The Holidays are quickly approaching. This is supposed to be a season of giving. What better gift for a beer drinker than a beer event! On Wednesday December 19, RFD will be hosting a holiday beer tasting. Now this isn’t just any olde beer tasting; this is: Happy Holidaze! The Multiple Guest Brewmaster Winter Holidaze Extravaganzee.
This year will be amazingly enough the 25th, yes 25th, anniversary of this event. It is more than merely a tasting though. You’ll be able to gain some insight on the brews from the many local area brewmasters who will speak.
Doors will open at 6PM for the “7PM” start (like a beer event ever starts on time). Tickets are $45 and can be purchased on the RFD website.
I hope to see you there!
EDIT: I now have a list of the breweries which will be attending and it’s a great list: Lost Rhino, Sweetwater, Devils Backbone, Chophouse, Brewers Alley, White Marsh, Union Craft, Vintage 50, Rock Bottom, Gordon Biersch, Baying Hound, Dog Brewing, DuClaw, Heavy Seas, 3 Stars, and DC Brau!
Going into Savor Week, I had hoped to really blow the lid off this whole 366 beers. Unfortunately, I was a bit tied up with various activities, and then I realized that Savor only poured 2 oz samples (probably a good idea with three and half hours of drinking…)
Anyways, I didn’t let the 2 oz thing from keeping me going for seconds on some of the beers I can’t find here (for instance, Cigar City, and I’m pretty sure I did it with Summit’s IPA, too but can’t remember). Additionally, I did manage to meet up J Street’s other bloggers at District of Pi for the Schlafly take-over, which was fantastic! You really can’t beat a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout.
This week’s star beer would be Cigar City Tocobaga (so damn good), but (1) it didn’t even make it on the list since I only managed to get one sample, and (2) the star beer should be something you can get easily here. As a result, I would recommend picking up a bottle of Boulevard’s Double-Wide IPA. Despite the hop-bomb smell, I found the taste to be extremely well balanced. Welcome to DC, Boulevard!!!
6/2/2012 5 Rabbit Cerveceria 5Vulture
6/3/2012 DC Brau Ground Wolf Session IPA
6/6/2012 Schlafly Pi Common
6/6/2012 Schlafly Dry-Hopped American Pale Ale (APA)
6/6/2012 Schlafly Maibock
6/6/2012 Schlafly Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
6/7/2012 Heavy Seas Sea Nymph
6/7/2012 Sam Adams Grumpy Monk
6/7/2012 Boulevard Double-Wide IPA
6/7/2012 Ommegang Art of Darkness
6/8/2012 Boulevard Rye on Rye
6/8/2012 Revival Double Black IPA
6/8/2012 Cigar City Kalevipoeg
6/8/2012 Maui/Jolly Pumpkin Sobrehumano Palena ‘ole
This next week has me heading out to the West Coast where Squirrel and I are visiting the Lagunitas’ and Bear Republic breweries. Going to be a good weekend!
The District Beer Hunt is back! Last year’s event was a huge success and we hope this year will be as well. Our friends over at DC Beer have taken over the organization of this year’s Hunt. Don’t worry, many of us at J Street have been a part of the planning and will be judges again.
During the first week of the new year, J Street’s founder, Tonzi, contacted some of our drinking buddies and me with a challenge: Drink a new beer for every day in the year. (Originally, it was 365 beers until Tonzi updated our tracking system to note the days in the month and realized it was a leap year…) Naturally, I was in and want to invite any of our readers to join us on our epic journey through the beer-iverse.
The rules are simple:
- You must not have ever had the beer before. The challenge is not to have 366 different beers in 2012 but to have 366 NEW beers in the new year. It might not be easy at times, which is why it’s a challenge.
- Homebrews do not count. Tonzi and I discussed this by decided against counting homebrews. To ensure the challenge’s integrity, we are using the Untappd app as a basis for deciding whether a beer counts. Last night though, I hit a snag when having a beer brewed by 901 (Cap Brewing); however, the beer was verified by a fellow challengee and allowed.
- Drink a beer, not taste a beer. Some beers grow on the drinking as the go-down (particularly strong ones), so anything less than 4 oz does not count. Yes, Savor, brewery samples, and beer fests/events, such as our Annual Beer Hunt, could well be the equivalent of hitting the motherlode.
