Monday, May 14, 2012

Lost Rhino, Port City, & American Craft Beer Week

It was a Hobson's Choice for me on Saturday. Should I celebrate a friend's 30th birthday or a brewery's 1st? I chose the former ...

So, to the latter:

Congratulations to Matt Hagerman and Favio Garcia, owner/brewers of Lost Rhino Brewing Company, which they opened one year ago in 2011. In their own words, Lost Rhino
was born out of the fierce desire to keep the tradition of craft brewing alive in Northern Virginia. We were longtime brewers from Old Dominion and bought back the brewhouse and moved it to its new location in Ashburn, VA. It is here that we're brewing some of the most outstanding pilsners and ales in the Washington, DC area.

Here's to many more anniversaries to come.

My friend's 30th birthday festivities were held at another local brewery, Port City Brewing Company, in Alexandria, Virginia, which itself celebrated its first birthday earlier this past February.

Owner Bill Butcher shared much good news about his brewery. He has recently purchased new 90-barrel fermenters. He expects to ship 5,000 barrels of beer this year (a barrel is the equivalent of 13.7 cases of beer), more than he expected, and enough to allow the brewery 'break even', well ahead of what he had projected. He is expanding the tasting room and the hours and days it's open, adding a second tasting bar for a total of 16 taps in the room. Additionally, he's adding a dedicated growler (refillable 2-liter bottle) filling station, and a 50-inch flat television screen. Come July, when several law changes take effect, visitors to Port City will be able to purchase and enjoy 16-ounce pints in the tasting room, while listening to live music on the weekends.

All that good news brings me to this:

American Craft Beer Week 2012 (poster)

Today through Sunday, the Brewers Assocaition —the advocacy group for American breweries producing fewer than six million barrels of beer per year— celebrates those breweries, the pubs and stores that serve their beers, and the drinkers and consumers nationwide that enjoy and purchase their beers.
  • Read more about American Craft Beer Week at the BA's website:
  • Find American Craft Beer Week events near to you at: If there aren't any, ask your local brewery, pub, and beer shop: why not?
  • Find a brewery close to you: here.
  • Follow on Twitter at @beerweek1. (Search for Tweets about the week with hashtag #ACBW.
  • 'Like' on Facebook at AmericanCraftBeerWeek.
  • Share comments about beers tasted this week and American Craft Beer Week events via the Untappd phone app. More details: here.
Support American beer this week, but please begin your search with a thank you and purchase of a local beer. If it's good, you'll enjoy it as you support the local economy. If it's bad, tell the brewery. The owner, and the brewers are your neighbors. You can't do that with a large international beverage conglomerate.

  • For a list of breweries local to the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, see my list of the area's breweries on Twitter: here.
  • For a schedule of Washington, D.C. area events for the week, see the Washington Post's Going Out Gurus and the website DC Beer.
  • YFGF's ACBW posts:
  • Whose 30th birthday was it? Here.
  • Finally, here's a hint for enjoying the truly 'American' democratic spirit of American Craft Beer Week:. If an event costs more than $99, avoid it. There's too much good beer, too much good local beer, to be elitist.

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