Sunday, August 05, 2012

Coming attractions: DC Beer Week 2012

DC Beer Week 2012 —a week-long celebration of Washington, D.C. breweries, and of the city's beer culture— takes place in the nation's capital from Sunday August 12th through Sunday August 19th, 2012 (an eight day week!). It's the fourth iteration of the festival, which was begun, in 2009, by Granville Moore's chef/owner Teddy Folkman and beer wholesaler representative Jeff Wells.

DC Beer Week 2012

Washington, D.C., has an estimated population of 618,000. The Washington Metropolitan Area, of which the District is a part, has a population of nearly 5.6 million, making it the seventh-largest metropolitan area in the country.

Ignoring that greater population —as did DC Beer Week for its first three years— frivolously diminishes the Week's impact. So, I'm happy to see that, this year, the festival has expanded its geographical grasp outward from the city's physical borders to the circumference of the Capital Beltway. Of the Week's 38 events 84 events, 19 21 are events featuring local breweries, from the District and from suburban Virginia and Maryland.

More information is available at the Week's website: However, due to a conflict with one of the Week's sponsors, the calendar of events is NOT listed on the website. To view a schedule of the Week's events, one must go to a different website, that of I'm sorry, but that's simply bizarre.

UPDATE: With six days to spare, the Washington City Paper has put the week's 'official' calendar of events up on its website.

Furthermore, DC Beer Week's 38 or so events —compared to neighbor Baltimore's Beer Week (scheduled for 19-28 October), and other cities' Beer Weeks— comprise a pittance of a schedule. I would expect the number to increase by next week. [UPDATE: It has.] But a week out? That's a bit last-minute, and it's emblematic of an amateurish feel to this festival. Washington, D.C. —the Nation's Capital— deserves better.

Okay, it's time for me to step off my keg-box and acknowledge the good. Of course, I'll support and attend events during DC Beer Week. It's my hometown beer celebration, after all. So, here are just a few of the noteworthy events next week:
  • DC Beer Week Craft Beer & Dinner Cruise
    Sunday, August 12, 2012, 6pm.
    The Week's 'kick-off', a 3-hour cruise along the Potomac River on the Odyssey cruise ship, with unlimited tastings of more than 40 craft beers and imports, buffet dinner, DJ, and cash bar available for wine & spirits. $125 per person (in advance only).

  • Solidarity Saison debut
    Monday, 13 August, 6pm.
    ChurchKey/Birch & Barley: Washington, DC.
    The debut of Solidarity Saison: the official beer of DC Beer Week, created by blending saisons brewed by seven local breweries especially for DC Beer Week.

  • DC Brau’s Crab Festival Monumental Extravaganza
    Wednesday, 15 August, 6pm.
    Quartedeck Restaurant: Arlington, VA.
    All-you-can eat Chesapeake Bay crabs, as well as discounted pitchers of DC Brau beers. Tickets required.

  • Mad Fox Cask Beer Dinner
    Wednesday, 15 August, 7pm.
    Mad Fox Brewing Company: Falls Church, VA.
    A beer dinner pairing five courses with five of the restaurant-brewery's cask-conditioned beers. This is the ONLY beer dinner of DC Beer Week. Reservations required.

    UPDATE: The official calendar published at the Washington City Paper, lists 5 more beer dinners, but excludes Mad Fox's dinner, as well as all but one event outside the boundaries of the District.

  • 2nd Annual Cask Night
    Thursday, 16 August, 6pm.
    District Chophouse Restaurant & Brewery: Washington, DC.
    Cask ales from over 18 D.C., Maryland, and Virginia breweries. Unlimited sampling from the casks. Tickets required.

  • Chocolate City Beer One-Year Anniversary Party
    Friday, 17 August, 6pm.
    Penn Social : Washington, DC.
    Celebrating one year of brewing for Washington, D.C. brewery Chocolate City Beer. $5 drafts all night long: 1814 ESB, Cornerstone Copper Ale, Coast Bohemian Pils, El Segundo Farmhouse Saison (brewed for DC Beer Week). Beats by: DJ Benny C.

    Proud Matz (02)
    Ben Matz (l), Chocolate City lead brewer, posing,
    at the brewery's official launch party, held during DC Beer Week 2011.
    With Orr Shtuhl (r), then beer columnist for Washington City Paper.

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