D.C. Beer Week, the annual celebration of our region’s brewing scene, returns and runs from Sunday to Aug. 27. While you’ll still see notable out-of-town tap takeovers — Logsdon Farmhouse Ales at the Sovereign on Thursday — the celebration is about Washington-area brewers. And because some of these beers can be so familiar, breweries work extra hard to make their events interesting. Here are some of the best.
DC Brau is back at the Quarterdeck on Wednesday for its Sixth Annual Crabfest Monumental Extravaganza, which has become a staple of Beer Week: all-you-can-eat crabs for $50, plus $1 pints and $5 pitchers of DC Brau beer.
Also, 3 Stars is hosting a crab feast on Brookland Pint’s patio on Aug. 26, with all-you-can-eat crabs in two three-hour sessions for $55, which includes one 3 Stars beer.
This might be D.C. Beer Week, but the city’s bars aren’t forgetting about beers produced in Maryland and Virginia. The Black Squirrel’s Adams Morgan location is hosting a Maryland-themed event on Tuesday, pouring beers from Burley Oak, Flying Dog and other Free State breweries while serving a special menu of crab cakes.
On Wednesday, ChurchKey’s 50 taps are split between 16 Maryland and Virginia breweries, with rare offerings from Pen Druid, Diamondback and the Veil.
Thursday features rarities from Aslin at Mad Fox Taproom in Glover Park and Burley Oak at Smoke and Barrel. An Aug. 25 tap takeover at Meridian Pint features a new collaboration between RAR and New York’s Finback, with additional RAR beers.
This Sunday, the D.C. Homebrewers Club is taking over the patio at Brookland Pint from noon to 4 p.m., when they’ll brew a beer and answer questions.
How do you know if it’s the beer or your taste buds? Find out at an off-flavor tasting at 3 Stars Brewing Monday, when brewers will go over common flaws in beer and how to identify them, then serve a pristine example from their own taps.
This is the ninth annual D.C. Beer Week, and certain events keep coming back year after year because they’re so successful. Beer Week officially opens this Sunday with Brewers on the Block, featuring more than 20 breweries pouring dozens of beers at Suburbia outside Union Market. General admission ($20) includes five drink tickets; VIP ($40) adds unlimited tastings.
Tuesday finds Right Proper, DC Brau, Atlas and 3 Stars at Boundary Stone to compete in the Battle of the Barrel Aged Beers, where each will be showing off a beer aged in wine barrels.
On Thursday, ChurchKey gives all 55 of its draft and cask lines over to D.C. breweries and brewpubs, which is handy if you’ve ever wanted to do a direct comparison between IPAs from Bluejacket, Hellbender and 3 Stars. Aug. 25 and 26 are both given over to cask-conditioned ales at District Chophouse, with 20 beers from different breweries. Pick a time (6 to 11 p.m. Friday or noon to 5 p.m. Saturday), and the $50 ticket covers unlimited drinks and food.
City Tap House’s Tuesday “Flights and Dogs” party features custom hot dogs created by 11 breweries, including Flying Dog, Lagunitas, Bell’s and Devils Backbone. Get samples of all 11 dogs, paired with one of each brewery’s beers, for $25.
On the same night, DBGB Kitchen and Bar is hosting a beer cocktail contest. Five breweries, including Port City and Right Proper, have been paired with mixologists from Le Diplomate, Salt Line and other restaurants. The $30 ticket includes samples of each drink and hors d’oeuvres, with a portion of proceeds going to the Capital Area Food Bank.
The Black Squirrel’s new Dunn Loring outpost is getting into the act this Beer Week, hosting a very different beer-and-cheese pairing on Thursday: five sour beers, including barrel-aged offerings from Bear Republic and Trinity, matched with five funky cheeses. If you’d rather have your beer as dessert, head to Pizzeria Paradiso in Dupont between noon and 7 p.m. on Aug. 26 for Beer Floats in Paradise. Four flavors of Ice Cream Jubilee can be paired with four different draft beers, for combinations such as Allagash’s bourbon barrel-aged Curieux with Jim Beam Bourbon Spiced Peach ice cream.