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Posts Tagged ‘beer festivals’

Food, Craft Beer, Korean, BBQ, Oyster and Wine Festivals to End 2015

October 17th, 2015 • No Comments

2015-09-30 18.48.10So why not start with a National Cherry Blossom Festival Grand Sake Tasting? ┬áThis image comes from the National Cherry Blossom . I attend this event almost every year and find that Sake is still a bit of a stranger to my palate – I shall explain: often the most highly rated “Daiginjho” which are the most expensive because of the process of buffing down the rice to such a small size – don’t have the most flavor. They can actually be quite subtle and even a bit mushroomy/earthy even floral notes. I guess it’s like Pinot Noir – which when they’re great are awesome, but when they’re made in a tough vintage or stored improperly, they can be quite drab! Although there’s food at this event, it’s really about the sake.
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UFO Siting at Taste of DC – Cafe Bellas!

There was a UFO siting at Taste of DC – WhAAaatttt?? No, it’s this new Pop Up Cafe Concept called Cafe Bellas. Overall, I enjoyed Taste of DC – I went on the late side, so I couldn’t partake in the wine and beer tents which had virtually no lines and a pretty decent selection, especially of craft beers.

So what was the most unusual food I saw at any event? See the image at the Korean Festival for “Wild Caught Fresh U.S. Eel”..yep, those slippery little creatures ended up in my rice bowl! Is eel really that exotic – I mean if you watch Bizarre Foods/Andrew Zimmern? No, not really, but it scares most American diners just from the name and the thought of eating it! Having had eel many times in Sushi restaurants, I was more curious by the tent’s name – it seems that at least one Korean company is attempting to make a successful business in the U.S. of supplying this animal protein..will it succeed? Hard to tell, but just like rabbit, there are probably enough chefs and diners to make it an interesting focus on a few menus. Ohh, and of course it’s Gluten-Free!
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Heritage BBQ DC – Fried Pork Rind Phone – it was a prank call!

2015-09-19 17.45.00Cochon 555 brought us Heritage BBQ which was a rockin’ experience around 5 great chefs (but I counted many more), 5 pigs and 5..well I think it’s wines, but as far as I could tell it was bourbon and mezcal..This is an Over the Top Event – it’s the Rock n Roll of Piggie Festivals, the Lamborghini of Porcine Madness, the Exclamation Point for the End of Western Civilization as we know it drowning in good things like Fidencio Mezcal, Handmade cocktails, Creekstone Farms Heritage Pigs, Pigs Heads, Bulleit, Breckenridge Booze, Buffalo Trace, Rappahannock Oysters and pretty much everything but actual Chef Porn (I always miss the After-Party to avoid the potential for Sodom and Gomorrah experiences!)..You Gotta Go Next Year!!

TasteUSA Upcoming Events for End of 2015

-Oct. 24th, 2015 – DC Scotch Walk – 8 Bars, 8 Scotches and only $35..Sweet Deal!

-November 7th, 2015 – DC Beerathon – 26 Beers at 26 Bars – yes, 12 oz. beers, and No, nobody expects you to finish all of them! Fun Tour, I’ve Done it, and you have all day to drink and mingle..

-Nov. 14th, 2015 – Brew & Bourbon Classic, Laurel Park – Special Priced Tickets – Only $20 inclusive of all the beer and bourbon you care to drink.

Cheers!

Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler

DC Craft Beer Festival – DC Is Now a Craft Beer Festival Mecca

March 9th, 2014 • No Comments

DC Is Now a Craft Beer Festival Mecca..

March 8th, 2014 saw a new craft beer festival – DC Craft Beer Festival – Spring Seasonals Although a first year event, it was from the organizers of the New York Craft Beer Festival and they had plenty of experience organizing events – they also put together music festivals!

150+ beers and ciders to taste and a slightly new wrinkle – rather than a mini-beer glass, we tasted with a beer shot glass – smaller pours, but way more efficiency in pour management which made for quicker lines and the ability to actually sample 60+ beers without getting drunk and losing focus!

