August is traditionally a slow time for the restaurant and bar scene. Beer, on the other hand, takes center stage this month, thanks to the ninth-annual DC Beer Week, which runs from Aug. 20-27. (It moved to September last year, but that was apparently a one-time experiment.) DC Beer Week isn't the only thing on the calendar this month, so here's a guide to other events, anniversary parties and tap takeovers in the first three weeks of August. (We'll have a separate rundown of DC Beer Week closer to its kickoff.)
Admission is free to all events, with beers priced individually, unless otherwise noted.
Aug. 3: Heurich's Lager release party at Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont
Christian Heurich's brewery was the largest and most popular in Washington in the 20th century — at least until it closed in 1956, and his beers were lost to history. More than a half-century later, three D.C. home brewers reverse-engineered Heurich's pre-Prohibition lager, basing the recipe, in part, on Heurich's old invoices. DC Brau brewed a small batch of Heurich's Lager, made with a mix of flaked rice and flaked maize, for a limited can release in 2016, and they're bringing it back again this year. The release party at Pizzeria Paradiso will include several other DC Brau beers to sample and a display of Heurich Brewing memorabilia from the Heurich House Museum. 6 to 10 p.m.
Aug. 3: Atlas Brew Works Summer Sendoff at Boundary Stone
Atlas Brew Works has released three solid beers this summer — Rye, Rye My Darling rye saison; Should I Stay or Should I Gose, brewed with pink Himalayan salt; and Ugly and Stoned, a wild beer made with discarded stone fruit donated by Mom's Organic Market. They're adding one more, just in time for the dog days: Solar Farm, which the brewery describes as “a juicy farmhouse IPA.” The name is a nod to Atlas's status as the first brewery in D.C. to be fully powered by solar energy. All four beers will be on tap at Boundary Stone, where the Bluegrass Outlet will perform. 6 to 11 p.m.
Aug. 3: National IPA Day
Does every adult beverage need its own “National Fill-in-the-Blank Day”? No. But hey, if it's an excuse to drink the most popular craft beer style in America, who are we to decline? At ChurchKey, you can try more than 20 IPAs, across the spectrum from bitter to juicy, brewed by the Veil, Burley Oak, SingleCut, Triple Crossing, Stillwater, RAR, Long Island City Beer Project and Kent Falls, among others, beginning at 4 p.m. The new Black Squirrel in Dunn Loring is celebrating with two IPAs from locals Crooked Run, whose co-founder Lee Rogan will be hanging out at the bar, and other Virginia IPAs, including selections from Vanish, Parkway and Hardywood, beginning at 5 p.m. In Lorton, Fair Winds Brewing chose IPA Day as the release for the first in its new Quarterdeck series of experimental beers. It is (what else?) a double dry-hopped IPA called El Zythos and will be available only in the tap room. Stop in between 3 and 9 p.m., and all of the brewery's IPAs, including the Dank and Stormy double IPA, Sessions in the Abyss Session IPA and the familiar Howling Gale IPA, cost $4.
Aug 5: Craft Beer Cellar Anniversary
It took less than a year for the Craft Beer Cellar on H Street NE to vault into the top echelon of local beer stores. The shop marks its first anniversary with a day of rare beer releases — look for cans and bottles from Grimm, Allagash and Fantome, and a raffle for bottles of the legendary Westvleteren XII — and the D.C. debut of Texas's Lone Pint Brewery. Baltimore's Oliver Ales will be leading a tasting of its beers from 1 to 4 p.m. Doors open at 10 a.m., and the special beers will be released throughout the day.
Aug 9: Union Craft Brewing anniversary at Roofers Union
Baltimore's Union Craft Brewing celebrates its fifth birthday Aug. 5 with a sold-out bash at its Charm City home, featuring live music and new and rare brews. If you didn't get a ticket, don't worry: Roofers Union is hosting a D.C. version of Union's anniversary party, with 10 Union taps, including two new beers, alongside Old Pro, Duckpin and other favorites. All Union pints cost $7 all night. 5 p.m.
Aug 12: 3 Stars Brewing Five Year Monster Anniversary Bash
The team at 3 Stars Brewing doesn't do anything halfway. At their fifth-anniversary party, the upper Northwest brewery is unveiling four new beers, including collaborations with New York's Interboro and Long Island City Beer Project, a double IPA and a barley wine made with Ohio maple syrup. That's just the beginning of the beer list, which co-founder Dave Coleman says will feature at least 30 taps, including selections for breweries that 3 Stars has collaborated with before, such as Other Half, J. Wakefield and Graft Cider. Rappahannock Oysters are bringing oysters on the half-shell, Chiko is roasting a pig, Jerkface is making specialty jerky and Ice Cream Jubilee is providing frozen treats. Entertainment comes from DJs Smudge and Keenan Orr, as well as a performance by the School of Rock. 1 to 7 p.m. $20; $50 VIP tickets include admission at noon, additional drink tickets and a swag bag.
Aug 17-20: Mad Fox Taproom Anniversary
The second anniversary of Mad Fox's Glover Park taproom is cause for a four-day celebration. Take home an anniversary pint glass on Thursday, or try flights of barrel-aged beers on Friday. Saturday is the day for bargain hunters: Pints start at $1 at noon, with prices climbing $1 per hour until 4 p.m., when they hit regular happy hour prices. At 9 p.m., the prices begin falling $1 per hour. Then, on Sunday, the restaurant's bottomless brunch, which usually runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., is extended until 7 p.m.: All the mimosas, bloody marys or Mad Fox house beers you care to drink for $16.
Aug 19: Capital Chili Cookoff and DMV Beer Festival at the Bullpen
Did you know there is an International Chili Society, a 50-year-old organization that runs the World's Champion Chili Cookoff, World's Championship Salsa Contest and the ominous-sounding Firefest? The Capital Chili Cookoff is the sanctioned Mid-Atlantic qualifier for the World's Championship, which will be held in Reno in October. When you're not scorching your mouth with free chili samples, you can try beers from a dozen breweries, including Atlas, Burley Oak, Manor Hill and Old Ox. (Each brewery is bringing two to four beers.) Tickets include unlimited beer and chili samples. 3 to 6 p.m. $45; $65 VIP tickets allow entry at 2 p.m. and access to additional beers.