Christmas is coming early for local beer lovers, with seasonal ales, dozens of beers that aren’t usually available in D.C. and holiday parties hosted by local breweries. In the next week, there are 12 events that should be on any beer lover’s Advent calendar; you can find more even more — including a showstopper at Scion — on our list of upcoming beer events.
Wednesday, Dec. 5
• While most of the parties celebrating the end of Prohibition feature cocktails, 3 Stars is hosting a tap takeover at Iron Horse Tap Room. Six of the new brewery’s ales will be on tap, including the new Holiday Madness, with another on cask, beginning at 8:45 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 6
• “ The Most Wonderful Ale of the Year ” brings 11 Great Lakes beers to the taps at Scion, including the highly prized Christmas Ale. Don’t overlook the Blackout Stout, though, or the Engine 20 smoked pale ale, which is usually available only at the Cleveland brewpub.
• Pizzeria Paradiso continues its weekly Give a Can, Get a Can fundraiser for Martha’s Table at its Old Town Alexandria location. Bring a canned good to donate to charity and you’ll get a free canned microbrew. Donate two cans, get two beers, and so on.
• Capitol City Brewing Company’s Fuel is one of its most popular annual offerings — a big imperial coffee stout with plenty of flavor. The beer makes its first appearance of the year at the Shirlington brewpub between 6 and 9 p.m. There will be drink specials, including $2 house beers.
• North Carolina’s excellent brewing scene continues to expand north. Aviator Brewing Company is the latest to make its debut, with five drafts and one bottled beer at ChurchKey. You can try the Black Mamba Oatmeal Stout two ways: The original version will be available on draft, while stout, aged in bourbon barrels, comes in the bottle.
Friday-Saturday, Dec. 7-8
• The Black Squirrel’s 12 Beers of Christmas stretches over two days, featuring such holiday favorites as Great Lakes Christmas Ale, Bell’s Christmas Ale, Blue Mountain Barrel House Blitzen and Delirium Noel. Doors open at noon both days, and there will be free Christmas cookies for snacking.
Sunday, Dec. 9
Monday, Dec. 10
• The biggest (and sure to be busiest) beer event of the season: ChurchKey is putting 50 holiday beers on draft at the Holiday Ale Total Tap Takeover . Look for rare beers from Europe, such as four different vintages of Gouden Carolus Noel, and the U.S. (You can see the whole list here.) Bring canned goods to benefit Martha’s Table and get 10 percent off your total tab.
Tuesday, Dec. 11
• St. Louis’s Schlafly Brewery is celebrating its 21st birthday by taking over 21 taps at ChurchKey. Founders Tom Schlafly and Dan Kopman are hosting the party, which features such rarities as Bourbon Barrel-Aged Barleywine and Tasmanian IPA.
• Earlier this year, the women who brew for Lost Rhino, Bluejacket, Vintage 50 and Hardywood Park teamed up to create Pretty in Pink, a pomegranate and hibiscus saison. Sales benefit breast cancer research at Richmond’s Massey Cancer Center. Meridian Pint is helping out by hosting a special night with eight Lost Rhino beers on tap, and donating 50 cents for each pint sold between 5 and 11 p.m.
• Eleven beers from Long Island’s Blue Point Brewing Company will be on tap at the Alexandria branch of Rustico, including Winter Ale and Old Howling Bastard. Arrive early to score some free glassware.
Wednesday, Dec. 12
• DC Brau takes over 19 of Meridian Pint’s 24 taps for the DC Brau Holiday Party , where all beers will be sold at happy hour prices all night. If you dig the Corruption IPA or Citizen Pale Ale but have never tried On the Wings of Armegeddon, Burial at Sea or Ghoul’s Night Out, this is the chance. There will also be five barrel-aged beers, including versions of Stone of Arbroath and Penn Quarter Porter.