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Overwhelmed by the plethora of choices for D.C. Beer Week this evening? Let me provide some guidance. Out of the nearly 30 tipsy to-do’s slated for tonight, below are my top picks for interesting happenings and tasty brews. But if you want to decide on your own, view the full calendar after the jump.
Victory Tap Take Over and Brewmaster Meet & Greet at Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont and Georgetown (from 5 to 11 p.m.) – If you are a Victory Brewing Company fan, and many craft beer lovers are, this event should be at the top of your list. Outside of a visit to the brewery in Downingtown, Penn., it would be hard to get so many rare Victory brews and the chance to chat with co-founder and brewmaster Bill Covaleski, who will be at the Dupont location for happy hour and then at Georgetown until close. All Victory beers are $3 a pint from 5 to 7 p.m. at both locations and then $5 a pint for the remainder of the evening.
Beers available: Braumeister Pils, Scarlet Fire, Kolsch, Mad King Weiss, Festbier, Hop Devil, Hop Wallop, Storm King, Prima Pils, Summer Love, Yakima Glory, Golden Monkey
Elysian Draft Night & Home Brewers Match Up at Meridian Pint (draft night from 5 to 11 p.m.; match-up from 6 to 8 p.m.) – the Pint’s fourth home brewers match-up consists of the top 25 entries in the D.C. State Fair home brewing competition. The public (that’s you) will decide which local’s D.I.Y. beer is “best in show.” Schmalz Brewing Company founder Jeremy Cowan will have a booth for fun, as well. Those not up for the crowds downstairs can hang out upstairs where nine brews from Elysian Brewing Company, a star brewery from Seattle, Washington, will be featured on draft. Admission to the match up and all home brew samples are free. Elysian and other draft beers will be priced by the pint or small pour.
Beers available: 25 local homebrews, a few select Schmalz beers, Elysian White Woods Wit, AK-47, Aspalt Dunkelweizen, Akhnaten, Idiot Sauvin, Pumpkin, Loser Pale Ale, The Immortal IPA, Avatar Jasmine IPA
Schlafly Chef’s Dinner at Granville Moore’s (from 6:30 to 9 p.m.) – The crew at Granville Moore’s know what they are doing when it comes to beer dinners. This five-course menu from Moore’s chef Mike Lunsford and Schlafly Tap Room chef Andy White from St. Louis, Missouri, should not disappoint. The lineup consists of several hard-to-find Schlafly brews paired with dishes like Hot Toddy-poached octopus with chorizo and hanger steak with six-hour spinach and horseradish hash browns. Seats, if they aren’t already sold out, are $70 per person and reservations are required.
Beers available: Hop Toddy, Imperial Black Ale, Bière de Garde, Oak-Aged Barleywine, Raspberry Coffee Stout, Schlafly’s Tap Room Sticky Toffee Pudding
Heavy Seas Wood Cask, Steel Firkin & Draft Night at ChurchKey (from 4 to 10 p.m.) – Cask ale fans are in for a treat with this one. Tonight, ChurchKey will be pouring Heavy Seas Loose Cannon India Pale Ale directly from a wooden barrel, and boy, is the beer a treat when served this way. Also featured will be several other Heavy Seas brews on draft and cask, including four steel firkins prepared at the brewery in Baltimore with help from some of the ChurchKey crew.
Beers available: Loose Cannon IPA in a wooden cask, Loose Cannon IPA steel firkin with hand-toasted Peaberry coffee and dry hops; Loose Cannon IPA steel firkin with grill toasted vanilla, dried apricot, dried fig, allspice and dry hops; Small Craft Warning Imperial Pilsner steel firkin with Maryland Chinook hops; Small Craft Warning steel firkin with dried strawberries and lemon peel; and a handful of other Heavy Seas beers on draft
Rye Beer & Whiskey Pairing at Jack Rose (from 6 to 8 p.m.) – At this beer and whiskey paired tasting, you can try B.W. Rye, a collaboration beer between Oliver Breweries of Baltimore and D.C.’s 3 Stars Brewing Company, alongside a flight of hand selected rye whiskeys that highlight the spicy grain and all of its distinct flavor profiles. The tasting is $25 per person and will occur in the downstairs within Jack Rose’s walls o’ whiskey.
Beers available: 3 Stars & Oliver Breweries B.W. Rye
Hot Dog Eating Contest & Book Signing with Schmaltz at Star & Shamrock (from 7 to 9 p.m.) – Tonight is one of three preliminary heats for this Saturday’s hot dog eating finals at Star and Shamrock. Schmaltz Brewing founder Jeremy Cowan (who seems to have a busy night) will emcee and judge the competition, as well as sign copies of his book, Craft Beer Bar Mitzvah. Coney Island Lager will be featured on tap and there will be a Nathan’s Famous hot dog special all night.
Beers available: Coney Island Lager and several other Schmaltz brews
Blind Beer Tasting Contest at Wisdom (from 8 to 10 p.m.) – Wanna put your taste buds to the test? Try samples of 12 different brews, identify them correctly and win a $40 bar tab. After the contest, Wisdom will be projecting one of my favorite guilty-pleasure movies, Beerfest. If you can’t make it tonight, try Wednesday or Thursday’s rounds. Price is $25 in advance through Gintender.com or $35 at the door.
Beers available: Well, that would be cheating.
Local Brews Night at American Ice Company (from 9 to 11 p.m.) – This late-night gathering at hipster-friendly American Ice Co. offers a chance to chill with the founders of local brewing companies DC Brau, Port City, and 3 Stars. Beers from each brewery will be on special and there could be some smoked B.B.Q. left for a late night snack.
Beers available: DC Brau The Citizen and The Corruption IPA, 3 Stars/Olivers B.W. Rye, Port City Essential Pale Ale and Porter
Send submissions for the D.C. Beer Events calendar to firstname.lastname@example.org.