The beer scene is busier than ever these days. Here’s a roundup of news and events to look forward to this weekend and early next week..
Beers at the Pug
I’m not usually much of a Miller Lite drinker, but the Pug is offering unlimited Lite beer from 7 to 9 p.m. tonight in exchange for a $20 donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. I think we can all agree that this is a great cause, if not a great beer.
Cherry beer on H St
Speaking of H Street, Chocolate City has whipped up eight kegs of Sakura Washington, a new Belgian-style Abbey ale. Three of those are going to the sold-out Blossom Bake+Brew at Gallery O, but the others will be tapped at the Big Board, Granville Moore’s, the Pug, the Queen Vic and Smith Commons. Try it while it lasts.
To mark April 20, Lagunitas is sending its Waldo’s Special Ale to the East Coast for the first time. (The double IPA is named after the guys who coined the whole “420” thing.) It’s on tap at 14 D.C. and Virginia bars, including the Black Squirrel, which is continuing its tradition of selling Sweetwater Brewing Company’s 420 Extra Pale Ale every April 20. (Other places to find the beer include the Big Hunt, American Ice Company, Bourbon in Glover Park, Tuskie’s, Westover Market and Lyon Hall.
I’m a big fan of the beers of Devil’s Backbone, a brewery nestled in the shadow of the Wintergreen Resort in Roseland, Va. (Weekend featured it in our guide to beer, wine and whiskey getaways last year.) I’m not the only one, apparently -- the four-year-old brewery has won 11 medals (including three golds) at the last three Great American Beer Festivals. At the 2010 World Beer Cup, Devils Backbone was named Champion Brewery, and brewer Jason Oliver — formerly of Gordon Biersch downtown and the Virginia Beverage Company in Alexandria — was named top brewmaster in the Small Brewpub category.
The problem has been a lack of brewing capacity, which made it hard to find the beers in the D.C. area. But thanks to a new production brewery in Lexington, Devils Backbone beers will finally begin showing up regularly in Virginia bars.
Three tapping parties mark the arrival of Devils Backbone: On Monday, Rustico in Alexandria is putting 17 DBBC beers on tap starting at 6 p.m., including some incredibly rare brews (see the full list below). Jason Oliver will be on hand to chat about beer, and the brewery will be giving out glassware.
The following night, the party moves to Galaxy Hut, where 10 Devils Backbone beers will be on draft. (Owner Lary Hoffman promises that he’ll try to keep a couple of Devils Backbone beers on his 20 taps full-time, so let him know which ones you like.)
On Wednesday, May 2, there’s a Devils Backbone party at Pizzeria Paradiso in Alexandria. All 14 taps will be pouring Devils Backbone brews, and two more will be available on cask. (Pro tip: Arrive between 5 and 7 p.m. for half-price drafts as part of the bar’s usual happy hour.) Beer director Greg Jasgur is cooking up a special rib pizza -- yes, pizza with ribs on top -- for the occasion.
The full list of beers for the Rustico event:
Eight Point IPA
Belgian Congo Pale Ale
Trail Angel Weissbier (Bavarian-Style Hefeweizen)
1949 Lager (Light Lager)
Four Point Pale Ale (Single Hop Session Pale Ale)
White Stag IPA (Wheat IPA)
Low Hanging Fruit (Belgian Saison w/ Apples)
Brewhaha (High ABV Malt Beverage)
Striped Bass Pale Ale (Session Pale Ale to Support the Chesapeake Bay Foundation)
Ramsey’s Draft Stout (Dry Irish Stout; Nitro Pour)
Baracus (Heavily-Hopped Imperial Brown Ale)
Kilt Flasher (Scotch Ale/ Wee Heavy)
Dead Bear (Imperial Stout)
Namibian Pale Ale (Hoppy Bock Lager
Black Summit (Black Pilsner; Collaboration w/ Heavy Seas Brewing Company; Pilot Batch)