation's capitol [sic]"— will take place the 20th through 28th of August, at venues throughout the city.

Here are the events, as listed today on Facebook:

Friday August 20th
DC Beer Week Kick-Off Event at the Rock and Roll Hotel
Presented by Washington City Paper & Nerd Nite DC
Including craft beers and music pairings and featuring: Beer Director Greg Engert of ChurchKey, Founder & Brewer Brian Strumke of Stillwater Artisanal Ales, Tracy Jill Doty from the NIH, Cobra Collective, New Rock Church of Fire and many more.

Sunday August 22nd
Craft Beer Cruise on the Cherry Blossom 6pm-9pm featuring over 20 different breweries, appetizers, and a whole lot more. $70/person. To purchase tickets go to Space is limited to 150 people.

Monday - Wednesday, August 23-25
Elliot in the Morning presents DC Beer Week in studio. Elliot will be promoting the nights marquee events along with some of your favorite beer geeks and craft beer venues in studio.

Monday August 23rd
Room 11 along with Victory Brewing present two beers rarely seen outside the Victory Brewpub, Mad King Weiss and Gassy Jack Bitter.

ChurchKey presents Heavy Seas Rare Oak Cask Night & Glass Giveaway
Join us as we pour an insanely limited OAK CASK of Heavy Seas Loose Cannon (that's right the cask itself is made of OAK!). We will be featuring a regular cask of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Heavy Seas Hang Ten and Vintage Below Decks Barleywine as well!

Granville Moore's joins Susan Greene of Global Brewers Guild for an entertaining night of Belgian and Belgian style American Beers and a 5 course dinner carefully pairing and integrating the beers with the food. $70/person Call 202-399-2546 for reservations. Space is limited to 35 people.

Dino's 3 Beers 3 Courses – Chef Dean Gold carefully pairs 3 of his favorite beers with 3 mouth-watering courses. $39/person

Trusty's Burgers Beer and Bus – Have you ever dreamed of drinking craft canned beers while sitting in your old elementary school bus. Well now is your chance with the launch of the Bus Bar upstairs. Kick back with Butternut beer and figure out which lunch box you used to (or still) have.

Tuesday August 24th
Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe Brooklyn Brawl Beer and Cheese Tasting
Come and taste some of the finest beers from NY's largest Craft Brewer- Brooklyn Brewery. The beers will be artfully paired with Cheeses from International Gourmet. The beers include, Brewmasters Reserve, Black Ops, Brooklyn-Schneider Hopfen-Weisse, Local One Lager [sic], Brown Ale

H Street Country Club Butternut Pints for Putts – The shot of your life. 1 Beer. 1 Putt. 120 feet. Sink it and walk away with a regulation totally sick Pool Table!

Justins's Cafe presents Racing Dangerously. Racer 5 IPA and five different flavors of pie from Dangerously Delicious Pies on H Street N.E. Beer and pie? Yes. Gimme a slice.

Star and Shamrock Tavern with He'brew Ales “Brisket & Brews” - Join Shmaltz Brewing Company and the Irish/Jewish cuisine of the Star and Shamrock along with tasty He'Brew ales for some creative pairings.

18th Amendment Pizza Night with the 21st Amendment Brewing Company. Pizzas will be hot and beer will be cold along with reps from 21st Amendment there to keep it all together.

Belga Cafe - Chimay Trappist Ale Vintage Beer Tasting
Come to Belga and enjoy a unique Trappist experience. We will be tasting all of the Chimay Trappist Ales and will be treated to a vertical tasting of one of the world's finest beers- Chimay Grand Reserve. Chimay "Blue" will be served in three vintages in three unique packages, Chimay Grand Reserve 750 ml 2010 Vintage, Chimay 3L Jeroboam 2009 Vintage, and the extremely rare Chimay 6L Methusalah 2007 Vintage

The Liberty Tree presents Smuttynose New England Beer Dinner
4 Courses, 4 Beers $40/person

Wednesday August 25th
Troegs takeover at The Red and The Black. Glassware giveaway, Mad Elf in the Summer, Troegs Band, guaranteed fun.

