The sixth annual DC Beer Week starts today, bringing eight days of beer dinners, tap takeovers, happy hours and parties to the city’s ale and lager fans. Most of these events are casual affairs where you can drop in, have a beer and move on, but others require planning, such as DC Brau’s annual all-you-can-eat crab feast, which sells out every year.
To help you prepare, we’ve listed two events for each day this week, one which requires tickets and one where you can just stop by.
For more ideas, go to goingoutguide.com, where we’ll post a daily roundup of events.
TICKET: All-you-can-eat crab feasts are a staple of DC Beer Week. The big one is DC Brau’s third annual Crab Festival Monumental Extravaganza at the Quarterdeck Restaurant in Arlington. The $50 fee covers crabs from 5 to 10 p.m., but not beer: You’ll pay $1 per pint or $5 per pitcher for DC Brau products.
5-10 p.m. The Quarterdeck, 1200 Fort Myer Dr., Arlington. www.dcbeerweek.net. $50.
NO TICKET: Scion is bringing back its popular Dogfish Head “Dazed & Infused” night, during which bartenders use Dogfish’s popular Randall the Enamel Animal contraption to infuse flavors into a variety of the brewery’s beers. (Last year’s favorites included 75 Minute IPA with bacon and 90 Minute IPA with habanero.) There will be 30 Dogfish beers to sample, including 10 infusions, and all are $3 off their regular price.
5 p.m. Scion, 2100 P St. NW. 202-833-8899. www.scionrestaurant.com.
TICKET: As the now-ubiquitous Samuel Adams celebrates 30 years of brewing, the “30 Beers for 30 Years” party at Longview Gallery has 30 Sam Adams beers — from Boston Lager to Latitude 48 and Word to the Weisse Berlinerweisse — paired with small plates from 30 restaurants, including Granville Moore’s, Hill Country and Art and Soul. Tickets include unlimited food and drink.
6:30-9:30 p.m. Longview Gallery, 1234 Ninth St. NW. wcp.xorbia.com/dcbeerweek. $55; VIP tickets, which allow entry at 5:30, are $75.
NO TICKET: DC Brau is hosting a “casual pinball tournament” at Lyman’s Tavern, a corner bar in 16th Street Heights with free popcorn and local beers on tap. There’s no charge to enter, but you need to bring quarters to play the six machines. High scorers take home DC Brau gift cards and other prizes.
7-10 p.m. Lyman’s Tavern, 3720 14th St. NW. 202-723-0502. www.lymanstavern.com.
TICKET: Flying Dog has always focused on local food as well as beer: Pearl Necklace is brewed with Rappahannock River Oysters and benefits the Oyster Recovery Partnership, and the current hit Dead Rise summer ale is spiced with Old Bay and raises money to help restore the Chesapeake Bay’s crab population. The “Beer and Bites” event at Clyde’s of Gallery Place pairs four of the Frederick brewery’s beers with regional snacks, including Maryland crab salad with Dead Rise and Easy IPA with grilled half-smokes.
6-8 p.m. Clyde’s of Gallery Place, 707 Seventh St. NW. 202-349-3700. www.clydesgifts.com/beer_dinner. $25.
NO TICKET: DC Beer Week doesn’t stop at the Potomac River: Six Virginia breweries and Bold Rock cidery join forces at the Virginia Brewers’ Bash at Mad Fox Brewing Company in Falls Church, which features a meet-and-greet with brewers and happy hour deals from 5 to 9 p.m. Participants include 3 Brothers, Forge Brew Works, Starr Hill and Devils Backbone.
5-9 p.m. Mad Fox Brewing Company, 444 W. Broad St., Falls Church. 703-942-6840. www.madfoxbrewing.com.
TICKET: The stars have aligned for the Heurich House Museum, as its monthly History and Hops happy hour falls during DC Beer Week. Tour the historic Victorian home of Christian Heurich, who was the most powerful brewer in Washington in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and taste three beers from Mad Fox, including a dry-hopped cask of the Abbaye des Chutes Abbey Ale. Unlimited beer and finger foods are covered by the $30 ticket.
6:30-8:30 p.m. Heurich House Museum, 1307 New Hampshire Ave. NW. 202-429-1894. www.heurichhouse.org. $30.
