Posts Tagged ‘DC Beer Scene’
So why not start with a National Cherry Blossom Festival Grand Sake Tasting? This 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.
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!
Cochon 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.
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
DC Beer Festival season kicks in again – an amazing number of craft beer festivals – from 1-price all you can drink to the Mega Snallygaster “money is no obect” – there are festivals for the craft beer lover this Fall, 2015
As the head of TasteUSA, it’s my job to attend and cover as many food and drink festivals in the U.S. as possible – and since DC is my home base, here’s some upcoming events and maybe a recap or 2 to help you plan your Festival Season.
Beer, Bourbon & BBQ (September 19th, 2015 – Tyson’s Corner – but this festival visits many different cities during the season)- Trigger Agency’s series of over the top porkiness (?porkyness?) events that combine too much of what every hearty foodie wants: pigliciousness, Bourbon and of course craft brews! Expect more bacon too – it seems this is the current foodie draw to over-the-top events. Medium on the Beer Geek/Bourbon Geek scale, Trigger really specializes in a more laid-back vibe for the city slickers who want to just throw on some jeans and kick back a bit!
Arlington Backyard Beer Festival (September 19th, 2015 – Arlington Gateway, Rosslyn, VA) – although a first year event, the Organizers have put together multiple other local beer festivals including Drink the World Beer Festival and All-American Beer Festival . Expect a nice selection of craft beers and really great food trucks for food – the price is also right – you can save 30% off the ticket price at our site with promo code “tasteusa” and the VIP Tickets are only $45 before discount!
Das Best Oktoberfest (September 26th, 2015 – National Harbor, MD) – Hey, again you can get discounted tickets – only $29 for VIP all-you-can-drink – another Trigger Agency event that is very popular. You can do the German Oktoberfest thing, or simply enjoy lot’s of great beer – and since our discounted price is $29/per person (VIP) – you get a very affordable event to enjoy craft beers at!
Past Events (hey, they’ll be back next year!)
Snallygaster 2015 – Holy Smokes, this is one Great and expensive craft beer festival – Very High on the Beer Geek scale, maybe an 11 on a scale of 1 to 10! 300+ beers this year and many rare, cask, unique examples of hops, grain and yeast combined in an amazing array of choices. I actually tried a beer that
Annapolis Craft Beer & Music Festival – September 12th, 2015 – Outside the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, this event is always fun and has a nice selection of local beers including Jail Break, Oliver Breweries, and Heavy Seas.
Have fun at upcoming craft beer festivals – I’ll include an article soon on new food and drink events at TasteUSA – Cheer!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
Edible DC has Arrived in Washington, D.C. with a fantastic Bang of an Event – Drinks Invitational held on Thursday, February 19, 2015. I truly had a great time at the Drinks Invitational which both introduced and celebrated the craft spirits/craft drinks revival that’s occurring throughout the Washington, D.C. area and also around the U.S. More than just a tasting, this event was well-laid out, had decent food (which could actually be eaten as a full-meal – what a rarity at these events!) and a pleasant vibe.
I entered the event on a really cold evening – maybe it was 15 degrees Fahrenheit, but the wind was swirling and the area seemed bleak – it was so refreshing once I arrived that I decided just to take in the event and not to take too many notes or worry about the meaning of the event.
I didn’t get a chance to taste everything (I’ve had Catoctin Creek, Greenhat Gin, Lyon Distilling (which I tasted their really molasseseey Dark Rum back at the DC Rum-B-Que!) and Bloomery Sweetshine’s spirits in the past and they’re quite good!), so I focused more on newer products and things I hadn’t heard of like Charm City Meadworks. Everyone knows that Cider is hot right now, but Mead is probably the next up-and-comer. The problem with Mead may be it’s image and history – it was known as the drink of the Middle Ages..or maybe it was the Vikings – who knows, but it seems almost pre-historic. I sampled both their Wildflower Draft Mead at 6.9% ABV and their Rosemary Still Mead at 12% ABV – the latter was truly funky and delicious and very memorable – It wasn’t particularly sweet and the rosemary and other flavors from the fermented honey gave it a knotch up in flavor to say a hoppy craft beer. Keep an eye out for them – Mead is the next cider/craft beer!
Other drinks I tasted that caught my attention included the Barrow’s Intense Ginger Liqueur that really tasted great in a Ginger Beer style cocktail, a really interesting Honeydew Jalapeño Shrub by Element Shrub , some great Root Beers by Thunder Beast , and a cool Cocktail with One Eight Distillings Ivy City Gin !
