The essential dance parties, concerts, happy hours and events to hit this weekend in Washington. Looking for more ideas? Check out our World Cup viewing guide.
Friday, June 13
Summer doesn't officially begin until June 21, but our minds are already on vacation, thanks to the recent spate of warm, sunny weekends. We're not the only ones who can't wait: The Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg is hosting a full weekend of indoor and outdoor events under the banner of the Dogfish Days of Summer. It starts Friday with live music from local rock band One Eyed Pug and free giveaways for teachers from 7 to 10 p.m. On Saturday, part of the Dogfish parking lot will be roped off and tented to provide an outdoor beer garden, where bands will play in the afternoon and evening, probably beginning around 1 p.m. Early arrivals receive free beer steins. The music and drinks continue on Father's Day, with special gifts for dads. There's no cover all weekend long.
A roots reggae band from Israel singing in English and Amharic? It makes sense when you consider Rastafarianism's use of the Old Testament and deification of Ethiopian king Haile Selassie I. Zvuloon Dub System adopted their name from one of the twelve tribes of Israel, and is considered that country's top reggae band, with a conscious sound blended with Ethio-jazz and rare soul grooves. Don't miss a rare chance to see the group at Tropicalia.
Saturday, June 14
The Union BBQ, the first outdoor festival curated by the folks behind U Street Music Hall, is a refreshing alternative to the summer's stream of amphitheater events. Taking over indoor and outdoor spaces at Union Market, the Union BBQ has a mix of big-name electronic DJs, including Jamie xx and Animal Collective, with a solid undercard of up-and-comers, such as Viceroy and Kaytranada. Throw in Nadastrom and Tittsworth spinning on a stage dedicated to the club's monthly Moombahton Massive night and a strong bill of local house and drum'n'bass DJs -- Sam "the Man" Burns, Stereofaith, Will Eastman -- and you've got a full day of dancing. Fuel up with barbecue, snacks (watch out for the return of the infamous pho dog) and DC Brau beers. It's a perfect day of music without ever leaving the District.
Kolsch is a perfect drink on a hot day: Crisp, dry, light and hoppy without being bitter, it's a wonderful thirst-quencher after cutting the grass or for just sitting on a patio. The second annual Kolsch Cup at the Gordon Biersch brewpub near the Navy Yard features 19 brewers – including six from area Gordon Biersch locations – facing off in a battle of the kolsches. Most are local products, such as Bluejacket, Mad Fox and Lost Rhino, though Harpoon and New Holland also are among this year's competitors. The $20 admission includes a commemorative glass and one taster of each beer, and the public is encouraged to vote for their favorite after sampling. Beers will be served from 1 to 4 p.m., and the winner will be announced at 3:30.
Tour a brewery, taste fresh beers and sample barbecue while raising money to help veterans receive mental health services. That's the plan for Brewskies and BBQ at the warehouselike Atlas Brew Works in Northeast Washington, which also adds jazz by Tribe Inc. The $60 tickets, which benefit local charity Fightin 4 Lives, include three kinds of barbecue paired with Atlas beers or non-alcoholic beverages and a growler of Atlas beer to go. The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m.
Happy World Gin Day! The perfect place to celebrate this holiday is, naturally, the Gin Joint at New Heights, which has more than 60 gins to try alongside bartender Nicole Hassoun's house-made tonics (we're fans of the lime and orangeflower water) and a selection of wonderfully aromatic gin cocktails. For World Gin Day, the party is moving to New Heights' Calvert Street patio. Stop by between 4 and 9 p.m. for free cocktails made with Hayman's Old Tom (a sweet, citrusy gin) and raw, grilled and fried oysters. The best seasonal drink on the menu? Try the Moody Good, which pairs peppery Hayman's Royal Dock gin, a flavorful cherry tomato simple syrup and fresh basil leaves from the restaurant's garden.
Sunday, June 15
For the last few years, Kelis has been in the headlines for her attempts to forge new careers as an actress and a celebrity chef, not for her singing. But ultimately, it's the jams that matter, and there are quite a few in her catalog. We're not just talking about "Milkshake," "Bossy" or any of her Neptunes-fueled chart-toppers. Kelis continues to evolve in different directions, as heard in her recent Afrobeat-flavored cut "Friday Fish Fry." She performs at the 9:30 Club preceded by soul crooner Son Little.
Last Sunday, Fritz wandered into the RedRocks on H Street NE to find DJ-about-town Stereofaith working a brand-new afternoon dance party on the restaurant's rooftop deck, spinning a mix of house and old hip-hop. The rooftop breeze and canned beers combined with the tunes to create a perfect end-of-weekend vibe. Stereofaith is back this weekend from 4 to 10 p.m., alongside DJ Jerome Baker III of Rock Creek Social Club. There's no cover charge.