NO TICKET: My favorite event of DC Beer Week 2013 was Blind and Bitter, a blind tasting of two dozen IPAs from a dozen breweries at Scion and Crios Modern Mexican. Participants ordered beers using short tasting notes, such as “citrus, piney, fresh cut grass,” and then voted for their favorite, which turned out to be Evolution’s Lot #6 Double IPA. The event returns this year with a twist: Twenty-four breweries are bringing one beer each. Big names are involved, including Stone, Dogfish Head, Founders and Bell’s, which adds to the intrigue.
4-9 p.m. Scion, 2100 P St. NW., and Crios Modern Mexican, 2120 P St. NW. www.dcbeer.com.
TICKET: BrewHaHa is like a mini-SAVOR festival in the atrium of the Old Ebbitt Grill: Nine local brewers are each paired with a restaurant, including culinary teams from the Source, the Pig and Jack Rose. The chef and the brewer than work together to come up with small plates that match two of the brewery’s offerings. It’s an interesting night of sampling and sipping, with extra zip coming from the Motown-esque horns of Richmond’s Hi-Steps band.
8-11 p.m. Old Ebbitt Grill, 675 15th St. www.dcbeerweek.net. $65.
NO TICKET: A night in honor of the Wolverine State at the Black Squirrel features rare draft and bottled beers from Michigan’s biggest breweries. Three exclusives from Bell’s include Kalamazoo Hopsoulution Imperial IPA; New Holland’s five selections include Incorrigible White Sour; the half-dozen beers from Founders are led by Kentucky Breakfast Stout; and the star of Jolly Pumpkin’s trio is Calabaza Boreal, a wild ale with grapefruit and peppercorns brewed with Anchorage Brewing.
5 p.m.-3 a.m. Black Squirrel, 2427 18th St. NW. 202-232-1011. www.blacksquirreldc.com.
TICKET: Many DC Beer Week events put the spotlight on beer from local breweries, but only one outing stars the breweries themselves. Reston Limousine, which organizes weekly party-bus tours of breweries in Loudoun County, Northern Virginia and the District, is putting together a special guided jaunt to Bluejacket, Atlas Brew Works, DC Brau and 3 Stars. It sounds like a lot to cram in, but riders will spend about an hour touring and tasting at each stop. The $39 ticket includes transportation between breweries; a $54 ticket adds lunch from Bluejacket. (Everyone is responsible for buying their own pints and growlers throughout the day.) The tour leaves from Reston Town Center at 10:15 a.m. and the East Falls Church Metro Station at 10:45, and returns to East Falls Church at 5:30 p.m. and Reston at 6. Those based in D.C. can show up at Bluejacket at 11:30 and take the bus to the other three breweries, but don’t get a discount.
Tour begins at 11:30 a.m. at Bluejacket, 300 Tingey St. SE. For tickets, see www.restonlimo.com/events/dc-brewery-sampler, or call 703-478-0500.
NO TICKET: Meridian Pint is keeping things low-key during DC Beer Week, putting 24 local beers on tap instead of hosting a string of events. The one exception: Aug. 23, when the taps will be turned over to Devils Backbone for its Pumpkin Hunter Ale release party. Beyond the pumpkin ale on draft and cask, the beer list includes a number of drafts that rarely make it to Washington, including award-winners Old Virginia Dark, Berliner Metro Weiss and Trail Angel Weiss.
4 p.m. Meridian Pint, 3400 11th St. NW. 202-588-1075. www.meridianpint.com.
TICKET: Four D.C. production breweries — 3 Stars, Atlas Brew Works, Chocolate City and DC Brau — will join Virginia’s Port City, Mad Fox and Lost Rhino at the final “official” event of DC Beer Week, Brewers on the Block. Held at Suburbia, the cool Airstream bar outside Union Market, the afternoon includes unlimited beers, unlimited slushy cocktails from Suburbia and a panel discussion on the future of the local beer scene with brewers and industry types. Food from Red Apron Butchery and other Union Market vendors will be available for an additional cost.
2-8 p.m. Union Market, 1309 Fifth St. NE. www.dcbeerweek.net. $50.
NO TICKET: After a hard week of sampling and socializing, you deserve eggs with big ol’ slabs of bacon, a BLT with juicy, ripe tomatoes or a filling slice of quiche. That’s where the Hair of the Dog Brunch at Boundary Road comes in: The H Street NE restaurant is pairing its brunch with sessionable beers from Richmond’s Hardywood Park brewery, including Float IPA (3.8 percent ABV), Centennial Wheat and Bohemian Pils. Reservations are available, but not required.
11 a.m.-3 p.m. Boundary Road, 414 H St. NE. 202-450-3265. www.boundaryrd.com.