All In all, a really fantastic evening with cool cats company – I didn’t even mention that it was a people mix of hipster, foodie, and DC Intelligentsia..well, maybe not so much the latter, but being a Foodie, I can be pretty judgmental! Let’s just say that DC is really coming into it’s own on the culinary and drinks scene – we’re not really copying anyone anymore – we’ve created our own intense, cerebral, juxtaposed Cocktail scene which is putting us on the a distinctive map of Taste!
Charlie Adler, “I Drink on the Job”
TasteUSA has the Beer Festival List.. The Fall Season in Washington, D.C. is kicking in with an amazing number and quality selection of Craft Beer Festivals. I saw the Washington Post Article: Drink up: A guide to local fall beer festivals and decided that TasteUSA simply had a more comprehensive list – then again we specialize in promoting, marketing and communicating on craft beer festivals, but wine festivals and foodie events too!
3rd Annual Brew & Bourbon Classic Laurel Park RT 198 & Racetrack Road 09/13/2014 – 12:00pm
ChessieFest Grapeseed 09/13/2014 – 12:00pm
Bands, Brews & BBQ Manassas Museum Lawn 09/13/2014 – 12:00pm
Annapolis Craft Beer & Music Festival Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium 550 Taylor Ave 09/13/2014 – 12:00pm
Snallygaster Beer Festival Yards Park 355 Water St SE 09/13/2014 – 12:00pm
Taste of Georgetown K Street NW between Wisconsin Avenue and Thomas Jefferson Street 09/13/2014 – 12:00pm
Beer and Bacon Festival Heavy Seas Brewery, 4615 Hollins Ferry Rd 09/13/2014 – 12:00pm
District Oktoberfest Special Price VIP Tickets RFD 810 7th St., NW 09/20/2014 – 11:00am
Virginia Cider Festival Fredericksburg Fairgrounds 2400 Airport Avenue 09/20/2014 – 11:00am
Beer, Bourbon & BBQ -VIP Whole Hog Pig Pickin and Tasting Glass Lerner Town Square at Tysons II 09/20/2014 – 11:00am
Capitol Bacon Festival Fairgrounds 09/20/2014 – 11:30am
DC International Beer Festival (New Date and Location) Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW 09/20/2014 – 12:00pm
Maryland Brewer’s Harvest Bond Street Wharf 09/20/2014 – 12:00pm
Oktoberfest at Heurich House Heurich House Museum 09/20/2014 – 1:00pm
Du Claw Real Ale Fest DuClaw Brewing Company of BelAir 09/20/2014 – 2:00pm
Top of the Hops Charlottesville nTelos Wireless Pavilion 09/20/2014 – 3:00pm
Sterling Volunteer Fire Company Oktoberfest Patton Hall, 46700 Middlefield Dr. Sterling, VA 09/20/2014 – 5:00pm
Blues and Brews 2121 Crystal Drive Courtyard 09/24/2014 – 4:00pm
Maryland Microbrewery Festival Union Mills Homestead 09/27/2014 – 11:00am
Frederick Oktoberfest e-ventplex at the Frederick Fairgrounds 797 E Patrick St 09/27/2014 – 11:00am
Hoppy Oktoberfest Mad Fox Brewing Company, 444 West Broad Street 09/27/2014 – 12:00pm
Lovettsville Oktoberfest Town of Lovettsville 09/27/2014 – 12:00pm
Das Best Oktoberfest DC Armory 09/27/2014 – 1:00pm
Cambridge Firkin Festival Stoked 09/27/2014 – 2:00pm
Frederick Oktoberfest e-ventplex at the Frederick Fairgrounds 797 E Patrick St 09/28/2014 – 11:00am
Cap City Oktoberfest The Village at Shirlington 4001 Campbell Avenue 10/04/2014 – 12:00pm
Oktoberfest Reston Reston Town Center 10/11/2014 and 10/12/2014 – 12:00pm
8th Annual Northern Virginia Fall BrewFest Bull Run Regional Park 10/18/2014 – 11:00am
Fredericksburg BrewFest Fredericksburg Fairgrounds 2400 Airport Avenue 10/18/2014 – 11:00am
Shuckeroo Oyster and Beer Festival Fairgrounds 10/18/2014 – 11:00am
Tysons Fall Harvest Wine and Beer Festival Lerner Town Square at Tysons II 10/18/2014 – 11:00am
Real Ale Festival Pratt Street Ale House 10/18/2014 – 12:00pm
Shuck It! Beer & Oyster Festival Tony and Joe’s 10/18/2014 – 2:00pm
8th Annual Northern Virginia Fall BrewFest Bull Run Regional Park 10/19/2014 – 11:00am
DC Beer Festival Nationals Ballpark 11/08/2014 – 12:00pm
DC Craft Beer Festival – Winter Harvest Walter E. Washington Convention Center 11/22/2014 – 1:00pm
Stay on Top of DC’s Beer Festivals..
