Tomorrow, Saturday, 8 October, it's the 12th running of the Capitol City Oktoberfest, organized by the Arlington, Virginia, brewpub of the same name, in the streets around the brewpub, in the Village of Shirlington. More than 40 breweries are participating, pouring more than 160 beers from keg and bottle.
UPDATE: Organizers estimated that, with 15% more beer than the year before, more than 8,000 people had attended by festival's conclusion. Photos: here.
The event costs $25 if you want to sample the beer, but is free to teetotalers, designated drivers, non-beer drinkers, under 21-ers, etc. Partakers receive a complimentary 4-ounce glass and 10 beer sample tickets. Additional tickets can be purchased at $1 each. There will be Bavarian (and non-Bavarian) food vendors, oompah bands, and traditional German dancers.
With all these choices, here's a beer scooper tip: Come early, and have a plan. For example, with your 10 tickets, sample 10 Oktoberfests, or 10 locals (and meet the brewers), or 10 beers you haven't tried. But definitely, come early! The weatherman is forecasting sunny skies, temperatures in the (high!) 70s, and low humidity. The festival will be busy. Gates open at 12 noon, and close at 7pm; sampling ends at 6pm, promptly and ABC-enforced.
Here's the beer register, as it stands today:
Local beers (Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia):
- Capitol City Brewing (the host and organizer)
- DC Brau
- Heavy Seas
- Lost Rhino
- Mad Fox
- Olde Richmond (contract-brewed by St. George)
- Port City
- St. George
- Starr Hill
- Sweetwater Tavern
- Hacker-Pschorr (Munich Oktoberfest)
- Hofbrau (Munich Oktoberfest)
- Huyghe (Delirium Tremens)
- St. Louis Framboise
- Ballast Point
- Blue Point
- Boston Beer (Samuel Adams)
- Clown Shoes
- Dogfish Head
- Duck Rabbit
- Firestone Walker
- Founders (a secret stash of Canadian Breakfast Stout, please!)
- Green Flash
- Laughing Dog
- Left Hand
- Long Trail/Otter Creek
- Lost Coast
- New Holland
- Old Dominion/Fordham (Coastal Brewing)
- Oskar Blues (Dales Pale Ale)
- RJ Rockers
- Rogue Schamltz (Hebrew)
- Sierra Nevada
- Southern Tier
- Thirsty Dog
- Crispin Cider
- Original Sin
- Woodchuck Cider
Not only do I write about beer, I sell it. As a representative for Select Wines, a northern Virginia wine and beer wholesaler, I'll be bringing several of the beers on Saturday. Please stop by the tables and say hello. Here's my list:
- Abita (Louisiana)
- Fall Fest (Otoberfest-style lager)
- Purple Haze (raspberry ale)
- Allagash (Maine)
- Curuiex (Belgian-inspired Tripel abbey ale, aged in Jim Beam bourbon barrels)
- Dubbel (Belgian-inspired Abbey ale)
- White (Belgian-inspired, spiced wheat ale)
- Brooklyn (Brooklyn, New York City, New York)
- Concoction '(Penicillin cocktail' inspired spiced ale)
- Heavy Seas (Baltimore, Maryland)
- Märzen (Oktoberfest-style lager)
- Davy Jones Lager (Imperial Cream Ale)
- Red Sky at Night (Saison)
- Stoudt's (Pennsylvania)
- Scarlet Lady ESB
Our host, Capitol City's executive brewer, Mike McCarthy, is currently supervising a major expansion of the brewpub's facilities. He also manages to deftly manage a major beer festival. Here he is, doing just that, at the 2008 festival, wearing his golden brewer's boots.
The address is 4001 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA. For more information, call the brewpub on 703-578-388, or email at email@example.com. Follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CapCityBrewDC. Follow on Twitter at @CapCityBrewers.
- In Germany, only six breweries —all within the confines of the city of Munich— are allowed to call their beer Oktoberfest: Augustiner (independently owned), Hacker-Pschorr (Heineken), Hofbräu (Bavarian government), Löwenbräu (Anheuser-Busch InBev), Paulaner (Heineken), and Spaten (Anheuser-Busch InBev). Only those beers are served at Munich's Oktoberfest. The Capitol City Oktoberfest is pouring Hacker-Pschorr and Hofbräu.
- The original location for Capitol City was at 12th and H Streets, NW, in Washington, D.C. When it opened in 1992, Cap City was the first brew pub to operate in the city since before Prohibition. That location is still open, but longer brews onsite.