The number of high-quality beer events in the next few days almost qualifies as a mini-D.C. Beer Week. Here’s a quick guide to where to go an what to drink.
Monday, Oct. 22
Beers from San Diego’s award-winning Ballast Point brewery have been on tap in Virginia for a while, but they’re finally making their way to D.C. Meridian Pint is hosting the official launch party, and all six drafts, incluing Sculpin IPA, Big Eye IPA and Sextant Stout, are $5 all night.
Froch Heather Ale is an intriguing Scottish brew — a peaty ale flavored with heather flowers and bog myrtle. The Williams Brothers brewery claims that variations on this recipe have been made in Scotland since 2000 B.C. After being available in bottles for year, it’s finally coming to taps. Jack Rose hosts the release party with brewery co-owner Bruce Williams. In addition to Heather Ale, guests can also taste the limited Vintage Cask Collaboration No. 22, which finds Heather Ale aged in wooden casks that have previously held sherry and Auchentoshan Three Wood Scotch. (A $14 flight includes small pours of both beers and the Three Wood Scotch.)
Takoma, Washington’s No-Li Brewhouse is a favorite of West Coast beer geeks, and the brewery is making its D.C. debut at ChurchKey. Eleven beers will be on tap, including some small-batch rarities. (Move fast for Wrecking Ball Imperial Stout and Jet Star Imperial IPA.)
Tuesday, Oct. 22
Orval is one of the best-known beers from Belgian — a light, rustic saison made inside the walls of the Orval monastary. Of course, because it’s made at the monastary, it’s brewed in limited quantities, which only increases demand. Orval brewmaster Francois de Harenne will be at ChurchKey this week for a special meet-and-greet, which will feature 4-ounce and 10-ounce pours of Orval, while it lasts, beginning at 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 23
The next major brewery to open in Washington should be Bluejacket , a brewpub near Yards Park that pairs the Neighborhood Restaurant Group (the team behind ChurchKey, Rustico and Columbia Firehouse) and brewer Megan Parisi, formerly of Boston’s Cambridge Brewing Company. It’s expected to open sometime in spring 2013. In the meantime, Parisi has been collaborating on small-batch beers with brewers across the country. Three will be on tap Wednesday at ChurchKey: Pretty in Pink sasion, brewed in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month with Lost Rhino’s Becky Jordan, Vintage 50’s Kristi Matthews Giner and Rachael Caldwell of Richmond’s Hardywood Park Brewery; Freestyle #10 Rye Saison brewed with Maine’s Oxbow Brewing Company; and Mad Jacket, a helles weizenbock brewed at Mad Fox Brewing Company..