Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway).
This past week saw the 2013 edition of DC Beer Week, a celebration of all things beer in the Nation’s Capital.
Events featuring the breweries of the District, Maryland, and Virginia have been taking place all over the city, while others focused on favored styles and breweries from the rest of the U.S. and around the world. With a couple of surprise announcements and some new beers hitting store shelves, this DC Beer Week has been sending a signal not just to beer fans here but around the country that the DC area is arriving as a go-to beer city for enthusiasts; especially with it taking place only a few months after DC hosted this year’s Craft Brewer’s Conference.
Breweries like Maine Beer Company, Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing, and Perennial of St. Louis all have been featured at DC Beer Week events. The Black Squirrel hosted an evening of North Carolina beers on Tuesday night, including Foothills Brewing, Green Man, French Broad, Big Boss, Pigsah, Aviator, Olde Hickory, and Mother Earth Brewing (which is soon to arrive in Virginia, by the way — keep an eye out). While that was happening, Meridian Pint had an event called “American Sour Belly”, with nothing but American Sour Ales arranged by pH level — they even had free antacids at the bar for those in need, which was a nice touch. Of course the big stars of DC Beer Week have been our local breweries. Devils Backbone, 3 Stars, DC Brau, Chocolate City, Port City, Blue Mountain, Flying Dog, Wild Wolf, and more all have been taking turns in the spotlight.
Beyond the dinners and tap takeovers, some news has been breaking during DC Beer Week. Falls Church’s Mad Fox Brewing Company announced plans to open a taphouse in the District to compliment their brewpub in Virginia. DC’s Atlas Brew Works set a date for their first draft shipments to hit bars and restaurants in the city (scheduled for the second week of September), and Sunday will see DC Beer Week close with a special sneak-peek barbecue at the soon-to-open Bluejacket, which is expected to open for business in September.
This week also saw the arrival in Northern Virginia of 3 Brothers Brewery. Based in Harrisonburg, 3 Brothers opened only in December of last year as a joint venture between — wait for it — a trio of brothers who grew up nearby. 3 Brothers’ bracing, crisp Pale Ale The Great Outdoors and their citrus-punchy, aggressively bitter IPA Hoptimization hit N. Va. shelves and taps this week, with more to hopefully follow soon.
Long a haven for those seeking a variety of beers from around the world, the DC area is finally spawning bars, brewpubs, and breweries that are gaining the attention of the wider craft beer audience. It appears that at least a couple of our local breweries are bound for popularity beyond our region — we may even have a national brand or two growing in our area. This is a great time to be a DC beer geek: we get to watch the growth of a new industry before our eyes, and see the rest of the world come to know our area for what we’ve always known it to be — one hell of a good beer town.
For info on the remaining DC Beer Week events from tonight through Sunday, check out DCBeer.com. Until next time.
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