In Washington, American Craft Beer Week never feels as jam-packed with events as the week leading up to the Savor Craft Beer Festival or the end-of-summer D.C. Beer Week, but there are plenty of events on the schedule in coming days. Here’s our guide to the highlights, and we’ll be updating this page with new events as they’re announced.
The city’s best-known beer bar is hosting two major tapping events this week, both kicking off at 6 p.m. First, on Monday night, ChurchKey is turning 13 taps over to Pennsylvania’s Victory Brewing Company, including the D.C. debuts of CBC 013 Pale Ale, which was brewed for the Craft Brewer’s Conference in San Diego earlier this month, and Ranch 369 Imperial IPA. (There will also be a chance to sip favorites like Golden Monkey, Hop Wallop and Helios, a funky Bretted saison.)
On Wednesday, local brewers DC Brau launch their Hell’s Bottom Oatmeal Stout at ChurchKey, and will also offer the new Ground Wolf IPA and the sweeter Abbey version of the Stone of Arbroath Scotch Ale along the more familiar taps you’ve seen all over town.
Smith Commons is hosting a series of parties that should be among the most fun in town. Every night will feature three or four special beers from a different brewer alongside some of the city’s top DJs and a special menu of $5 snacks, including po’boy or mac and cheese sliders, veggie samosas and braised pork belly with peppadew peppers. Monday finds four beers from Bell’s Brewery, including the cult favorite Hopslam on tap, with DJ Skim. Tuesday pairs Dogfish Head brews with hip-hop beats by DJ Dirty Hands. Wednesday brings bomber bottles of Brewery Ommegang while the Champion Superior Soundsystem drops deep reggae tunes. On Thursday, DJ Jerome Baker III of the Rock Creek Social Club provides the rhythms for a night of DC Brau beers. Everything wraps up with DJ Cuzzin B, a founder of the golden-age hip-hop night Tru Skool, and Flying Dog beers on Friday night.
The highlight of Dogfish Head’s American Craft Beer Week schedule is Tuesday’s He Said/She Said Beer Dinner. Beer gurus Bo Elliot and Tina Williams have each picked to a beer to pair with each course, and participants will taste both and decide. (Honestly, we’re curious about whether Burton Baton or Red and White will go better with pork belly in a maple demi-glace; you can see the whole menu here.) All-inclusive tickets are $50, but only a limited number are available for purchase from the bar.
Other nights worth nothing: Monday features a keg of the rare, super-hopped 120 Minute IPA, and anyone who purchases a glass takes home a free snifter. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday also feature experiments with Randall the Enamel Animal, a Dogfish-patented contraption that infuses beer with different flavors between the tap and your glass. It’s hard not to be curious about Wednesday night’s selection of bourbon-soaked wood chips.
Local pride is up for grabs at Mad Fox’s annual Kill the Keg event. India Pale Ales from Chocolate City, DC Brau, Devil’s Backbone, Lost Rhino, Port City and Mad Fox will go on sale at 6 p.m. on Wednesday. The first brewery to sell all its beer takes home the people’s choice award.
Other Mad Fox happenings include the tappings of Batch 100 Strong Black Ale on Monday and Broad Street IPA on Tuesday, and “Cask Night” with six house-brewed ales served from traditional beer engines on Thursday.
You might argue that every week is American Craft Beer Week at Meridian Pint — after all, the Columbia Heights taphouse only sells American beers — but they’re marking the festival with a special happy hour: Two different craft brews will be sold for $3 each from 5 to 7 p.m. every night, starting with two local choices on Monday: DC Brau’s Ground Wolf IPA and Lost Rhino’s Rhino Chasers Pacific Pilsner.
The Annapolis beer bar is featuring nothing but American beers all week long, with a special cask of Firestone Walker’s Velvet Merlin (an oatmeal stout aged in bourbon barrels) tapped at 4 p.m. Thursday.
The Frederick brewery is all over town: Beer dinners at Virtue Feed & Grain (Tuesday) and the Chesapeake Room (Wednesday), a rooftop party at Whitlow’s (Thursday, beginning at 6 p.m.), the release of the new Sour Cherry Ale at Smoke and Barrel (
Friday Thursday, beginning at 5 p.m.), a takeover of 10 taps at Westover Market and Beer Garden (Friday, beginning at 6 p.m.), and a Saturday afternoon rooftop happy hour at Jack Rose to launch the canned version of Atlantic Underdog Lager. From 2 to 7:30 p.m., cans will cost $4; five Flying Dog taps, including Wildeman Farmhouse IPA, will cost $5.