Of course, these are just our general rules; you are free to tweak them or make your own. For instance, I have made a side deal with fellow J Street-er, X, that I won’t drink a Shiner Bock until my number of beers for the year matches the number of days, i.e. we are 20 days into the year, and I have had 25 new beers, so I could drink a Shiner. Thankfully, I have a couple of months to build up a headstart into the 2012 football season…
Whether you join in the challenge or not, I would highly recommend downloading the Untappd app and befriending me (Shintern1909). It’s a great way to track beers that people are drinking, know which bars those beers are currently available, and get quick beer reviews. Information available here: http://www.untappd.com
If you are up for the challenge, let us know in the comments. Depending on the amount of participation, I may discuss with Tonzi about ways to facilitate everyone’s progress through the interwebs. Right now, we’re just using the honor system and a shared Google Doc spreadsheet.
Happy (belated) New Year, and here’s to exploring!
P.S. Hopefully this will help lead to more postings on Brew Review Wednesdays, but I am not going to promise reviews of each beer…
Now that the holidays are finishing up it’s time to spend that gift money.
Happy Holidays to all our readers and writers! We’re all scattered around this holiday season, but that doesn’t mean we stop drinking good beer.
I kicked Christmas day off at 9:15 am with a delicious Maui Brewing Co Bikini Blonde Lager. If you can find it, drink it.
Tomorrow is a big day. A day that will live in infamy. Well, maybe not infamy, but it’ll be a day to remember. It’s International IPA Day!
That’s right, an excuse to drink your favorite hoppy beverage (in case you really need an excuse)!
We at J Street Beer will be doing our part by enjoy a few tasty hop-heavy beverages tomorrow. It’s our civic duty.
So, the question if for you, dear reader. What will you be drinking on International IPA Day? Will it be something from the left coast? Maybe a Blind Pig from Russian River (if you’re lucky) or a Green Flash West Coast IPA? Perhaps something from the northeast like a Smuttynose Finest Kind, or a Brooklyn East India Pale Ale? What about a Cigar City Jai Alai out of Florida? A New Belgium Ranger IPA from Colorado? Or perhaps you’re going to stay local and go with a DC Brau Corruption IPA? What about a Fresh Hop from Great Divide? Maybe you’re thinking big and picking a double IPA like the Weyerbacher Double Simcoe. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s an IPA. Your possibilities seem endless.
Let us know what you’ll be picking up in the comments. We’ll raise a cold grassy, citrusy, floral, earthy, bitter, spicy, sweet glass in your honor.
PS – Don’t forget, while you’re enjoying your IPA tomorrow, make sure you’re marking any of your social posts with the #IPADay hashtag.
I’m sure the first thing that most people think of when they hear the word synagogue is beer. Wait, you’re telling me that isn’t normal? Well, let me see if I can convince you that it is.
On Wednesday, August 10th, at 7 p.m. , Sixth and I Historic Synagogue will be holding their 3rd beer tasting in the past eight months. The previous two sold out well in advance and included a wide variety of craft beers, with an emphasis on drinking local. Featured breweries have included Port City, Baying Hound, Dogfish Head, and Flying Dog.
The featured brewery for this event is none other then Heavy Seas, who will be showing the virtues of one of my favorite IPA’s: Loose Cannon. At least five different varieties will be showcased during this event and I’m sure I’m not the only one curious exactly what they will be. Three great representatives will be on hand in the brewer, hop farmer, and the cellarman. I’m sure each will provide insights from their point of view in the brewing process.
Tickets are only $15 and are available for purchase at the Sixth and I website. This event will sell out so if you plan on going make sure to purchase your tickets as soon as possible.
Once again Chris O’Brien, author of the book Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World, will be hosting the event. Chris does a great job imparting beer knowledge and keeps the crowd laughing.
Finally I hope that no one decides not to attend this event because they are not Jewish. Sixth and I hosts a wide range of events and everyone is more then welcome to come and enjoy some Loose Cannon. Just try not to be like Paul Rinehart and say that a beer pairs well with pork! If for some reason you need any more incentive to come, I’ll be passing out the beers so you can mock me while you have a great time.
What an incredible night! Sorry we’re a bit late on getting you this review, but it’s taken some time to get it all sorted out.
As we discussed in our preview, the Lupulin Reunulin would be a beer tasting headed up by the brewers themselves. When we arrived and got our tasting sheets, we knew we were in for a good night. Fourteen beers for the tasting! Hard to find, and impossible to find beverages for us to enjoy.
First, I’d like to talk about the panel. The only disappointment on the panel was that Sam from Dogfish was unable to make it. The rest of the panel members, especially Tomme from Lost Abbey, picked up the slack and made it a very enjoyable and hilarious evening.