Fritz Hahn over at Going Out Guide posted 4 upcoming 2014 Spring DC Beer Festivals, but there are many more:
Beer, Bourbon & BBQ – Regular Admission,$35 (Timonium, MD)
Saturday March 22nd (Friday Session as well)
Burgers and Brews Festival (Heavy Seas Brewery, Baltimore),$39
Saturday April 5th
Cherry Blossom Wine & Beer Festival, $40
Saturday April 5th
National Harbor Food and Wine Festival – VIP Tickets (National Harbor),$89
Saturday May 3rd and Sunday May 4th
Had a fun time at the Hop Chef opening event for DC Beer Week at Longview Gallery on Sunday, August 11th, 2013 – Hopchef.
Brewery Ommegang and the Washington City Paper have invited 8 of the area’s most talented chefs to cook with and pair a unique dish with beers of Brewery Ommegang to earn the title of Hop Chef DC.
Ommegang Brewery was the sponsor for this event and the concept was for 8 chef’s to use a bit of each various beer in their dishes and obviously to win the tasting competition – a Foodie group of judges including K Street Kate, Mel Gold, Tammy Tuck with the City Paper, and Lauren DeSantos, Capital Cooking.
The Event was designed so that each Restaurant had it’s own dish that included the beer in the dish, but attendees could also pair the beer with the dish. Since there was only one beer line (but it moved pretty quickly – I mean I got about 8 beer “tastes” in under 2 1/2 hours!).
The crowd was quite a mix of industry people and DC Beer Lovers – I would call it DC Eclectic – but alot of new faces which is what makes DC such a unique Foodie market – we just seem to keep getting new people to our burgeoning beer and restaurant scenes – Cheers!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
Upcoming DC Beer Week Events of Note:
4th Annual Chesapeake Crab and Beer Festival (2 Sessions), Saturday, August 17th, 2013
DC BRAU’s Genuine 2nd Annual DC Beer Week Crab Fest at the Quarterdeck, Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
NoMA BeerFest, Saturday, August 17th, 2013
Union Market had a Memorable Craft Beer Shindig on Saturday, July 27th, 2013..
I attended the Eat Local First Farm to Street Party on a sunny day with a late outpour that brought true Foodies together..Capital Kombucha, Route 11 Potato Chips, Uncle Brutha’s Hot Sauce, Vigilante Coffee and a whole slew of local foodies, artisans, restaurants and craft beers all came together to create a true Foodie Gathering!
Recent List of Local beers served at the Union Market “Eat Local First” Block Party –
3 Stars Citra & Lemon Peel Saison
Blue Mountain Full Nelson Pale Ale
Brewer’s Art Parking Lot Beer
DC Brau The Tradition
Devils Backbone Vienna Lager
Dogfish Head Festina Peche
Evolution Lot 3 IPA
Flying Dog UnderDog
Franklin’s Mandarin Summer
Heavy Seas Loose Cannon
Lost Rhino Meridian Kolsch
Mad Fox Post Meridian Schwarzbier
Monocacy Riot Rye
Oliver Modern Life Is Rubbish
Port City Optimal Wit
Stillwater Cellar Door
Troegs Perpetual IPA
Union Balt Altbier
I enjoyed quite a few of the beers – 6 to be exact, but I had recently tried the Stillwater Cellar Door at Birreria in Georgeotwn, and I’ve had the Port City Optimal Wit many times at local bars. Since it’s Summer, most of the offerings were lighter, lower in alcohol beers to refresh – it was about 90 degrees until the rains came!
Overall, the crowd was pretty young – I would say even younger than the average Union Market crowd, and I would assume that’s because of the nature of the event: an outdoor affair with great craft beers. To really tell you what it was like is impossible – the new DC Foodie and craft beer scene has to be experienced..so many people with exciting ideas, lofty goals and unique perspectives on what the future will hold. Looking at a crystal ball, my first assumption is that coffee is really happening – quite a few companies are opening roasting facilities soon and I’ll keep readers up to date on that. Kombucha is here and with over 3 vendors at the event, I think you’ll start seeing more in markets. The one question spot is food delivery – will people engage in websites that deliver specific ingredients with recipe instructions (I’m extremely skeptical) or more general delivery of food..it’s hard to say, but it’s also hard to know – personally, I still shop for all my ingredients at local stores, but honestly the strange behavior of shoppers (weird outbursts, unfriendly staff, and frankly limited selections) may change that for me soon – who knows..
