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!
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.
I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one that spent a good portion of a weekend morning suffering from a Savor-induced hangover. But while I sometimes wake up hungover and wonder if the night was worth the cost, I had no doubt yesterday that Savor, with its vast array of beers, well-paired food and amazing group of fellow beer-lovers, was completely worth the hangover.
Now, I’ll just have to deal with the withdrawal that comes from having so many good beers from breweries not available in the DC region. While my hangover drawer was able to help me deal with the hangover from Savor weeknight events, I do not know if there is a cure for the overall withdrawal of those events. Hopefully, more and more breweries will at least see how amiable DC beer drinkers are to ‘tap take-overs’ and special events such as limited tastings and ‘meet the brewer’. Better yet, I hope the brewers, who are not yet in the DC market, left here with the thought of “we have to get our beer to DC.”
Much thanks goes out to JBass who reconnoitered the event on Friday night and gave the rest of us a head’s up about some of the beers that would run-out quickly, such as the delicious Odell Woodcut No 5, the sour Avery Dihos Dactylion, and either of Cigar City’s brews. Out of the beers that I clearly remember, the Odell Woodcut No 5 was my favorite; although, I do give props to Cigar City’s ability to give the Humidor IPA its cigar flavored aftertaste and to make the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie taste exactly like one.
Few will be shocked that outside of the actual beer tasting, my biggest surprise came from finding Texas’s St Arnolds Brewery at the event. When the first Savor brewery list was released, I searched it to see if a Texas brewery made it but came up empty. A buddy of mine from Texas said the same thing. It was a pleasant surprise. While I forced the Fancy Lawnmower — a brew I have previously reviewed and think is a great summer beer — on some of my friends, it was easy to tell that, after having the Woodcut No 5, they were not head-over-heels in love with it. They did claim it would be a great BBQ beer though.
What were y’alls’ favorite beers or surprises (aside from the killer hangover the next day)?
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.