Stories from the panel that are worth you hearing about:
– The Port Brewing Mongo was named after a kitten. He was originally named Columbus, but was so big that he was nicknamed Mongo. Due to his size, Mongo was kicked out of the litter by his fellow kittens. As Tomme noted, Mongo was working at the brewery on “biodynamic pest control”, and was doing quite well. Sadly, Mongo passed away after just 8 or 9 months in his pest control position. A burial was held at the brewery, and the beer was named after him, in memoriam.
– The night began to devolve when Rob Tod started telling us a story about waterskiing naked and his shrinkage. Actually, that may be a story you didn’t need to hear about.
– Tomme’s best way to describe the Anniversary Ale, was to say that it will make your nose nice and fuzzy, as seen here:
– Sierra Nevada is thinking about opening up an east coast brewery. Look for this news to hit soon (assuming they actually follow through on it).
– Sam made a short appearance, through a text message, to tell everyone “Rob Tod looks really cute right now.”
On to the beers!
1. Mad Fox – Orange Whip
Appearance – reddish brown Aroma – floral, citrus hops Taste – mild, dry sweetness, citrusy, mild bitter finish
2. New Belgium – Berlinerweisse
Appearance – pale yellow Aroma – sour apple Taste – tangy sour, fruity sweetness
3. Sweetwater Tavern – Midnight Rider Black IPA
Appearance – black Aroma – malty sweetness, coffee, slight floral hop Taste – coffee, light bitterness, disappointing after the aroma
4. Allagash – Little Big Beer
Appearance – bronze, cloudy Aroma – funky, mild sweetness Taste – tangy, sour, sweet mid, strong sour finish. Allagash brought out the funk!
5. Port Brewing – Mongo
Appearance – deep golden Aroma – floral, sweet Taste – malty sweet front, harsh switch to bitterness
6. Sierra Nevada – Barrel Aged Life and Limb
Appearance – dark brown Aroma – oaky, bourbon, malty sweetness Taste – malty, maple syrup, slight bitterness, slight sour note (best in show)
7. Dogfish Head – Pangaea (2 year old)
Appearance – light golden Aroma – yeasty, mild spice Taste – light, mild sweetness, spicy
8. Port/Pizza Port – Anniversary Ale
Appearance – bronze Aroma – very hoppy Taste – all hops, malty mid, very hoppy bitter finish
9. Sierra Nevada – 30th Anniversary Grand Cru
Appearance – red Aroma – floral, cloves, malty sweetness Taste – sweet malty front, creamy mouthfeel, bitter hoppy finish
10. Allagash – Avance
Appearance – red, cloudy Aroma – tart cherries Taste – strawberry, sour tangy finish
11. New Belgium – Vreinden
Appearance – bronze Aroma – sweet, mild sourness Taste – tangy, slightly bitter, malty sweet mid
12. Dogfish Head – Immort Ale (2 year old)
Appearance – dark red Aroma – malty sweetness Taste – creamy, heavy, malty sweet, bitter finish
13. Mad Fox – Oaked Slobberknocker Barleywine
Appearance – dark red, cloudy Aroma – light sweetness Taste – oak, malty, mild bitter finish
14. Great American Restaurants – Oak Cask Conditioned Aged High Desert Imperial Stout
Appearance – black Aroma – oak, coffee, malty sweetness Taste – sweet malt, coffee, vanilla, light alcohol burn
This event was phenomenal! A huge thank you to all of the brewers, Dave Alexander and RFD for putting together 3 hours of fun conversation and delicious beverages!
Make sure you get your tickets early next year!
P.S. – Tomme Arthur, good man.
Upon hitting the bar at Churchkey Thursday I was not only handed the regular tap list but also a smaller piece of paper that reminded me of a golf scorecard. Quickly I realized that it was the list of all the drafts from Short’s for the night and I became slightly overwhelmed.
After my queries of what should I order of the 30 options were met with no specific response, I decided to order the way many pick their March Madness bracket: I picked the things with cool names. Let me give a short (no pun intended) recap of some of the wacky beers I tried.
With no clue where to start I figured I would take a chance and go with Gambler. Apparently it was a smoke beer with just a faint hint of peat and bourbon flavor holding onto my tongue, certainly a good start.
I actually consulted the regular menu just to pick a style for my next beer and decided a Tripel sounded good and got a Richard in the Dirt. A solid beer for the style with a nice citrus kick but ordering a full glass may have been a mistake.