SpeakeasyDC, Washington City Paper and The Big Hunt are teaming up to present Fermented: A Night of True Tales About Beer. Doors 6:30pm, Show 8-10pm. $15/Person

DC Bread and Brew presents Lagunitas Beer Dinner
Six beers and Six Plates featuring Hop Stupid, Little Sumpin, Censored Ale, IPA, Czech Pilsner and Dog Town Pale Ale. $50/person. Call 202-466-2676 for reservations

District Chop House - Meet The Brewer, Barrett Lauer, and enjoy tours of the brewery along with half price beers at one of the Nation's Capital's finest Brew Pubs.

Capitol Lounge Beer and Barbeque with Great Lakes Brewing Company. Low country barbeque and other backyard cuisine washed down with some of the finest brews from Great Lakes Brewing including Eliot Ness Amber Lager, Commodore Perry IPA, Dortmunder Gold Lager, and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm. Capitol Lounge Side Bar. $45/Person All Inclusive.

Thunder Burger Sierra Nevada Beer Dinner

Washington Nationals Present DC Beer Week night at the Ballpark. Join the Washington Nationals as they face the Chicago Cubs. Received special discounted tickets and a voucher for a free craft beer sample. GO NATS! [No details as to how to secure the special pricing given.]

Thursday August 26th
District Pour House and Coney Island Lagers take you from NY to Boston. Jeremy from Shmaltz Brewing Company will be there talking and throwing beer around while the kitchen is batting up some lobster rolls.

Breadsoda presents Beer vs Beer – celebrating “Braugust” Beer Month at Breadsoda. Think about it, what is better then a huge deli sandwich and cool craft beer? Letting the guys at Breadsoda pair them for you.

Meridian Pint and Schlafly Brewing Company present Dan Kopman Co-Founder and Brew Master of St. Louis Brewing. Special rare tastings of Schlafly beers paired with unique offerings from the Meridian Pints wonderful kitchen.

The Reef presents Rogue Ales Oyster Fest
3,000 Oysters, 3 Shuckers, 3 Levels, 7 great beers from Rogue Ales! Dead Guy, Kells Irish Lager, Imperial IPA, Imperial YSB, Orgasmic, Somer Ale, John John's Hazlenut 5pm-10pm

Biergarten HausDetails to come...

Friday August 27th
Big Hunt Michigan Blowout Night featuring specials on Founders, Bells, and New Holland. Get your Wolverine Gold and Blue or Spartan Green on.

PolicyDetails to come...

Saturday August 28th
RFD – You know they are closing it out with a PARTY.

For more information, visit the website at, or Faceboook, or follow on Twitter at @DCBeerWeek.

Thank you to the DC Beer Week organizers and the participating venues for all of their hard work. DC Beer Week looks to be a good nine days with several worthwhile events, however ...

I do find it distressing that a week-long celebration of local beer culture contains so few events celebrating local breweries. (There are some exceptions, such as a couple of events at Chuchkey and  District Chophouse.) Granted, there is at present no production brewery within the confines of the District (that may be changing soon), but the city does have local breweries within 100 miles (and some much closer) that are NOT being celebrated, breweries that continually win national and international awards. This should be the focal point

It's 'DC' Beer Week, I'll hear in response, not 'near to DC' Beer Week. Alright, then. So what do Bells or Rogue or St. Louis Brewing have to do with Washington, D.C. other than their tasty beers are sold in the city?

I've said it before, and, risking opprobrium, I'll continue to say it: until the greater Washington D.C. area embraces, nourishes, and cherishes its local beer heritage, it will not have a true beer culture, such as do Philadelphia, Asheville, or Baltimore. Yes, let's celebrate the great diversity of beer choices available city-wide, a recent and wonderful development, but why can't or why won't we show local beer pride in Washington, D.C.? It's all the rage to support local food and farmers, to be 'locavore'. But with craft beer, it seems that, at least in D.C., a beer must come from from somewhere else to be appreciated here.

