Standing in the block-long line for the Nerd Nite DC event Friday evening caused The Lagerheads to have a flashback from last year’s D.C. Beer Week, where we saw a girl storm out of Cafe Saint-Ex in tears because they had sold out the beer dinner before she got a ticket. No need to get that frustrated this year, folks. We have put together a simple list of tips that should help you have a good, stress-free time enjoying craft beer this week. And remember to play nice out there. It’s just beer.
- Buy tickets in advance – If you have the opportunity to do so, order those tickets online or call to make a reservation ahead of time so your spot is reserved. That’s more than half the battle right there.
- Show up early – A lot of these events will sell out, especially the ones with big draws like beers you can’t usually get in D.C. or brewers from out of town. Getting there early and standing around waiting will be much less painful than not getting in at all, so just do it!
- Make a follow-up visit – So it’s the crowds, not procrastination that is your problem? Consider going to the bar or restaurant after the time listed for the event, or the next day. With the exception of a super high-demand beer that will go in an hour or less anyway, most places will have beer left over for at least a day, if not all week. Swing by after and enjoy a pint (or two or three) in peace.
- Go against the grain (Pun intended) – Along the same line as Tip #3, look at the schedule, pick a place you like or have wanted to try, and go on a night they are not having an event. The crowds that usually scare you away are likely to be out partying it up at $70 beer dinners instead of blocking your access to the bartender. Or, go to one of the establishments having a week-long special instead of a themed event on just one night. Here are the ones we know about:
Pizzeria Paradiso Happy Hour(5:00-7:00pm, Monday through Thursday) – Half-price on all drafts (and they have some beauties).
RFD Craft Beer Happy Hour (4:00-7:00pm, Monday through Friday) – $4 pints of three different craft beers each night. It will be a variety throughout the week, but we know Dominion will be featured Tuesday and Great Lakes Brewing on Friday.
Chinatown Coffee $1 Off Special (4:00-8:00pm, Monday through Saturday) – $1 off every beer. List includes gems from craft breweries like Lagunitas, Oskar Blues, and Great Lakes.
Dino’s Three Course Pairing Menu (6:00-9:30pm, Monday through Thursday) – Three courses and four North Coast beers for $39. Menu here.
D.C. Beer Week Collaboration Ale – Try each local brewer’s version of the same Altbier recipe, on tap all week at District Chophouse, Gordon Biersch, and Capitol City Brewing Company.