Greetings, beer nerds! As you likely know, there are a number of fantastic spots in the DMV where you can grab a pint, and their menus are always evolving and adapting to your tastes. If you’d rather avoid the guessing game, check out what’s coming up at a few of these fine establishments.
THURSDAY, MARCH 8
Beer and Sugar Shack Donuts with Spencer Devon
Join Fredericksburg’s best brewery and the best donuts in the Commonwealth for an amazing beer and donut night. And as always, Sugar Shack serves beer on tap every day and has tons of board games for you and your friends. So, come visit Spencer Devon and come back for more relaxed donut beer magic. 4:30-9 p.m. Free entry. Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee: 1014 South Glebe Rd. Arlington, VA; www.sugarshackdonuts.com
Milk (Stout) & Cookies
This evening, Pizzeria Paradiso in Hyattsville is tapping a keg of Firestone Walker’s Nitro Merlin Milk Stout and giving away homemade mini chocolate chip cookies while supplies last. Firestone Walker representatives will be at the bar to chat with customers and give out Firestone Walker merchandise on a first-come-first-served basis. 5-9:30 p.m. Free entry. Pizzeria Paradiso: 4800 Rhode Island Ave. Hyattsville, MD; www.eatyourpizza.com
NOVA Release Party
Join B Side Cuts as it hosts the official Northern Virginia debut of Collective Arts Brewing. On this night, they’ll tap the first-ever NOVA kegs from the Canadian brewery, a total of nine beers in all. Collective Arts Brewing, located in Hamilton, Ontario, was created to fuse the craft of brewing with up and coming musicians and artists. In the spirit of this mission, they’re asking you to bring in your favorite vinyl records to spin all night long. 4-11 p.m. Free entry. B Side: 8298 Glass Alley, Fairfax, VA; www.bsidecuts.com
FRIDAY, MARCH 9
Friday Night Beers & Bites Tour
The Bluejacket Friday Night Tasting Tour is a special brewery tour offered weekly. Upon arrival, guests will be treated to one of Bluejacket’s signature drafts, followed by a full tour of the brewery and operations with three tasters throughout the tour. At the conclusion, guests will head to the Bottle Shop & Tasting Room to enjoy a flight of three additional tasters each expertly paired with a snack from their talented culinary team led by Chef de Cuisine Marcelle Afram. 7-10 p.m. Tickets $35. Bluejacket: 300 Tingey St. SE, DC; www.bluejacketdc.com
Nirvana IPA Release
To celebrate the release of Brewery Ommegang’s newest Nirvana IPA, the Paradiso Game Room will host a fundraising event for the Chesapeake Bay Trust. One dollar from each Nirvana IPA sold will be donated to the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and Brewery Ommegang will donate one dollar for every 100 points scored in Skeeball at the Paradiso Game Room from 5-8 p.m. Free entry. Pizzeria Paradiso Game Room: 3282 M St. NW, DC; www.eatyourpizza.com
SATURDAY, MARCH 10
The Ultimate DC Beer Tour
City Brew Tours DC is a tour company that offers daily behind-the-scenes access to DC and its surrounding area’s top breweries, brewpubs and beer bars. The tours are all-inclusive with beer-focused tastings for brew lovers visiting and living in the metropolitan area. Every brewery tour includes up to 15 different craft beer samples, a beer pairing lunch, VIP visits to four breweries, and round-trip transportation from downtown DC. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. $99 per person. National Portrait Gallery: 801 F St. NW, DC; www.citybrewtours.com
THURSDAY, MARCH 15
The Captain Lawrence Tap Invasion
Owen’s Ordinary will pour no less than nine beers from the Captain Lawrence Brewing Company. Headlining the list are two beers from Captain Lawrence’s barrel-aged sour program. Fans of sour beer won’t want to miss Rosso E Marrone, a wine-barrel aged Sour Red Ale conditioned with Merlot and Zinfandel grapes; and Hudson Valley Harvest: Black Cherry, made with local New York-grown black cherries. Other notables include fresh kegs of Powder Dreams IPA, hopped with Galaxy and Citra lupulin powder and Tears of Green Imperial IPA, brewed with Motueka and Mosaic hops. 5-11 p.m. Free entry. Owen’s Ordinary: 11820 Trade St. North Bethesda, MD;
FRIDAY, MARCH 16
Following a tradition started a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, the Black Squirrel will find out whether the dark side will take over the light. Grab your light saber, mechanical hand and favorite droid and head to The Black Squirrel Adams Morgan on March 16 to join for an epic selection of beers from the Dark Side along with food special fit for the Rebel Alliance. 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. Free entry. The Black Squirrel: 2427 18th St. NW, DC; www.blacksquirreldc.com
SATURDAY, MARCH 17
Yoga & Beer Detox/Retox
