DC’s big ‘Snallygaster’ beerfest returns

Are you a hophead? Or maybe you love those fruited sours.

Either way, you’ll find plenty of both — and other styles — to taste when D.C.’s biggest outdoor beer festival, Snallygaster, returns Saturday.

“Missing it in 2020 was a true bummer,” said Greg Engert, beer director for the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, which puts on the festival. But this year’s version, he said, could make a beer lover’s head spin.

“In years past, we had about 150 brewers. This year, we have 200 [and] we’re pouring 450 beers from all over the globe,” he said.

Snallygaster 2021 will be held on a closed-off stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue near the National Gallery of Art. Proceeds benefit Arcadia, a nonprofit dedicated to a more equitable and sustainable food system in the D.C. area.

Engert sees the festival’s return as a good sign for the craft beer industry in a world turned upside-down by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Things are looking up. I think a lot of brewers were able to pivot to packaged beer and retail. Draft beer is coming back, as bars and restaurants have reopened and business levels get back to normal,” he said.

The festival will take place from noon until 6 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are still available online.

Brennan Haselton

In 2000, Brennan Haselton took a job at WTOP as reporter and anchor, and that's where he has been ever since (with the exception of a brief return to Seattle in 2005). He is a two-time winner of the national Edward R. Murrow Award, and winner of the National Headliner Grand Award.

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