  • As of Friday 8/13, the website for the event has gone 'live' at
  • UPDATE: Chef Teddy Folkman, a co-founder of the event, has responded to my post.
  • Caveat lector: As a representative of Select Wines, Inc., a distributor in northern Virginia of wine and beer, I do sell a 'local' beer: Heavy Seas of Baltimore, Maryland.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Real Ale in the United States (Google Maps)

Alex Hall has done a lot for the condition of cask-conditioned real ale in America.

Now, he has done more, creating a mashup of his Cask Beer Finder Database and Google Maps. It's an on-line map of "all known bars and restaurants in the United States that serve cask-conditioned craft beer" ... as those accounts alert Alex Hall that they do so!

In addition to indicating which brewpubs, restaurants, and bars serve 'classic' cask-conditioned beers, Mr. Hall has also included those that serve tank-conditioned and keg-conditioned beers, "as long as these are 100% naturally carbonated, and extraneous gas is not used at any time in the dispense."

View Larger Map

This map is special enough that I've embedded it above. As Mr. Hall updates his map, it will be updated here. But, please: if you wish to learn more about cask-conditioned real ale, visit his site at

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Pic(k) of the Week: Firkin Delivery Man

Firkin Delivery Man

Drew Barton —brewer for French Broad Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina— carries a firkin (10.8 gallon cask) of his Wee Heavy ale, at the World Beer Festival, Saturday, 6 October 2007, in Durham, North Carolina.

See what happened a few minutes later: here.

Pic(k) of the Week: one in a weekly series of personal photos, usually posted on a Saturday, and often of a good fermentable as subject.

Friday, August 06, 2010

A Maryland beer 'places' in London, at the GBBF

Great British Beer Festival 2010
The Great British Beer Festival is a celebration of beer held annually in August in London, England. The festival is organized by CAMRA —the Campaign for Real Ale— a consumer advocacy group for cask-conditioned ale and good beer in the United Kingdom.

The occasion is a competition as well, crowning the Supreme Champion Beer of Britain, and other winners in seven style categories. The breweries must enter their beers in cask-conditioned form (although there are some draft and bottled choices for festival-goers). From CAMRA's website:

After a year of local tasting panels and regional heats leading up to the finals, CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, is today proud to announce that Castle Rock (of Nottingham) brewery's Harvest Pale has been crowned the 'Best Beer' in Britain at the Great British Beer Festival, Earls Court, London.

Harvest Pale, which has an ABV [alcohol by volume] of 3.8%, is described in CAMRA's Good Beer Guide 2010 as 'blonde and refreshing with distinctive citrus hop.'

The Nottingham brewed real ale was judged the Supreme Champion over a host of other finalists in 7 different beer categories (Bitters, Best Bitters, Strong Bitters, Golden Ales, Milds, Winter Beers*, and the Speciality class), including beers from both small microbrewers and large regional brewers.

Writing as I do from the mid-Atlantic region, I'll take some pride in another competition held at the GBBF: The 2010 CAMRA Michael Jackson Award, an American cask real ale competition:

The Award is named after the world renowned beer writer, Michael Jackson, also known as the Beer Hunter, and author of titles such as The World Guide To Beer, who sadly passed away in 2007. In dedication to his efforts to promote good beer, the competition is judged by a panel of Great British Beer Festival volunteers, and assessed on taste, aroma and finish. <...> With over 180 beers from the United States at the Great British Beer Festival this week, CAMRA is pleased to showcase the biggest selection of US cask real ale probably ever seen! CAMRA can happily report that demand for American craft beers at the Festival is extremely healthy, and invites people from across the world to its flagship Festival.

Cellarman MarshComing in 2nd was Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale, an IPA (7.3% alcohol-by-volume) brewed by Heavy Seas of Baltimore, Maryland. Congratulations to the brewery, its brewers, and to its cellarman, Steven Marsh.

Proper respect is due of course to the winner. Smuttynose Brewing Company of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, took top honors with its Big A IPA (9.7% alcohol-by-volume).

Smuttynose's success today means the New England brewery has now won this award three times, and remains one of the most successful brewers in the competition's history.

