DC Beer Week runs Aug. 9-16, and every night is packed with events: beer dinners, happy hours, crab feasts, and even a scavenger hunt through Dupont Circle. A longer list of events can be found on the official DC Beer Week Calendar.
Friday-Saturday, Aug. 7-8
Before DC Beer Week officially gets underway, District Chophouse brewmaster Barrett Lauer hosts Cask Night and Cask Day, a mini-festival dedicated to traditional cask ales, unpasteurized beers that undergo a secondary fermentation in the container from which they're served. More than two dozen beers from Washington, Maryland and Virginia breweries will be served Friday from 6 to 11 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $50 per session and include unlimited beers and snacks.
District Chophouse, 509 Seventh St. NW. www.districtchophouse.com.
Sunday, Aug. 9
Brewers on the Block, the official opening party for DC Beer Week, features at least 20 local breweries, meaderies and cideries outside Union Market. It's one of the bargains of beer week, too: $35 for unlimited drinks from 2 to 5 p.m. VIP tickets ($60) include early admission at 1 p.m. and extra beers and frozen cocktails from the Suburbia trailer, the summery pop-up bar. Advance ticket purchase is recommended.
Union Market, 1309 Fifth St. NE. www.suburbiadc.com.
Get to know 11 new local breweries at the Black Squirrel's New Kids on the Block tasting. Hellbender (D.C.) and Adroit Theory (Purcellville, Va.) are regularly seen at D.C. beer bars; Caboose (Vienna), Ornery (Woodbridge) and Mispillion River (Milford, Del.) are less common, while this is the D.C. debut of Jailbreak (Laurel) and an early chance to try a beer from Metropole (Arlington), which isn't even open yet.
4 p.m. to midnight. The Black Squirrel, 2427 18th St. NW. www.blacksquirreldc.com. Free admission.
Monday, Aug. 10
During DC Beer Week, Black Squirrel owner Amy Bowman traditionally throws an event honoring women in brewing. This year's edition of We Can Brew It: Women in Beer is stellar: It features trailblazing brewmaster Carol Stoudt, who created her first batch of beer for Stoudt's Brewery back in 1987, alongside April Anderson, the senior brewer at Devils Backbone Brewing Company, and Kristi Matthews Griner, the director of brewing operations at Capitol City Brewing Company. As always, the event is targeted at women but open to all.
6 p.m. The Black Squirrel, 2427 18th St. NW. www.blacksquirreldc.com. Free admission.
Tuesday, Aug. 11
If you've wanted to see "The Beach," this summer's major installation at the National Building Museum, but were wary of spending time in a ball pit with actual children, Port City Brewing has the solution: The Port City Beach Party is only open to people of legal drinking age. The $45 tickets include three Port City beers, including Metro Red, a double red ale brewed for DC Beer Week.
6 to 9 p.m. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. www.portcitybrewing.com. $45.
If you enjoy a rich, strong barrel-aged beer, make your way to Boundary Stone for the second annual Battle of the Barrel-Aged Brews, where DC Brau is defending its title against competition from 3 Stars, Atlas, Hellbender and Port City. Small pours of each beer are included in the $20 ticket, along with an all-important ballot that lets you vote for the winner. Buying a ticket in advance helps avoid a sellout crowd.
5 to 8 p.m. Boundary Stone, 116 Rhode Island Ave. NW. www.boundarystonedc.com. $20.
Wednesday, Aug. 12
Devils Backbone plans to showcase its beers at several tap takeovers during DC Beer Week. But if you only have one night to learn why the central Virginia brewery was named the best Mid-Size Brewing Company in the country at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival, make it this event at Jack Rose. You'll find 20 Devils Backbone beers on tap, including an exclusive old ale that has spent the last 13 months aging in a barrel that previously held 12-year-old Willett bourbon. Jack Rose beer director Nahem Simon describes the flavor as "oaky tannic goodness." Each of the beers will be sold on its own or paired with a specially selected whiskey from Jack Rose's enormous collection. Devils Backbone brewmaster Jason Oliver will be at the bar to talk beer if you have questions.
5 to 9 p.m. Jack Rose Dining Saloon, 2007 18th St. NW. www.jackrosediningsaloon.com. Free admission.
The DC Brewery Q&A at City Tap House, which features owners and brewers from 3 Stars, Atlas Brew Works, Bluejacket, DC Brau and Hellbender, promises to answer your questions about the local beer scene. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. After the panel ends, the Coast to Coast Tap Takeover at nearby RFD includes 45 beers from all over the country for $5 each until 11 p.m.
DC Brewery Q&A: 6 to 8 p.m. at City Tap House, 901 I St. NW. www.citytaphousedc.com. Free admission.
