The Washington Post

Bell’s Hopslam hits Washington tonight

Keep an eye out for the green Hopslam tap at local beer bars. (Courtesy of Bell's Brewing) Keep an eye out for the green Hopslam tap at local beer bars. (Courtesy of Bell's Brewing)

Update: Capitol Lounge announced the date of its Hopslam tapping on Monday afternoon.

One of the year's most anticipated and sought-after beers has finally arrived in Washington. Bell's Hopslam, a limited-edition double IPA made with six kinds of hops and "a solid dollop of honey," hits the taps at ChurchKey at 4 p.m. tonight, alongside a selection of other Bell's beers. (Hint: Hopslam will also be available in bottles.)

If you can't make it tonight – and you really need to get in on the early side if you want a chance to try this year's batch – mark your calendars for Friday. The Black Squirrel is recreating last year's "Dueling Hops" event, which found Hopslam and Troegs' Nugget Nectar side-by-side on the draft lines. They're not exactly the same: Nugget Nectar, while also loved by hopheads, is a malty red ale that packs in five kinds of hops without being as boozy as Hopslam. (Nugget Nectar is 7.5 percent ABV, while Hopslam is 10 percent.) Both beers will be on tap at 5 p.m.

So many beer lovers chase after Hopslam that it's increasingly hard to find in stores and bars, and sells out rapidly once word gets out that it's available. Because of this demand, the area's limited number of kegs will be allocated to top beer bars, but also to bars that sell a lot of Bell's. That's why you'll see it coming to Capitol Lounge this Thursday at 5 p.m., at some point soon, though no date has been announced and at a special happy hour party at Tonic in Mount Pleasant on the following Thursday, Feb. 20. Tonic is being cagey about when, exactly, you'll be able to taste Hopslam: The event announcement says that "Hopslam may be available all night or it may be tapped at a special time ... you'll have to come to find out!" Happy hour runs from 5 to 8 p.m.; Bell's beer specials include Two Hearted Ale and Smitten Golden Rye.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.
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