  • From Steve Jones of Oliver Ales, more about other Maryland beers at the GBBF.
  • Caveat lector: As an employee of Select Wines, Inc. —a northern Virginia beer & wine wholesaler— I sell the beers of Heavy Seas Brewing.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Clamps & Gaskets: Roundup for 2010 Week 30

Clamps and Gaskets: weekly roundupWeek 30
25 July 2010 - 31 July 2010

    [Portrait of Billie Holiday, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Feb. 1947] (LOC)
  • 2010.07.31
    Library of Congress posts photos by William P. Gottlieb on-line: from 1938-1948, documenting jazz scene in New York City and Washington, D.C.
  • 2010.07.30
    For Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia: a 'hip-hop' tag becomes a mainstream hashtag and nickname: #DMV
  • 2010.07.30
    Soot control could erase 100 yrs of warming in 10 years, new study claims.
  • 2010.07.30
    Beer vs wine pairing-with-food smackdown at Columbia Firehouse Restaurant in Alexandria, VA.
  • 2010.07.30
    250 beers rated by 'brown paper bag method.' Joe Sixpack reviews new book: "Beer Trials".
  • 2010.07.30
    Twitter FollowFriday. Julia Herz @lyonsgal: Brewers Association Craft Beer Program Director. Craft Beer Muses blog at
  • 2010.07.30
    Twitter FollowFriday. A Yankee in Earl's Court: Washington, D.C. beer guy @RickG_VA tweets at the Great British Beer Festival, Aug. 3-7.
  • 2010.07.30
    Reign of Brewdog brewery's 'The End of History' as strongest beer in the world (55% abv) has ended. Dutch brewery ‘t Koelschip releases 'Start the Future' at 60% abv.
  • 2010.07.30
    Beer Birthdays: Tom Peters of Monks Cafe in Philadelpia, Pa.; Jonathan Surratt, creator of
  • 2010.07.29
    Afghanistan, beer, attempted assassination: it's all in Wikileaks.

  • Firkins (02)
  • 2010.07.29
    How does an American cask get to the Great British Beer Festival? Steve Jones of Oliver Ales tells how:
  • 2010.07.28
    One indication that an economic recovery is ongoing? Krones -the world’s biggest maker of beer and beverage bottling equipment - returns to profitability.
  • 2010.07.28
    Marinating meat in beer before grilling may reduce cancer-causing HCAs, says study: (with recipes)
  • 2010.07.28
    Verizon Center is No. 1 in mouse droppings, says ESPN, in a review of health department records.
  • 2010.07.28
    Craft brewery consolidation continues. Magic Hat and Pyramid Breweries, already merged, are to be acquired by North American Breweries, a company which owns Genesee Brewery, the J.W Dundee beer brand, and which distributes Labatts within the US.
  • 2010.07.28
    The founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.) decries the current neo-prohibitionist bent of that organization.
  • 2010.07.28
    California-based Stone Brewing Company mulls buying Highgate & Davenports brewery in UK at which to produce its Stone beers for the European market.
  • 2010.07.28
    In 2009, ebooks were 1% of all book sales.
  • 2010.07.26
    Is there maltose in beer? No! That's an inherent fallacy of the South Beach Diet.
  • 2010.07.26
    Chef Robert Weidemaier expands his Washington, D.C area restaurant holdings. Mussel Bar opens in Bethesda, Maryland.

  • 1st asparagus of the season
  • 2010.07.26
    The Chicago Tribune examines 'Kolsch-style' beers for summer quaffing.
  • 2010.07.25
    Beer Birthdays: Vinnie Cilurzo of Russian River.; Paul Gatza, the Director of the Brewers Association, a trade group for small breweries in the US.
  • 2010.07.25
    Nine 'green' US brewpubs:
  • 2010.07.25
    The Internet will run out of new addresses in less than a year, unless ...
  • 2010.07.25
    A brewery vat explodes; 270 barrels of beer flood a Canadian town; no one seriously injured.
  • Clamps and Gaskets is a weekly wrap-up of stories  not posted at Yours For Good Most deal with beer (or wine, or whisky); some do not. But all are brief, and many are re-posts from my Twitter account:
  • The Clamps and Gaskets graphic was created by Mike Licht at NotionsCapital.