Bring on the Pints: DC Beer Week Is Back
September 20, 2021 @ 5:00pm
After moving to a virtual model in 2020, DC Beer Week is back in person this year with a jam-packed schedule sure to please local beer lovers. Through September 26, the DC Brewers’ Guild is partnering with local breweries, bars and restaurants to celebrate all things beer in the District with a theme of solidarity. The theme was chosen after brewers collectively discussed the impact of the pandemic on their businesses and the city, which also inspired the name of this year’s signature East Coast IPA.
“While it may not be as big as years past, [this year] is really about celebrating being able to come together again in person,” says DC Brewers’ Guild’s Alex Fraioli.
With a kickoff event at the new self-pour pub and restaurant Tap99, the guild is hosting events at local favorites like Three Stars Brewing, Boundary Stone and DC Brau. They are also opening the doors to the historic Heurich House Museum’s gardens, which bear much significance for the D.C. beer space. The Heurich mansion was built in the late 1800s for German-American immigrant Christian Heurich, whose brewery was the largest in D.C. and a household name.
The Brewers’ Guild has made a conscious effort to show solidarity to historically underrepresented communities in the District. Interim Executive Director, Kim Bender, has implemented outreach strategies for new guild membership and event hosts that include all eight wards of D.C.
This outreach allows the organization to form new relationships that diversify both membership and programming, as reflected in this year’s events.
On September 23, a virtual panel titled “Tek Cyear Uh De Root: What Does A Historic German-American Shooting Tournament Have To Do With Racial Hierarchy In Beer Culture?” will discuss how a German tradition came to be at the center of embattled race relations in the South. Another event titled “From Jump: Black Brewers Today and at the Beginning” will feature a virtual tasting and discussion of Black brewers and breweries in D.C.
Alongside the Brewers’ Guild current president, Right Proper’s Leah Cheston, Bender has a vested interest in answering the call to make the D.C. beer space a more welcoming environment for beer lovers of all backgrounds. She hopes she can make a lasting impact on the city’s beer scene.
“As women leaders in this space, we know first hand what it means to be part of a group that has historically been male — and white — dominated,” Bender says. “We have an opportunity to make a change.”
With Cheston’s position on the executive board of the national Brewers’ Association, these two women are hopeful that they can make a lasting impact on the city’s beer scene.
The Guild also uses DC Beer Week as a fundraiser for their members, which include breweries like Atlas Brew Works, Bluejacket and Red Bear Brewing Co. As a nonprofit trade organization, they use their partnerships to bring business owners together and influence public policy decisions.
Bender adds, “If you want local craft beer, you should support DC Beer Week so that these breweries can continue to grow as an industry and benefit the people who are drinking it.”
With a fun-filled week of events, the Guild has brewed up an exciting set of programs ranging from a happy hour at the Heurich House gardens to a brewers’ karaoke battle, culminating with the Boundary Stone Public House 10 Year Anniversary Party and DC Brau X Other Half Collaboration Beer Release.
DC Beer Week runs from September 19-26. Learn more at dcbeerweek.net or follow them on Instagram @dcbeerweek.
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