Raising a Glass to Health?

By Fiona Zublin
Friday, June 13, 2008

Washingtonians have officially been baking for oh, a week now, and that means one thing: You want beer. Well, it probably means more than that (air conditioning?), but beer is quite possibly on the agenda.

But how to indulge and remain healthy at the same time? Meet organic beer -- meaning beer grown without the aid of chemicals or genetically modified organisms. Healthy farming leads to a healthy planet, and keeping chemicals out of your food won't do you any harm, either. (Budweiser might be going to the Belgians, but everything else is, yes, going to the hippies.)

But like everything else organic, these beers are more expensive than your average convenience store swill. If you want to sample organic ale without the high price tag, Busboys and Poets in Shirlington hosts its Organic Beer Happy Hour every Wednesday. You can try Wolaver's Organic, Peak Organic, Stone Mill Pale Ale and (for those concerned with drinking locally) Baltimore's Clipper City ales.

The happy hour got started last December when Silver Spring-based author Christopher Mark O'Brien arrived for a talk about his book, "Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World." The talk was followed by a signing and organic beer tasting, which garnered such a positive response that Busboys has been running the weekly happy hour ever since -- and they don't sell these beers otherwise, so the only time you can get them is at the happy hour. Unfortunately for city mice, there are no plans for the event to migrate to the D.C. location.

$4 beers (bottles). Wednesdays, 4-7 p.m. Busboys and Poets, 4251 S. Campbell Ave., Arlington. 703-379-9756.

The District


THE SCENE: Jazz. Fabulous View. What More Do You Need? Tonight, find yourself on the rooftop of the House of Sweden, overlooking the Potomac, hitting the cash bar and listening to the sounds of Finland's Iro Haarla Quintet and Norway's Ola Kvernberg Trio; it's all part of the two-day Nordic Jazz festival, which ends tonight. $25. 7:30-10 p.m. House of Sweden, 2900 K St. NW. Get tickets at http://www.ticketweb.com; visit http://www.norway.org/culture/music/nordic_jazz08.htm for details.


THE SCENE: Fatback Most people aren't as uptight as we are, and probably don't need such lame excuses as "It's summer!" to find a dance party and dance. Now that we're ready to stop being lame, we hear Fatback at Dahlak -- with its funk-and-soul vibe, it's the very opposite of the Black Cat's Mousetrap parties -- is a great one to hit. Because it's summer. Best part: It's on the outskirts of the 18th Street Adams Morgan mayhem. And it's free. 10 p.m. 1771 U St. NW. http://www.fatbackdc.com.


CONCERT: José González The Swedish singer and guitarist stands apart from other Swedish musicians popular here -- upbeat, often dance-inspired bands -- in that his music is mostly acoustic and mostly lo-fi. His sound recalls that of Elliott Smith, not Abba (or Peter Bjorn and John, for that matter). After just about selling out a show at the Sixth & I not too long ago, González returns for a show (a seated show!) at the 9:30 club on Sunday. $25. 815 V St. NW. 800-955-5566 or 202-393-0930.


ON STAGE: "¡Gaytino! A Remarkable Life Journey in Story and Song" Actor/producer Dan Guerrero recounts his life story in this one-man show, which will examine his childhood in East Los Angeles, his time as a Broadway talent agent and his Latino activist work. Guerrero debuted the show in Los Angeles in 2006, and it has since traveled to more than a dozen cities. "¡Gaytino!" stops at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater for a two-day engagement. $38. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. 2700 F St. NW. 202-467-4600.



CONCERT: Fresh Fest Naughty by Nature, Sugarhill Gang, Doug E. Fresh. So it's not the most shining of old-skool lineups (please see: Rock the Bells), but the crowd at this gathering of rappers is sure to have fun; seriously, what teenager in 1991 wasn't down with "O.P.P."? And to emulate the parties you remember from the '80s, the Fresh Fest is even taking over the dance floor at Show Place Arena. $49.50-$75. 8 p.m. 14900 Pennsylvania Ave., Upper Marlboro. 202-397-7328.