The last three beers I should bring up had to be ordered simply because they sounded so unique and dessert-like. Chocolate Wheat was exactly what it sounds like and was very enjoyable. A blast of chocolate upfront yet very smooth and low on the ABV spectrum. The other two were Key Lime and Carrot Cake. I have no idea how Short’s did it but these beers tasted exactly like their food names. A bit too sweet for some, certainly, but if you like either dessert you would be in Heaven. I swear I could taste the dollop of whipped cream on the finish of the Key Lime.
This event came up anything but short.
June in DC. What a great time of year. Well, assuming you love hot humid days and enjoy sweating instantly upon walking outside. Weather aside, it really is a good time to be in DC.
SAVOR is coming up soon and the event gets bigger and bigger each year. Heck, it’s 2 nights this year instead of 1. And with this expansion comes the growth of a week-long pre-party that’s been dubbed SAVOR Week.
Being a new father, my ability to attend every nightly event of SAVOR Week is impossible. Besides, having a buzz and trying to change diapers can be detrimental to everyone’s health. With that in mind, I’ve decided to save my time for one event this week: The Lupulin Reunulin.
Each year some of the biggest names in the craft beer industry gather at The Brickskeller (R.I.P.) or RFD and bring out some of their special libations for an event of tasting and enjoyable conversation. This year’s panel:
Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada
Kim Jordan of New Belgium
Tomme Arthur of Port Brewing/LostAbbey
Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head
Rob Tod of Allagash
Bill Madden of MadFox
Nick Funnel of Sweetwater
In years past, this event has been phenomenal. It always starts out very calm and collected.
- Samples are passed out to all of the attendees.
- The brewer explains what everyone is about to taste.
- The panel discusses the beer.
- Rinse and repeat for the first few samples.
Once everyone starts to get a little liquored up (which usually doesn’t take long since these are usually very big beers), the conversation slides into something reminiscent of a camping trip with old friends.
- Jokes are made.
- beers are swigged.
- Sam gets loud.
- Everyone laughs.
It becomes a frat party with fantastic beer.
If you were lucky enough to get tickets (I’m pretty sure it’s sold out by now), prepare for an evening you won’t soon forget!
P.S. – If you’re wondering what Lupulin is… it’s the yellow stuff in hop cones that provide the hops with the resins and oils to provide those “hoppy” flavors and aromas.
Grilling on the patio with a few beers and a bit of music sounded like a great event. Unfortunately, rain started pouring Wednesday afternoon forcing Capitol City Brewing to call an audible and move their event inside.
With their team operating like the Packers instead of the Redskins, they were able to deal with tough conditions perfectly.
Guests were swept into a back room, which left some skeptical, briefly, until things began running smoothly. The bluegrass band, By the By, started to sing beautifully, leading everyone to relax and forget about the downpour and enjoy the moment.
Beer began flowing once again adding to the jovial mood. With beers only costing three dollars a pint, including an amazingly funky Brett saison cask, there was no reason for anyone to lose their smile.
Despite the change of venue the food also remained unscathed. A scrumptious selection of hot dogs, half smokes and burgers found there way into patrons stomachs quickly.
Kudos to Capitol City for dealing with a tough situation and finding a way to put on a great event.
Sometimes a simple promotion is all it takes to sell beer.
Magic Hat does not brew products that cater to the majority of people excited about SAVOR week, but they certainly piqued the interest of many more casual drinkers Wednesday night.
Pint after pint of Magic Hat was poured at Atomic Billiards during their special promotion of being able to “steal” the pint glass after ordering. Two options were available from the Vermont based brewery: The expected #9 apricot beer and Wacko, their summer seasonal.
As happy as I was to see so many people ordering craft beer I’m not sure what to make of this promotion. Having had Wacko for the first time since the morning of my college graduation I was reminded just how tasteless it is. The #9, which I have not had in ages, seemed full of flavor after the listlessness of Wacko.
Atomic was full of life last night and I hope that it continues to be that way. Since they have Oberon and Two Hearted on draft they certainly deserve a lot of business in Cleveland Park.
I have to say I agree with Tonzi’s post about Magic Hat. Their Hocus Pocus and Circus Boy were a huge part of my initial love of craft beer. Roxy Rolles was a key beer in my transition to enjoying hoppier beers. Yet now I never have much of a desire to buy their beer.
This event at Atomic Billiards is quite simple. Order a Magic Hat after 9 and you get to “steal” the pint glass. I’m assuming that the beer will be #9, which is why they’ve chosen to start the event at 9.
Since I live in Cleveland Park and am a sucker for free glassware I’ll probably wander over. Nothing about this will be super crazy, like many things going on this week. Still with all the madness going on, Atomic will be a welcome spot to just relax, enjoy a simpler beer, and add to your glass stash.
