Friday, July 19, 2013

DC Beer Week is August 11 – 18, 2013.

I've just received this press release from DC Beer Week:

The 5th Annual DC Beer Week takes place August 11 – 18, 2013, all across the National Capital Region. Local distributor Jeff Wells and chef/beer aficionado Teddy Folkman started DC Beer Week in 2008 to celebrate the small, but enthusiastic craft beer community in the Federal City. Since then, the event has grown each year attracting thousands – from self-proclaimed beer geeks and home brewers to the casual beer drinker. In 2012, the event included nearly 200 different events throughout the District and surrounding area.

[This year's DC Beer Week] is shaping up to be the biggest one yet, with sponsor-driven flagship events taking place at different venues around the region throughout the week of August 11 – 18, 2013. The official calendar of events, which will continue to grow as the week gets closer, went live on the rebranded website this week.

DC Beer Week 2013 “This year’s festival is going to be epic, and it’s thanks in large part to the local beer community and organizations around the region that are fans of good beer,” says DCBW Director and Managing Partner of Smith Commons Miles Gray. “In addition to restaurants, bars, breweries and distributors participating in this year’s DC Beer Week, we have an outrageous line up of sponsors who have come out in support of the event, including several heavy hitters, like Destination DC, Evian, Uber and the Washington Nationals, who you might not naturally think of when you think of beer.”

As part of a Gold-level DCBW sponsorship, organizations were able to reserve a day to host a flagship event at their venue or a location of their choice. Some of the planned flagship events include:

  • Sunday, August 11 – Brewery Ommegang & Washington City Paper present “HOP CHEF: SPECIAL EDITION” – Because Great Beer deserves Great Food made by Great Chefs, Brewery Ommegang is bringing its popular beer-pairing chef competition back to the District on Sunday night to officially kick off the 5th Annual DC Beer Week. Brewery Ommegang and the Washington City Paper have invited eight of the area's most talented chefs to cook with and pair a unique dish with the brewery’s beers to earn the title of Hop Chef DC. The event will be held at the Longview Gallery, located at 1234 9th Street, NW, starting at 6:30 PM. Tickets are $55 per person (21+ only), and will go on sale soon.

  • Monday, August 12 – DC Heritage Night at the Howard Theater – Spend Monday night celebrating the rich heritage that makes DC so special! We'll have music from local artists like ACME, Drop Electric, Urban Cartel, Watermelon and others, craft beer and whisky tastings, and much more. The final music line-up and ticket information will be available soon.

  • Tuesday, August 13 – Gordon Biersch English Summer Ale Tasting – Gordon Biersch presents a special English Summer Ale Tasting at their downtown DC location on 9th Street, NW, starting at 6:00 PM. The $15 entry fee (available at the door) comes with a commemorative tasting glass and sample pours of all nine Summer Ales participating in the event, including the Gordon Biersch Navy Yard and 9th Street locations, DC Brau, 3 Stars Brewing Co., District ChopHouse and Brewery, Mad Fox Brewing, Capitol City Brewing Co., Chocolate City and Rock Bottom, Bethesda. Traditional English snacks will be available for purchase all night.

  • Wednesday, August 14 – RFD’s Coast to Coast Tap Takeover – RFD in Chinatown is throwing an epic regional tap takeover, featuring $5 pints from more than 20 American craft breweries on all 45 of their draft lines that night starting at 3:00 PM. Breweries from all five of the country’s beer regions will be represented, including Abita, Sam Adams, Flying Dog, Lagunitas, Great Lakes, Victory, Goose Island, Boulevard, Sierra Nevada, Ommegang, and Firestone, to name a few. Proceeds from the $5 cover charge go to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

  • Thursday, August 15 – Beer Night at Nationals Stadium – Several DC Beer Week sponsors, including the Washington Nationals, Premium Distributors, Destination DC and the Beer Institute, are taking over the Red Porch and the adjoining concourse at Nationals Stadium as the hometown team takes on the visiting San Francisco Giants. The team is offering a special DCBW ticket package, which includes food, beer, tickets to the game and access to the after party with live music. The ticket package goes on sale soon.

  • Friday, August 16 – Friday Night Under the Lights at Union Market: A Celebration of Craft Beer & Craftsmen – 3 Stars Brewing Company and Union Market present a celebration of craft beer and craftsmen as the market vendors bring their wares outside to join 3 Stars for a craft beer street party to kick off the weekend. The event will include live music, DJ's, local chefs and restaurants, tons of craft beer, entertainment and shenanigans. A nominal cover charge ($10-$20) gets you in the gates, and will go on sale soon.

  • Saturday, August 17 – Old Ebbitt Grill’s Craft BrewHaHa – The atrium at DC’s landmark Old Ebbitt Grill will be hopping on Saturday night from 8 PM to 11 PM for a celebration of local craft beer, food and music. DC Brau, Heavy Seas, Flying Dog, Evolution, Devils Backbone, Starr Hill, Lost Rhino, Port City and Mad Fox will provide the beer along with food from some of the DC area’s best restaurants and music by the 19th Street Band. The $50 ticket includes all the beer, food and music you can handle, and may be purchased online in advance at

  • Sunday, August 18 – The Bluejacket Sneak Preview BBQ – To cap off the week, Bluejacket will host its first-ever soiree from 3 PM to 7 PM at the soon-to-open brewery, slated to officially open in early September. The Bluejacket team invites you to join them for a good ol' fashion Sunday backyard BBQ, an intimate gathering, hosted by Beer Director Greg Engert and Brewmaster Megan Parisi, that will feature a number of Bluejacket brews, a selection of backyard BBQ eats by Executive Chef Kyle Bailey, plus a guided tour of the three-vessel brewhouse, barrel-aging platforms and 19 different fermentation vessels, all encompassed within the multi-leveled 11,000 square-foot space. Tickets are priced at $65 per person and include all food and beverage. Tickets go on sale on Monday, July 22 at 12 noon through Eventbrite.

More information about each flagship event, including links to all ticket sites, as well as the growing number of beer dinners, trivia nights, tap takeovers and happy hours on the calendar that will be taking place throughout the region at participating restaurants and bars during the week, is available at

For more information about DC Beer Week, visit Also be sure to “Like” the DCBW Facebook page, and to follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@dcbeerweek), for the latest updates. The official hashtag for DCBW is #DCBW2013.

I'm crossing my fingers here, folks! Compared to Philly Beer Week and Baltimore Beer Week, DC Beer Week, in the past, has been less Homerically 'epic' than just plain disappointing. Despite good people, good intentions, and some good events, there's been disorganization, too many self-congratulatory back slaps, little reach-out to non-craft beer venues, and pig-headed (no porcine offense meant) exclusion of the greater metropolitan area.

This year, there may be a paradigm shift: notice the first sentence in the press release above which includes the phrase: "all across the National Capital Region."

I attended the Craft Brewers Conference in Washington D.C., this March. The crazy cornucopia of events —each evening after the day's official speeches, symposia, and trade show had concluded— seemed to comprise a spectacular, if unofficial, DC Beer Week. Here's hoping that that same spirit of celebration —throughout the D.C. metro region— of beer culture and of local breweries will be the signature of the real DC Beer Week 2013.

  • Participating sponsors are being added daily. To see a full list of DC Beer Week sponsors, visit the website sponsor page. Restaurants, bars, breweries, and other organizations interested in sponsoring DC Beer Week should contact for more information or sign up through the “Participate” page online.
  • My favorite event over the couple of years has been Cask Night —a tasting of locally brewed cask-conditioned ales— hosted by the District Chophouse. This year, it's scheduled for Friday, 9 August. UPDATE: Story: here. Review: here. Photos: here.
  • The website also has a lot of information on DC Beer Week events. One such to note is the collaboration between local brewery DC Brau and the Heurich House to re-create a Pre-Prohibiton recipe of the museum's namesake the Christian Heurich Brewery. 12 August.

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