As my colleague Maura Judkis pointed out, this is Eat Local First Week, also known as Farm to Table Week. Local restaurants are celebrating with special menus and events through Saturday. But foodies aren't the only ones being catered to: Some restaurants are taking the opportunity to honor the burgeoning local beer scene.
Meridian Pint has six days of events planned, all of which feature $5 beers and special food parings. Monday is Maryland Beer Night, with 24 different Free State beers on tap, including Franklins, Burley Oak and Oliver. (There's even a cider from Distillery Lane.) The following night is Celebrate the Commonwealth, with 24 Virginia beers, which you can also choose to pair with Chincoteague oysters or Virginia cheeses. Wednesday is the District's turn, with 22 beers from 3 Stars, Chocolate City and DC Brau on tap, joined by two Green Hat gin cocktails. Local sausages will be grilled on the patio.
Thursday features 24 different beers from eight DMV breweries on tap, but also eight casks prepared with ingredients that could be foraged locally. (Again, all $5.) On Friday, six regional brewpubs, including the Brewer's Art, Devils Backbone and Mad Fox, will take over the 24 taps.
Saturday's Eat Local First Farm to Street Party at Union Market also has a beer component, sponsored by Meridian Pint: 20 breweries from Richmond to Baltimore are each bringing a favorite beer, which will be sold for $5. (There will be cooking demonstrations, food specials, speakers and other events throughout the day.) This is the only event that has a cover charge: a suggested $5 donation to Eat Local First.
Pizzeria Paradiso is also supporting Eat Local First at all three locations, creating a special "Locavore" pizza made with heirloom tomato sauce, cubanelle peppers, buffalo mozzarella and other locally sourced ingredients. As a bonus, every pizza purchased allows you to order two local draft beers for half price.
This is also the perfect week for a new local beer to make its debut. The Right Proper Brew Pub, which should open in Shaw this Fall, has collaborated with Baltimore's Brewer's Art to create "Brimstone and Clover," a saison spiced with herbs. It will be on tap at Meridian Pint's D.C.-centric party on Wednesday night, and at a tapping party at Birreria Paradiso on Thursday. (The Thursday event includes four Brewer's Art beers on tap, and drafts will be half-price from 5 to 7 p.m.)