It was a milestone for Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, Calif.
It was also a record-breaking day for ChurchKey in Washington, D.C.
On Monday, to kick off Savor week, Sierra Nevada commandeered all 55 taps at the Logan Circle watering hole, each handle dispensing a different brew: vintage beers, barrel-aged beers, cask ales, one-of-a-kind experimental beers, collaborations.
The previous house record, according to Neighborhood Restaurant Group beer director Greg Engert, was 40 taps, occupied by Stone Brewing Co. at a fall 2010 event.
Among the debuts was Ovila Golden Ale, Sierra Nevada’s latest joint effort with the monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux in Vina, Calif. This Duval-style ale has an applelike fruitiness and a long, dry finish. Look for 750-milliliter, cork-and-cage bottles to appear within a month.
Most unusual beer: Repoterroir, an ale containing cucumber, beets, carrots, mint, rice and alfalfa honey, along with malt smoked with beechwood from both the East and West Coasts. According to assistant brewmaster and field educator Terence Sullivan, the beer was a playful collaboration brewed for a dinner held in summer 2011. Only 20 barrels were made and parceled among the collaborators, which included Dogfish Head, Allagash, Avery and Port Brewing. Notes of dill and mint showed up in the finish, with a faint trace of smoke. The beets and carrots stayed mercifully submerged. It tasted a lot better than it sounded.
Sierra Nevada didn’t even exhaust its inventory. The brewery was promising two additional rare beers for R.F.D. Washington’s Lupulin Reunilin on Thursday evening, including a gose, a German-style sour ale spiced with coriander and salt.
For those unable to attend either event, Sierra Nevada will be releasing a new variety six-pack in August containing some of its limited-edition Beer Camp beers.