Breweries and Beers:

Breweries Beers
Alewerks Springhouse
Alewerks Shorty Time
Anthem Cherry
Anthem Hops
Bells Smitten
Bells WO Hearted
Duck Rabbit Milk Stout
Duck Rabbit Hoppy BUNNY
Founders All Day IPA
Great Lakes Conways
Great Lakes Commodore
Jacks Hele sns
Jacks Jacks
Lagunitas IPA
Lagunitas Lil Sumpin
Mad River Steelhead Extra Pale
Mad River Stellhead Double IPA
New Holland Poet
New Holland mONKEY KING
New Hollanndd Full circle
North Coast Brother THELONIUS
North Coast Le Melrle
port City Wit
Port City Collosal 3
port City manaical
Speakeasy Big Daddy
Speakeasy Prohibition
Wild Wolf Alpha Ale
Wild Wolf Blonde HONEY
Yards Brawler
Yards Tj
Atlas Rowdy
Atlas District
Boulevard pop up
Boulevard 80 acre
terrapin Lager
Brooklyyn Brown
Foothills Hoppyum IPA
Foothills Torch Pilsner
Ommegang Rare Vos
Ommegang Hennepin
Sam Adams Cold snap
Sam Adams Rebel IPA
Saranac Prism
Saranac Pale Ale
Shiner White Wing
Shiner FM 966
Starr Hill Bandstand
Starr Hill Grateful Pale Ale
Terrapin Rye Pale Ale
Terrapin Hopsecutioner
Angry Orchard Crisp
Angry Orchard Ginger
Woodchuck 802
Woodchuck Reserve Pink
Abita Andygator
Abita Turbodog
Anchor California Lager
Anchor Anchor Bock
Harpoon IPA
Harpoon Long Thaw
New Belgium Fat Tire
New Belgium Snapshot
Dogfish Midas Touch
DogFISH 90 Minute IPA
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Sierra Nevada Torpedo
Firestone Walker Union Jack
Firestone Walker Wookey Jack
Heavy Seas Loose Cannon
Heavy Seas Black Cannon
Flying Dog Doggie Style
Flying Dog In Heat Wheat
Magic Hat Pistol
Magic Hat Dream Machine
allagash Black
allagash White
Legend Brown Ale
Legend Hopfest
Aviator Frost Nipper
Aviator Mad Beach American Wheat
Mother Earth Dunkel
Mother Earth Weeping Willow Witt
Blue Mountain Dark Hollow
Blue Mountain Local Species
Breckenridge Agave Wheat
Breckenridge Vesper French Saison
Brewers Art Ressurection
Brewers Art St. Festivus
Burley Oak Aboriginal Gangster
Burley Oak Bulletproof Tiger
Oliver Ales Watermelon Honey Wine
Oliver Ales Strawberry Hard Cider
Peak Organic King Crimson
Peak organic Pomegranite Wheat
Union Craft Old Pro Gose
Union Craft DuckPin
Stillwater Artisanal Folklore
Stillwater Artisanal As Follows
Fordham Rt 1 Session IPA
Fordham Gypsy Lager
Dominion Candi Belgian Triple
Dominion Oak Barrel Stout
Goose Island Sofie
Goose Island Illinois
Kona Big Wave
Kona KoKo
Redhook Longhammer
Redhook Audible
Widmer Upheaval
Widmer Columbia Common
Victory Swing Saison
Victory Dirt Wolf
Troegs Perpetual IPA
Troegs Dreamweaver
Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA
Smuttynose Robust Porter
Sweetwater Blue
Sweetwater Sweetwater 420
Omission IPA
Omission Lager
Omission Pale Ale
Devils Backbone Eightpoint IPA
Devils Backbone Pear Lager
Bold Rock Cider Apple
Bold Rock Cider VA
Natty Greenes Red Nose
Natty Greenes Old Town Brown
Natty Greenes Buckshot
Ace Cider Perry
Ace Cider Berry
Lone Rider Peacemaker pale ale
Lone Rider Sweet Josie Brown
Lone Rider Shotgun Betty Hefe

So You Wanna Throw a Beer Festival?

March 25th, 2013 • No Comments

Things don’t always go right when you plan a Big Event – especially in Washington, D.C..

Packed and Chilly..

Packed and Chilly..


So I had an “interesting” conversation with the organizer of the inaugural DC Beer Festival a few months before the event. The Organizer was frankly quite cocky about his ability to fill up the event (which he did – pretty unbelievable for a first year event without using Groupon/LivingSocial!) and when I mentioned that he “might not be the first and only beer festival ever”
Lots of Characters Pouring!

Lots of Characters Pouring!

here in our fair city, he didn’t seem to hear my words..but what caught my attention more than anything was the date and the fact that this was pretty much an outdoor event at Nat’s Stadium..he said “and end of March is a good time, we can expect better weather..” – HA – he doesn’t know DC!! Originally meant to be a one day event on Saturday, March 23rd, 2013, the Organizer added Sunday because sales were so strong – One Problem – the weather – snow was predicted for Sunday evening and that meant cancellation of that evening’s session, the one I had planned on going to..Thus, photos of the Saturday evening event..

Oliver's Cherry Blossom Ale..it was quite good!

Oliver’s Cherry Blossom Ale..it was quite good!

