Sunday, August 14, 2011

DC Beer Week begins today; Restaurant Week, tomorrow.

DC Beer Week 2011

DC Beer Week, seven eight bibulous days in Washington, D.C., begins today in grand style with a Craft Beer Cruise and Dinner along the Potomac River. The weatherman predicts rain, but much of the deck on the cruise boat Odyssey is enclosed.

Some one-hundred and fifty events are scheduled during the week, until its conclusion on Saturday Sunday, 21 August. To help narrow down the abundance, Fritz Hahn —columnist for Going Out Gurus at the Washington Post— has published his choices for the 'best' events. At The DCist, John Fleurie is publishing his daily picks, each the day before. [UPDATE: Tammy Tuck —Lagerheads at the on-line Washington City Paper— has posted a Google Calendar listing of events.]

If YFGF were forced to choose only five events, the criteria would be: local beer, the wow-factor, and introducing the casual beer drinker to beer culture.
  • Craft Beer Cruise and Dinner
  • Heavy Seas Wood Cask Night, at ChurchKey, 14 August, 4pm-
    One rare wooden cask filled with Loose Cannon Hop3 Ale, and 5 'beer engine' lines, each with a different Heavy Seas firkin.

  • Cask Night at the District Chophouse, 18 August 6pm-
    Twelve local breweries bring 12 casks. Unlimited pours, and a souvenir glass.

  • Chocolate City Beer Launch Party at R.F.D., 18 August, 9pm-
    Meet D.C.'s newest brewery —and try a pair of its beers.

  • Mid-Atlantic Brewery Night, at Smith Commons, 5pm-
    The finest local beers from D.C., Maryland and Virginia —and Delaware and North Carolina— can all be found under one roof for the night.
And, if forced to select only one event, it would be ... the cask tasting, Thursday, at District Chophouse ... which is, indeed, where YFGF will be. All local cask-conditioned ales!

The full schedule of events for DC Beer Week 2011 can be viewed: here. On Twitter, follow @DCBeerWeek and the hashtag #DCBW11. On Facebook, go: here.


I've written before of my concern that DC Beer Week misses the potential for greatness by excluding the DC Metro area. Others believe so as well. So, here's what Teddy Folkman —co-founder of DC Beer Week and Executive Chef at Granville Moore's— wrote me in a Tweet, to assuage my concerns for 2012:

@Cizauskas Dave from Lyon Hall and I are getting together after dcbw to figure out how to implement Metro DC in Mix. Cheers! Teddy Sat Aug 13 09:55:40 2011

The "Dave" is David McGregor, Beer Director for Lyon Hall, a good-beer-friendly brasserie, across the river from D.C., in the 'hot spot' Clarendon district of Arlington, Virginia.



The summer edition of DC Restaurant Week runs concurrently (one day later), Monday, 15 August through 21 August. Restaurants in Washington, D.C. —and the neighboring suburbs— will be offering special meals, priced at $20.11 for lunch and $35.11 for dinner, throughout the week.

DC Restaurant Week Summer 2011

Finally, bonus points should be awarded to DC Beer Week over DC Restaurant Week, at least in this regard: the latter's website at —hosted by the organizer, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington— is simply dreadful.

  • The "DC Craft Beer Week" held earlier in June during the week leading up to the Brewers Association's Savor event is a separate promotion wholly created by Premium Distribution, an affiliate of Reyes Beverage Group, the largest beer wholesaler in the US. By contrast, DC Beer Week, today through 21 August, is a local and independent creation, co-founded by 'Hoppy' Jeff Wells of DOPS Distributing (a locally-owned beer/wine wholesaler operating in DC/Maryland) and Teddy Folkman, executive chef for Granville Moore's (a 'Belgian-esque' bistro in northeast DC). It's a celebration of local beers, local pubs, and local beer culture. No Corona. Go here for how it began, in 2009.
  • Caveat lector: As a representative for Select Wines, Inc. —a wine and beer wholesaler in northern Virgina— I sell the beers of Heavy Seas.

1 comment:

  1. One of my favorite weeks of the year in DC... There are certain times that I wish I was still there, this is always one of those.


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