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Posted at 01:28 PM ET, 12/19/2011

Holiday beer tastings: Relax with a brew


Rustico’s Festivus celebration, which begins Monday in Ballston, features two nights of rare and delicious Christmas beers. (Photo by Evy Mages/For The Washington Post)
With the holidays on the horizon, you deserve a chance to sit back, take a deep breath and enjoy good a beer. Thankfully, there are some excellent chances over the next two days.

Over the last 15 years, Stone Brewing Company has become one of the most famous microbreweries in the world, thanks to such heavyweight IPAs as Arrogant Bastard and Ruination. Co-founder Greg Koch is in Washington tonight to promote the new book “The Craft of Stone Brewing,” which contains the history of the microbrew scene, homebrew recipes for Stone beers and beer tasting and pairing notes. Koch will be talking about the book and signing copies at Smith Commons between 6 and 7:30, then hosting a meet-and-greet at Smoke and Barrel from 8:30 to 10. You’ll be able to sample a line of Stone beers at each bar.

All three locations of Pizzeria Paradiso are hosting a canned food drive for Martha’s Table today. Bring a can of food to Georgetown, Dupont Circle or Alexandria and you’ll get a free can of beer. (You can trade for up to three beers.)

The two-night Festivus Celebration kicks off at Rustico in Ballston tonight before moving to Alexandria’s Rustico tomorrow. There are a dozen very tasty seasonal beers on the menu at each location; tonight’s highlights include Mikkeller Santa’s Little Helper and Ridgeway’s Very Bad Elf. Visit both nights and you’ll be entered into a drawing for some presents that even Santa would be jealous of.

Capitol City Brewing Company doesn’t actually brew in Washington anymore — all beer-making operations have been concentrated at its Shirlington brewpub — but regulars at the downtown bar still get to sample all of the brewery’s limited-edition beers. Oak-Aged Fuel is the latest seasonal, and it’s being unveiled Tuesday night. An award-winning imperial coffee stout that has been aged in bourbon barrels for four months, previous versions have been intense (9 percent alcohol) with big coffee and vanilla flavors. Brewers will be on hand from 6 p.m. on to talk about the beer, and there are plenty of specials, including $2 draft beers and $5 appetizers.

The nascent 3 Stars brewery won’t start producing beer in Brookland until next year, so they’ve spent 2011 making beers with existing breweries: A collaboration with Delaware’s Evolution gave us the summery Syndicate Saison, and a trip to Baltimore’s Oliver Brewing resulted in the malty B.W. Rye ale. For winter, brewers Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey again worked with Oliver to create B.W. Rye #2, a rich, dark rye porter. The official release of B.W. Rye at Meridian Pint on Tuesday is also an excuse to celebrate this year of teamwork: Eleven Evolution and Oliver’s beers will be on tap and marked down $1 all night.

By  |  01:28 PM ET, 12/19/2011

Categories:  Bars and Clubs

 
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