Doing Events in DC is Difficult – I spent 14 years organizing events here and I can tell you that it’s very tricky, especially pertaining to weather: rain, snow, hurricanes, you name it..oh, and let’s not forget post 9-11 Security..tough! I’ve been snowed out of a few events – the Israeli Embassy wine tasting comes to mind – and how do you cover your catering costs? I mean, I ordered $3,500 in food from a kosher caterer, do I expect them to keep the food? At the last second we both compromised and I paid them 50% – which probably covered their food costs and gave them a little extra. How about cancellation and refunds? Oh, and forgot to mention, that the freak snow storm that cancelled the Israeli Embassy event made it very difficult to confirm all the refunds..some people literally came to the event even though we tried every way to tell them it was cancelled..they ignored the blizzard, howling winds and impossible conditions!2013-03-23 18.20.33

Deciding when to limit ticket sales is the balance between profit and insanely crowded..As a promoter, I know how it is – you need to maximize profitability, but you need to consider the attendees experience. Overall, crowding is less desirable to attendees as they get older – they don’t want to be hassled, pushed, shoved or wait in line. The younger crowd actually desires “some” lines – just as in clubs/lounges, this suggests its the place to be!

Choosing the Right Beers Can Make a Statement-Everyone’s into local – Locavore, local beers, local chickens, on and on! DC Beer Festival had a very good mix of beers – Beer List DC Beer Festival. Unfortunately, I don’t have the Beer List, but there was a good selection of many craft beers – even Burley Oak, a relatively new craft beer from Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The trick with Beer Festivals is to promote the local craft beers like DC Brau, Chocolate City and 3 Stars with some of the nationals like Sam Adams and Harpoon..the trick is to include the bigger names without making the event seem like a pure marketing play for Big Beer – it’s really a “craft” beer festival an organizer should go for..

Make sure there is sufficient food Not a problem for this event – many of the Concessions like Ben’s Chili Bowl were open and serving the perfect food for the conditions – chili cheese fries and dogs! Food Costs usually aren’t an issue for Beer Festivals – they simply don’t include them in the price – but normally beer is unlimited or significant amount of tastings. Each jurisdiction has different laws (for example, Virginia does NOT allow unlimited beer tastings at festivals for a fixed price, so people are normally purchasing sampling tickets). Of course, unlimited beer samplings can create drunkenness issues – especially with today’s high alcohol craft beers – so having a small sample glass, and actually some wait for each beer is a good thing. I will say this – drinking beer in excess is somewhat easier to control than spirits – whiskey festivals can tricky to manage crowd control!
Hope this gives an overview of “some” of the issues pertaining to organizing beer festivals and events in general in the DC Area – Cheers!
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Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler

Upcoming Festivals:

Taste of Japan, Thursday April 4th, 801 K Street, NW , Washington DC
Washington City Paper’s Best Of 2013 Fete Presented by Verizon Wireless, Wednesday April 10th, 801 K Street, NW, Washington DC
Decanter: A Celebration of Maryland Wine and Racing, Saturday April 20th, Pimlico Race Course 5201 Park Heights Avenue , Baltimore MD

Fall Is Tasting Season in DC

October 11th, 2012 • No Comments

Charlie Adler – Drinking on the Job!
With the new TasteDC site revving up (expected completion in late November, 2012), I thought it’s a good time to update the Foodies and drinks lovers in the DC Region on what’s happening event-wise. Since it’s the end of September, Oktoberfests are all over our area – even LivingSocial (our locally based Deal Site) is getting into the action with their Craft Beer and Food Truck Festival at the Yards in DC (September 29th-30th, 2012). Both Reston, VA (Oct. 5th-7th) and Shirlington, Va (13th Annual CapCity Beer Fest is Oct. 6th – Saturday) are having big beer fests as well in October, 2012.

A trend in food and drink events I’m beginning to see is a very big interest in “international” events like the DC Turkish Festival on Sunday, September 30th and the Romanian Food Festival on Oct. 5th – 7th – it seems that people in our area can’t get enough of new and unique culinary experiences! I’m noticing a return of the Embassies into the event sphere with the French Embassy always leading the way – they have their upcoming annual Champagne Gala on Friday, November 9th which usually sells out in advance.

The truly Hot area of food and drink events are the multi-chef and unique culinary additions to our Foodie landscape. One such example is Washingtonian Magazine’s Saturday, October 20th Brunch & Bloody’s Event which is located in an art event space that’s in the up and coming Shaw area – the Longview Gallery. This event is based on Washingtonian’s October, 2012 Cover Story about the Top 50 places in the DC Area for Brunch – I’ll be attending this event, so stop by and share your Bloody with me..or just say “Cheers”!

Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler