Summer Suds: DC Beer Week 2012

The Summer 2012 Olympic games may be over, but your liver’s Olympics have just begun. DC Beer Week(DCBW) 2012 runs from August 12-18, 2012, and DC’s local breweries and bars have more events lined up than America has gold medals. From educational seminars to tap take overs, there is something for hopheads and light beer lovers alike.

DC Beer Week Logo

This celebration, now in its fourth year, began when local beer distributor Jeff Wells and Granville Moore’s Chef Teddy Folkman had the idea to create an event to celebrate DC’s beer community. Since then, DCBW has grown into a vast commemoration of craft beer (with more than 180 events last year). This year’s DCBW kicked off last night with the DC Beer Week Craft Beer Cruise and Dinner aboard The Odyssey cruise ship.

Aboard the cruise, more than 80 different beers were served, including this year’s signature session beer, The Solidarity Saison, served to some of DC’s most dedicated beer aficionados. The Solidarity Saison is the master product of seven local craft breweries that teamed up to create a special Saison style beer for the week. The breweries – 3 Stars, District Chophouse, DC Brau, Mad Fox, Cap City, Gordon Biersch & Chocolate City- each initially created their own saison. The breweries then blended them together to create the Solidarity Saison.

The Solidarity Saison

The Solidarity Saison

While my love of saisons does make me biased, I highly recommend that you try this beer. Solidarity embodies the complex combination of fruit and spice that defines this style of beer, with hints of clove, citrus, and basil with each sip. The Solidarity Saison will be tapped at a number of bars and restaurants throughout the week. You can find Solidarity (and inebriation) at: ChurchKey/Birch & Barley (Monday) Pizzeria Paradiso in Dupont (Tuesday) Big Hunt (Wednesday) District ChopHouse and Brewery (Thursday) Meridian Pint (Friday) and finally Smith Commons Public House (Saturday).

The official calendar of events can be found at the DCBW website. You can also follow @DCBeerWeekon Twitter for up the minute updates. Some events not worth missing out on include:

  • “Brooklyn Brawl III Beer and Cheese Tasting” at Kramerbooks and afterwords café (Monday 6 to 9 PM). The 3rd annual Brooklyn Brewery beer and cheese tasting featuring seven selections from the brewery, in tastes and flights, paired with artisan cheeses.
  • “Ommegash it’s Allagang” dinner at Granville Moore’s (Tuesday 6:30 PM). Granville Moore’s beer dinner featuring the award winning ales from Brewery Ommegang from Cooperstown, NY and Allagash from Portland, Maine. $60 per person (plus tax & gratuity). Call 202-399-2546 for reservations.
  • DC Brau’s Genuine First Annual Official DC Beer Week Crab Festival Monumental Extravaganza (Wednesday 5 – 10 PM). DC Brau Brewing Company will be throwing an all-you-can-eat crab dinner at Quarterdeck Restaurant. Admission to the crab feast is $35, with discounted pitchers of DC Brau also available. Reservations can be made here.
  • Regional Tap Take-Overs at Smith Commons (Wednesday through Saturday). Smith Commons will celebrate DCBW by featuring a different beer region from across the US, starting in the West and working their way to the Mid-Atlantic. Each night will highlight beers from the featured region while focusing on one or two breweries that will bring in some unique beers.
  • District Chophouse‘s 2nd Annual Cask Night (Thursday 6PM). District Chophouse will be featuring handcrafted casks from over 15 local breweries including: Blue Jacket, Brewer’s Art, Capital City Brewing Company, DC Brau, Franklin’s, Gordon Biersch, Lost Rhino, Mad Fox, Oliver’s, Rock Bottom, Union Brewing Company, White Marsh Brewing Company and many more. Tickets are $50 ticket and include unlimited sampling, light ChopHouse fare, raffle prizes and a tasting glass.
  • Crab Feast with Evolution & 3 Stars Brewing (Friday 6PM). Tom Knorr, founder of Evolution Craft Brewing, will be delivering Maryland Blue Crabs as part of this all-you-can-eat crab feast at Smoke and Barrel. The feast, also featuring the staff from 3 Stars Brewing, is $45 and also features bottomless Evolution & 3 Stars drafts from 6-8PM! Tickets available here.
Post by Dining in DC’s “Golden Boy” contributor, Sean O’Brien.

Sean O’Brien is Dining in DC’s only (and therefore strongest and most intelligent) male contributor. Before he became a Daywalker, Sean was a bartender and bar manager for longer than his parents care to admit. A Marylander born and raised, Sean has spent the better part of his twenties exploring and tasting DC from every corner. He is also the author of failed legislation mandating that every week involve crabs, bacon, Saison-style beer, bourbon or Old Bay.

When he is not working or eating, Sean is likely to be found biking or hiking around DC. Follow him on Twitter at @sotweets, but be prepared for sarcasm and comments about people who say “YOLO” (You only live once) or “totes.”

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