Every Tuesday, the Going Out Gurus highlight the week’s best DJs, bands, dance nights and parties. Find a longer list of events at www.goingoutguide.
There’s been a lot of talk about DC Brau, 3 Stars and Chocolate City beers, but the truth is there are dozens of brewers in Washington, and Meridian Pint is offering the chance to taste their products for free. At the semi-regular Home Brewers Match Up, you can sip beverages made by two dozen amateur brewers — everything from hoppy IPAs to chocolate-chipotle stouts — and vote for your three favorites. (There’s a big tournament-of-champions showdown at the end of the year.) Admission and beer samples are free, but get to Meridian Pint’s basement bar on the early side, because the better beers tend to run out fast.
Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. Meridian Pint, 3400 11th St. NW. 202-588-1075. www.meridian
Here’s a concertgoing experience that promises to be different. Assemble is an aptly named event that brings together a handful of musicians for an improvised exercise that, we hope, will end with something cool. Saturday’s edition features Bob Boilen of NPR’s “All Songs Considered” (and former D.C. new wave star), Fugazi/French Toast percussionist Jerry Busher and Patrick Noecker of These Are Powers. They’ll sit in a circle and play their own micro-jams for a few minutes before passing the invisible baton to the next person. Eventually they’ll team up for a 10-minute jam. Video projections by Robin Hill will run continuously. After the experiment, get ready for loud music by Expensive [Expletive], a band that is percussive and funky enough to use a name inspired by Fela Kuti’s classic album.
Saturday at 10 p.m. Comet Ping Pong, 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-364-0404. $10.
In the aftermath of holiday party season, many people cut down on their drinking in January or give up altogether. But now that we’re into February, it might be time to cut loose again. This weekend, Mad Fox Brewing Co. in Falls Church will host its annual Barleywine Festival, celebrating the pumped-up beer style that goes over the top in terms of flavor, hops and alcohol level. (These beauties clock in between 9 and 15 percent alcohol by volume.) There will be about 30 barleywines to sample, including two from Mad Fox and others from Dogfish Head, Rogue, He’Brew and Heavy Seas, plus the famous Samichlaus from Austria’s Schloss Eggenberg. Each will be sold for $3 for a four-ounce glass. The party runs all day, with a special food menu and music by local blues and funk band Pebble to Pearl between 5 and 9 p.m. (Reminder: Take Metro or bring a designated driver.)
Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. Mad Fox Brewing Co., 444 West Broad St., Falls Church. 703-942-6840. www.madfoxbrewing.com. Free admission.
The Red Palace will host a triple bill of gloomy rock that’s fitting for a winter Sunday night. The headliners, This Will Destroy You, play instrumental rock that reaches thrilling peaks naturally and organically without falling into a simple soft-loud formula. Mountains play an entrancing brand of droning, ambient music, the kind that’ll make you wish the venue provided plush seats. Amen Dunes will provide some vocals, but expect them to be buried and coated in plenty of reverb. The band is touring in support of its 2011 album “Through Donkey Jaw,” which is filled with dark dirges from which subtle hooks and slight rays of light frequently poke to the surface.
Sunday at 7 p.m. Red Palace, 1212 H St. NE. 202-399-3201. www.redpalace.com. $12.