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
This is a light news coverage of a recent event I attended called Can Jam Festival which was held on Saturday, June 22nd 2013 at Kastles Stadium in Washington, D.C. This event was organized and promoted by Ontaponline – I’m very familiar with this organization which promotes lifestyle for 20s and 30s somethings in the DC Area – we were both founded in 1997 on the same block on Dent Place, NW in Washington, D.C.!
The concept for this event was to promote breweries that serve beer in cans – the most obvious and early adapter of this sustainable beer storage container is Oskar Blues, but many other breweries have caught on including a local favorite Lost Rhino in Ashburn, VA. I’m including the blurb on what breweries and food trucks participated below (hey, sometimes the news IS just the content!), but do want to mention I had a “Boss Dog” at Top Dog – and there is NOTHING like a well dressed hot dog on a hot day when you are drinking WAY TOO MUCH Beer!
Breweries include: Anderson Valley, Avery, Beck’s, Blue Moon, Budweiser, Cisco, Corona, DC Brau, Flying Dog, Genesee Cream Ale, Goose Island, Jack’s Cider, Kona, Leinenkugel, Lost Rhino, Modelo Especial, New Belgium, Old Speckled Hen, Oskar Blues, PBR, Pilsner Urquell, Redd’s, Redhook, Sam Adams, Shiner, Shock Top, Sierra Nevada, Starr Hill, Stiegl, Third Shift, Yuengling
Overall, a really fun event – the crowd was just the right size, so lines weren’t too long..also the weather was pretty perfect – sunny and no clouds. One comment – lagers, pilsners and lighter beers tend to refresh and are better in the hot weather. So if you decide to pop one open, remember – keep it light (but not lite!) – Cheers!
Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler
Some upcoming Festivals on TasteDC:
–Neighborfood H St. Foodie Tour – Saturday, June 29th, 2013 – H Street, NE in Washington, D.C. opens up a to a new food tour – 8 restaurants (click on link for details) each showcase different dishes that represent the culinary diversity and uniqueness of this area.
–Wine Stock Festival – Saturday, July 13th, 2013 – Little Washington Winery, Sperryville, VA – Festival about 90 minutes from DC celebrating great American wines, food and lots of great music – the view is beautiful too!
–Best of Washingtonian – Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 – National Building Museum, DC – Big Shindig which has all the the great chefs and restaurants and tons of great drinks and food – worth the $125 ticket price, or the VIP $175!
The Craft Brewer’s Conference Beer & Food Experience..
So what happens when a couple thousand or so Brewer’s and their beer-loving cohorts come to DC to partake in a 3 day Conference around Beer? Total Chaos! OK, it wasn’t that crazy (I skipped alot of the Shenanigans..), but it started off for me with a serious beer dinner at Birch & Barley on Monday, March 25th, 2013 – Charlie Bravo Charlie (which stands for Craft Brewer’s Conference..get it??) Rare Beer Dinner: Volume #1
Let’s take you through the menu and beers..
Dish #1: Ahi Poke Tartare (Soy-Mirin, Tobiko, Wasabi Peas, Wonton, Sesame)
Beer Pairing: Maui Ginger Saison by Maui Brewing Co., Hawaii
Dish #2: Seared Shad Roe (Lemon Puree, Braised Escarole, Sherry-Bacon Sauce, Arugula)
Beer Pairing: Surly Smoke Lager by Surly Brewing Co., Minnesota
Dish #4: Roasted Squab (Toasted Farro-Marcona Almond, Fresh Radish, Roasted Sunchokes)
Beer Pairing: Barrel-Aged Ghouls Night Out by DC Brau, Washington, D.C.
Dish #5: Fourme D’Ambert (Cream Sherry-Plumped Dark Raisins, Rosemary, Hazelnut Butter)
Beer paired – Firestone Walker (CA) XV
Dessert: Vanilla Bean Cheesecake (Citrus Segments, Blood Orange Sorbet, Ginger-Cardamom Pound Cake, Basil)
Beer Paired – Hunahpu’s Imperical Stout (FL), Cigar City
Digestif: Odic Equum (Co) Avery Brewing