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SATURDAY

It’s the festival so nice, they’ve decided to do it twice. Yes—sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Association of Craft Brewers—the St. Patrick’s Day Beer Fest is returning to the D.C. Armory for another round this year. Alas, the name of the event is a misnomer; it’s taking place exactly a week before St. Patrick’s Day. Confusing? Hell, yes. Then throw in a bunch of bands with dazzlingly unpromising names (Boogiehawg? Laughing Colors?) that radio station DC101 claims are “up-and-coming” and you’ve set the stage for a befuddled and sonically challenged party. But you’re not going for the bands, are you? You’ll be heading to the Armory for beer, and the lineup of brews is damn near supergroup status. As a beer aficionado, I’ve already sampled a number of these stouts, ales, and lagers—Baltimore Brewing Company’s DeGroen’s Weizen, the hearty ales of Old Dominion Brewing Co., Red Hook’s satisfying and hoppy IPA. It’s the stuff that I haven’t tried that’s tempting me: Richbrau Brewing Company’s Shocker Espresso Stout, Satan’s Pony from the South Street Brewery. A 10-spot gets you in the door with a commemorative tasting mug and your first five samples. With any luck, you’ll find some new brew favorites—and a buzz to kill off the sound of the bands—when the guzzling begins at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 10, at the D.C. Armory, 2001 East Capitol St. NE. $10. (703) 241-8468. (Richard Byrne)