Celebrate cherry blossom season with cherry blossom beer

Cherry Blossom Fest
(Photo by Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

The National Cherry Blossom Festival officially begins today, which means local restaurants and bars will soon be introducing special cherry blossom-themed dishes and drinks. They’re mostly predictable – ooh, a pink cocktail! – but here’s one you probably hadn’t thought of: cherry blossom beer.

Barrett Lauer of the District Chophouse brewpub is the man responsible for Cherry Blossom Fest, a scarlet-colored lager that gets its sweet-and-sour taste from Oregon and Washington cherries. Similar in taste to a dry Belgian kriek, it's definitely not a dessert beer, but does have a pleasant touch of sweetness. Cherry Blossom Fest clocks in at 6 percent alcohol, a bit stronger than typical domestic lagers. A tulip glass costs $5.25 at the Penn Quarter bar.

To celebrate the beginning of the Cherry Blossom Festival, Lauer has prepared a special cask-conditioned version of Cherry Blossom Fest, aged with cocoa nibs in the barrel. It will be tapped tonight, but won’t be around for long.

District Chophouse, 509 Seventh St. NW. 202-347-3434. 

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
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