On Monday, I went over the list of local winners from the Great American Beer Festival, and bemoaned how hard it would be to actually try most them. Well, it turns out I was being premature.
Sam Fitz, the beer director of Meridian Pint, will have almost every single local medalist on tap in Columbia Heights next Friday, plus a selection of other award-winning beers from across the country.
"We've had [a keg of Port City's bronze-medal-winning smoked porter Colossal Two since it came out" in February, Fitz explained. He just hadn't found the right opportunity to tap it. He finally has an excuse to tap the next-to-last keg in existence, alongside a keg of Colossal One, which also won a bronze in the category of Aged Beer. (In a cool touch, the keg being tapped is from the same batch that the GABF judges tasted.) The Optimal Wit, named best Belgian Witbier in the country, will also be available.
Flying Dog told me on Monday that they were sending the brewery's last two kegs of the bronze-winning Dogtoberfest to Meridian Pint, and you'll be able to taste that alongside Lost Rhino's Rhinofest (the top German-style Oktoberfest beer in the competition) and Port City's silver-medal-winning Oktoberfest.
The only local medalist that won't make an appearance is the Oktoberfest from Sweetwater Tavern, the Northern Virginia brewpub chain. Thankfully, it's on tap at all three locations. [Update: Sweetwater is sending Oktoberfest kegs after all.]
Devils Backbone, the Virginia brewery named the national Small Brewery and Brewer of the year (in addition to winning six medals for its beers) will also be represented on the taps. "They've agreed to send us whatever they can," Fitz says. "Because of the timing, it's not entirely clear what that will be."
Meridian Pint will fill the rest of its 24 draft lines with non-local beers that won medals at GABF, including Sly Fox Grisette, Mad River Steel Head IPA, Speakeasy Prohibition Porter, Troegs Troegenator Double Bock and Ommegang Three Philosophers.
The bar opens at 3 p.m. and all beers will be $1 off until 7 p.m.