Get your St. Patty’s asana on at New District! Attend a flow through all-levels vinyasa yoga class and follow up with refreshing craft beer. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Tickets are $15 presale, $20 walk-in and include your first pint of beer. Bring your own mat. New District Brewing Company: 2709 South Oakland St. Arlington, VA; www.newdistrictbrewing.com
THURSDAY, MARCH 22
Reason Beer Takeover
Reason Beer, a small brewery in Charlottesville, VA, is bringing its first drafts to DC for the first time on March 22. Limited quantities of Reason drafts will be available at Pizzeria Paradiso’s Dupont location as well as after the release event in the Game Room in Georgetown. 5-8 p.m. Free entry. Pizzeria Paradiso Game Room: 3282 M St. NW, DC; www.eatyourpizza.com
FRIDAY, MARCH 23
End of Winter Stouts Tapping
To celebrate the end of the winter season, Bier Baron will be tapping a special selection of stouts and porters, including Epic Big Bad Baptista, De Molen Sin & Remorse, Magic Rock Grand Mariner Aged Bearded Lady, Perennial Fantastic Voyage and more. 4 p.m. – 12 a.m. Free entry. Bier Baron Tavern: 1523 22nd St. NW, DC; www.inlovewithbier.com
SATURDAY, MARCH 24
The Sovereign Celebrates Orval Day
One of the most important beers to ever come out of Belgium, Orval Trappist Ale is an amber-hued Saison that is dry-hopped, then finished with Brettanomyces. Intensely aromatic and dry, this one-of-a-kind beer is as complex as it is unique. Orval beer, brewed within the walls of Notre Dame d’Orval Monastery, is one of only 11 officially recognized Trappist breweries across the world. The alluring complexity of this iconoclastic beer has made it a world classic, one that has inspired a generation of brewers across the globe to craft bone-dry beers of mixed-fermentation. Come see where it all began, and contribute to a great cause. On this day, Orval will donate proceeds from each bottle sold to MAP International, a non-profit organization that provides aid for people living in impoverished communities. 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Free entry. The Sovereign: 1206 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.thesovereigndc.com
TUESDAY, MARCH 27
Evening Star Celebrates Oberon Day
They say winter isn’t over until you have your first Bell’s Oberon. If you agree, Evening Star Cafe invites you to toast the unofficial first day of spring. On Tuesday, March 27, they’ll pour eight different Bell’s Brewery beers, including the first kegs of this year’s Oberon Ale. To celebrate the return of one of their favorite beers, our kitchen will serve a selection of Michigan-themed snacks, including Oberon-inspired donuts. If that isn’t enough, they’ll also offer complementary Oberon glassware and swag, while supplies last. 5:30-11 p.m. Free entry. Evening Star Cafe: 2000 Mt. Vernon Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.eveningstarcafe.net
Q&A With Jameson Brand Ambassador
Gary Feeney on Jameson Caskmates IPA
On Tap: First off, can you explain for beer neophytes what an Irish Pale Ale is?
Gary Feeney: So, an Irish Pale is something that comes in between an English Pale Ale and an American IPA. We used Irish barley grains, and it’s mostly about the style. The fact that it isn’t quite as hoppy, and is more hoppy than that English style, is the reason. It wouldn’t be recognized as an official IPA. It ties in more with the Irish palate.
OT: How creative do you guys typically get for these limited beer releases? How do you decide who you’ll collaborate with?
GF: We’re not actually releasing the beer. The beer is officially released by Franciscan Well Brewery. How we decide to work with a brewery is to see their outlook on everything; to make sure their brand ties in with us in some way. As big as we are, we still have a small brand mindset: for instance, for any bottle of whiskey, every barley grain comes from a 75-mile radius from our place of work. We first worked with them on a stout and because it was such an enormous success, we decided to do the IPA. We sent them barrels, and this time, they filled them up with an IPA beer.
OT: What is the goal with these beer releases? Are you trying to capture a new audience or just offer variety for folks that love the Jameson brand?
GF: It’s been incredible to watch the beer enthusiasts react to it. We’re always trying to make the best liquids; we’re tying it back to our craft credentials. To be honest, in the industry, it’s important to innovate, and Jameson is a well-known name, but we can see the craft beer industry growing like crazy and this was an opportunity for us to make a move and take a chance. These products are not just one-trick ponies.
OT: Are there any plans to expand and make a more permanent offering?
GF: They’re not seasonal, and they’re permanent, so they’re here for the long run. But we’re not sure what’s coming up.
In conjunction with the late February release of the Caskmates IPA, a plethora of DMV bars are offering Hoppy Hours in March. Check www.jamesonswhiskey.com to find participating locations near you.