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Get ready for the mother of all fall beer fests. Neighborhood Restaurant Group is trading its annual Rustico Oktoberfest celebration for a monstrous rare beer event at Yards Park near the site of its forthcoming brewery Bluejacket.
Snallygaster, named after a fabled dragon-like creature said to haunt the Blue Ridge Mountains, will swoop down on D.C. with food, entertainment, and a slew of autumnal brews this Saturday.
Festivities include lawn games from DC Bocce League, tunes from One Love Massive artists like Nappy Riddem and DJ John Jazz, and a slathering of unique dishes from five NRG eateries. Red Apron Butchery, for example, will offer a German-inspired bacon bratwurst and a pork-strami sandwich with bacon kraut and fontina cheese wiz.
The real draw of Snallygaster is the impressive selection of brews that Birch & Barley and ChurchKey beer director Greg Engert has spent the last several months curating. “It’s very selective. I’m not just picking any Oktoberfest beer,” says Engert. “The theme is fall beers, but I’m not going to say no to awesomeness.”
And he hasn’t. The ever-growing list of more than 150 autumnal brews from around the world includes a variety of cask ales, barrel-aged brews, special beers brewed specifically for the event, and even some über rare rubber-clad gravity kegs from the Franconia region in Germany. Those whose ears perk up for rare German beer will be thrilled to find other standouts like some sour (yes, sour) brews from Bayerischer Bahnhof in Leipzig and a couple innovative takes on traditional German styles from Cologne’s Freigeist Bierkultur.
Of course, there will be fall staples like pumpkin beers, wet hop harvest ales, and malty Märzens (a.k.a. Oktoberfest), as well as seasonal ciders. Bluejacket will also be pouring its latest offering, a collaboration with Mad Fox Brewing Company in Falls Church, called Mad Jacket Weizenbock.
Snallygaster goes from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13. A $5 entrance fee benefits Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture. Tickets cost $1 each, and prices for dishes and beers average between 4 and 9 tickets, with options for both small- and large-sized pours. On a budget? Post a photo of yourself doing “the Snally” (which isn’t that different from some of the familiar moves busted in this crazy business) on the event’s Facebook page for a chance to win 99 tickets.
Advance entry packages can be bought here and include an opportunity for early entry for those who think four hours will not be enough. Prediction: It might not be.
Image courtesy of Neighborhood Restaurant Group