THE SCENE: Bethesda Artist Market Downtown Bethesda's occasional summer market of fine arts including paintings, photographs, ceramics and other items returns for the season tomorrow (other dates follow in July, September and October). As always, the juried market also features live music, this time by Ocio Jazz; soul/folk/gospel artist Verlette Simon and PS24. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Old Georgetown Road and Woodmont Avenue. 301-215-6660 or visit http://www.bethesda.org.

Northern Virginia


EXHIBIT: "She's So Articulate" Tonight's opening reception would be a great time to head over to the Arlington Arts Center to check out this show, which gathers the work of nearly a dozen African American women artists with a goal of parsing "narrative art" (the work of Kara Walker is one subject explored in this show). Erika Ranee (should you want to impress your friends with your command of art history, note that she is Bill Cosby's daughter), Maya Asante and Faith Ringgold are among the artists whose work appears in the show, curated by local collector Henry Thaggert and the Arlington Arts Center's exhibitions director, Jeffry Cudlin. Free. 6-9 tonight. The show is up through July 19. Arlington Arts Center, 3550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. 703-248-6800.

FESTIVALS: The Inaugural Mason Festival of the Arts George Mason University's first festival of the performing and visual arts just kicked off, and over the next three weeks you can catch theater, film, and jazz, choral, opera and classical music on the campus. Among the highlights: Premiere productions of two theater works, Karen Zacarías's "Mariela in the Desert" (about a couple enmeshed in the Mexican art world's high society, until their family and friends fall away) and, on alternating nights, Paul D'Andrea's "Two-Bit Taj Mahal" (about a Southern-fried love affair/crime story). "Two-Bit Taj Mahal" is tonight at 8. Tickets for the festival run $10 to $45 (the theater productions are $30); some events are free, and multiple-event packages are also available. Center for the Arts, Braddock Road and Route 123, Fairfax. For a full schedule and details, visit http://www.gmu.edu/cfa/tfa/festival.html. For tickets, 888-945-2468.


FOR FAMILIES: Potomac Celtic Festival This 15th annual celebration of Scotland, Ireland, Wales and other Celtic cultures of Europe returns to Loudoun County's wine country tomorrow. Hope for cooler weather for the day-long, outdoor festival, which will feature musicians, dancers, storytellers, traditional food and drink (ale, anyone?), poets, vendors and, of course, bagpipes. $15; seniors and military, $12; ages 6-12, $7. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Morven Park Historic Green and Mansion, 17263 Southern Planter Lane, Leesburg. For details, visit http://www.potomaccelticfest.org or call 703-938-9779.

Save the Date

CONCERT: Janet Jackson Although it's debatable whether she can still sell records, stir a dance floor or actually sing, there is absolutely no doubt she will move tickets for her just-announced Rock Witchu tour -- her first in seven years. Why? Because, first, she's Janet ; second, it's sure to be one of her great spectacle tours, with fog machines and multiple outfit changes. Third, Jackson has been in the media promising "something that I've never done before, that people have never seen from me before." Hmm. The last time Jackson had a surprise, the world saw and then discussed her nipple for something like two months. Any surprise Jackson has under her wardrobe, we're ready for it. She's at Verizon Center on Oct. 15. Tickets are on sale Monday at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster and the Verizon Center box office. $49.75-$129.75. 601 F St. NW. Ticketmaster, 202-397-7328, or Verizon Center, 202-661-5000.

CONCERT: R&B's New Generation Local neo-soulster Raheem DeVaughn takes to the big stage here in a couple of weeks, when he'll perform in support of his second album, "Love Behind the Melody," which earned him a Grammy nomination this year. DeVaughn's old-fashioned R&B songs draw inspiration from the '60s, such as "Friday (Shut the Club Down)," which borrows from the Temptations' "My Girl." The Prince George's County native's voice has been compared to Marvin Gaye. Dwele and Chrisette Michele open for DeVaughn on June 29. $30-$45. Gates at 5:30 p.m., show at 7. Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. 202-397-7328.

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