Coast to Coast Tap Takeover: Starts at 4 p.m. at RFD, 810 Seventh St. NW. www.lovethebeer.com. $5 cover charge to benefit St. Jude Children's Research Center.
Thursday, Aug. 13
A historic night at ChurchKey finds all 50 taps and five cask lines pouring "flagships, seasonals, one-offs and rarities" from breweries located in Washington: 3 Stars, Atlas, Bluejacket, DC Brau, Hellbender and Right Proper. The Total Washington D.C. Tap Takeover is going to be packed, but you've never seen this many D.C. beers on tap before. (The beer menu for the evening is now on Facebook.)
4 p.m. ChurchKey, 1337 14th St. NW. www.churchkeydc.com. Free admission.
If you have a craving for crustaceans and local brews, Smoke and Barrel is hosting an all-you-can-eat crab feast with two Eastern Shore breweries: RAR of Cambridge and Evolution of Salisbury. Each ticket includes crabs, corn on the cob, hush puppies, and unlimited pours of seven beers from each of the breweries from 6 to 8 p.m.
Smoke and Barrel, 2471 18th St. NW. www.smokeandbarreldc.com. $65.
Ciders and meads are finding their way onto taps at local beer bars, and City Tap House is putting cider and mead on all 40 taps throughout the day. Look for ciders from Maryland's Millstone Ciders and Virginia's Bold Rock and Potter’s Craft Cider, and meads from B. Nektar and Charm City Meadery.
City Tap House, 901 I St. NW. www.citytaphousedc.com. Free admission.
Friday, Aug. 14
Blind and Bitter is always one of this highlights of DC Beer Week: A chance to taste from among 25 IPAs and double IPAs, all of which are unmarked and identified only with the most vague tasting notes. Attendees vote for their favorites after the blind tasting. Stone, Laguinitas and Bells were in last year's field, but after almost 1,000 votes were counted, the top three were all from the D.C. area: DC Brau's On the Wings of Armageddon, Evolution's Lot 6 and Flying Dog's The Truth. This year's competition includes an all-new list of challengers from around the U.S. Stop by, taste a few beers and order $3 casks, cans and bottles from DC Brau, Evolution and Union after your vote is cast. Arrive early before the beers start to run out.
4 to 9 p.m. Scion, 2100 P St. NW. www.scionrestaurant.com. Free admission.
Many of the events during DC Beer Week celebrate local beers, but part of the strength of the local beer scene is the ability to enjoy brews from around the country, if not the world. San Diego's Ballast Point has become a fixture on local taps this summer – its Grapefruit Sculpin IPA is the perfect marriage of a hoppy West Coast IPA and a quenching German radler – and ChurchKey is putting two dozen Ballast Point beers on tap and another four on draft for one night only.
4 p.m. to close. ChurchKey, 1337 14th St. NW. www.churchkeydc.com. Free admission.
Saturday, Aug. 15
By the seventh day of Beer Week, you've probably consumed a few more calories than you meant to. Get rid of them during a special Bikes & Brews brewery tour sponsored by City Bikes. A phalanx of beer-loving cyclists leaves the Adams Morgan bike shop at noon, heading for the Hellbender and Atlas breweries for tours and tastings, and then to Glen's Garden Market for $4 draft beers. Maps and guides will be provided, but riders need to bring their own helmets and locks. Advance registration is requested.
Noon to 4:30 p.m. Depart from City Bikes, 2501 Champlain St. NW. www.citybikes.com. Free.
The Old Ebbitt BrewHaHa pairs nine breweries, including Hardywood, Flying Dog and DC Brau, with one of nine chefs – maybe Michael Friedman of the Red Hen or Nathan Anda of Partisan and Red Apron Butchery. Each brewery picks two beers to serve, and the chef creates small bites to pair with them. The event runs from 8 to 11 p.m. and all food and drinks are included in the ticket price.
8 to 11 p.m. Old Ebbitt Grill, 675 15th St. NW. www.brewhaha2015.eventfarm.com. $65.
Sunday, Aug. 16
The DC Beer Scavenger Hunt finds teams of up to four people bar-hopping around Dupont Circle, visiting Pizzeria Paradiso, the Big Hunt, the Bier Baron and other craft beer hot spots. At each stop, teams will have to solve clues to figure out which beers to order. Buying the right beer from one of 12 local breweries will lead to yet more clues, prizes such as private brewery tours, and a sense of enduring satisfaction. Registration is free and required by noon on Friday. Team costumes are encouraged. The Scavenger Hunt begins at noon, with awards handed out at an after-party at Buffalo Billiards that starts at 5 p.m.
Noon to 5 p.m. Teams will learn their starting locations after registering. www.dcbeer.com. Free.