Capitol City will be tapping two casks of a saison spiked with Brettanomyces Bruxellensis at their Postal Square location at 6 ; do I really need to say more?
If Brett isn’t your thing then there are still plenty of other offerings that will be on hand. Brewmaster Micah Krichinsky will be tapping a non-spiked version of his summer saison on draft, as well as pouring other beers perfect for the heat. The drafts include a kolsch, amber, and a pale ale.
In the spirit of summer, grilling will be taking place on the patio. The menu will include half smokes, hot dogs, and burgers.
The band By the By will be on hand to provide live music. By the By is a bluegrass band sure to be a welcome treat for the heat.
Looks like Capitol City Brewing will be bringing the noise and the funk tonight.
Even though I was looking at two TVs that had the time in the corner I couldn’t help but check my cell phone to see how close it was to six. I was just so excited to try out the Syndicate, a collaboration between Evolution and of course DC’s newest brewery: 3 Stars.
Finally it started pouring…and pouring…and pouring. The amount of Syndicate that got poured led to Churchkey struggling to find enough glassware for it. This lead to each of my 4 pints being put in different types of glasses except for when Jason asked if it would be OK to use the same glass for two beers in a row.
The beer is great and absolutely perfect for summer. The Syndicate is very smooth and delicious for a saison. The peppercorns are a welcome touch but do not make it bitter in any way, they just give it a nice bit of oomph.
After my disappointment at Policy this event reminded me how amazing this week is going to be. Several great people from the DC beer community were on hand to toast the wonderful job 3 Stars and Evolution did with this beer.
I would just like to say congratulations to Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey for starting out 3 Stars with such a great beer. They will be at many bars this week with the Syndicate and if you have time, seek it out and have a great conversation with these guys.
One of the most fun things about going out is feeling like a regular at a bar. Most people have a spot where they feel welcome right as they walk in and the first time I had that feeling in DC was at the Big Hunt thanks to Dave Coleman.
On my second or third visit Dave made me feel like I belonged in his own unique way. Subtle and quiet are not words I would use to describe him, but that’s what makes him such a great bartender. The man is blunt, hilarious, and he certainly knows his beer.
So why am I talking about Dave? Because at 6 P.M. he and Mike McGarvey, his partner at 3 Stars Brewery, will be debuting their first beer at Churchkey. The Syndicate is a collaboration with Evolution and is a saison spiced with black and red peppercorns.
I hope you’ll be at Churchkey with me to welcome another local brewery into the fray Monday evening.
I know everyone has been waiting for this moment just as much as I have. At noon SAVOR beer week kicks off at Policy with crabs.
The beer selection will be great with local pints all being only $5. DC Brau, Port City, Flying Dog, Heavy Seas and Dogfish Head will all be available and several cask offerings will be offered for the same low price.
If the sublime beer selection is not enough to entice you, the food specials should rope you in immediately. For only $18 you get three whole crabs along with your choice of three soft shell crabs or two crab cakes. Oh and did I mention you also get unlimited sides?
I’ll be at this event for many reasons. This will be the beginning of an amazing week with quality food and of course tasty beer. Once I heard that there might be barrel aged Gonzo from Flying Dog I knew this would be the perfect way to celebrate Memorial Day.
DC Brau is up and running and made their huge debut on Friday night (Tax Day) at Meridian Pint. The Public Ale was readily available and in huge demand!
The place was packed, and packed very early at that. There was a line out the door. The upstairs area was closed off. The bar was 4 people deep and getting a beer was quite complicated (warranting a purchase of 2 beers at each time making it to the bar… hooray double-fisting!). Everyone was there to support the local beer scene. To lend a hand to an up-and-coming brewery that is exploding onto a beer hungry populace.
Upon getting to the bar, after finally working through the crazy crowd, the bartenders knew what everyone was there for. They didn’t ask what beer you wanted, they asked how many do you want. It was all about DC Brau and their Public Ale.
The Public Ale, an American Pale Ale, was a delicious treat. The Public is a bright copper color and has a nice floral hop aroma. The flavor is a bit hoppier than I had expected. There is a nice malty-sweet backbone that holds it all together. The finish is bitter and a bit clingy. Overall, it’s a great staple. The best way for them to get into the beer game: create a solid, drinkable beer that people can enjoy at any occasion. DC Brau has succeeded. And they’ve succeeded in a big way. Meridian Pint shot through 15 kegs of it last night.
I’m looking forward to everything they have in store for us in the future. Congratulations DC Brau!