All What’s On Tap listings are provided by the venues hosting them.
Greetings, beer nerds! As you likely know, there are a number of fantastic establishments 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 some of what’s coming up on tap at a few of the area establishments below.
FRIDAY, MAY 5
Cinco De Mayo Party
Join the Mad Fox Taproom for a Cinco de Mayo celebration as they open the windows to Wisconsin Avenue and enjoy the spring weather. Check out their selection of Mexican food and drink specials as you enjoy the mariachi music. 4 p.m. – 1 a.m. Mad Fox Taproom: 2218 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.madfoxbrewing.com
Lager Series: Mexican Dark Lager Release Party
Port City is celebrating Cinco de Mayo by kicking off their new lager series with a Mexican dark lager. The brewery will also have live music from local favorite Taylor Carson from 7-9 p.m. The tour is at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to reserve a spot. 3-10 p.m. Port City Brewery: 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.portcitybrewing.com
SATURDAY, MAY 6
Beer School 103: Beer & Food Pairing
Join Heavy Seas Alehouse for a fun afternoon of pairing different Heavy Seas beers with classic summer foods: small plates with burger sliders, smoked chicken and everybody’s favorite – deviled eggs. There will even be something sweet to eat at the end. Learning never tasted so good. You will receive beer, samples and three small plates, plus dessert if attending. 12-2 p.m. Tickets are $35. Heavy Seas Alehouse: 1501 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.heavyseasalehouse.com
Mad Fox Spring BierFest
Join as Mad Fox turns their market square into a spring celebration showcasing more than 30 seasonal beers from some of the region’s finest breweries. There will be live music, grilled fare and activities for kids. Dogs are welcome as long as their humans are well-behaved. Get tickets in advance so you don’t have to wait in line when you arrive. 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tickets are $25-$65. Mad Fox Brewing Company: 444 West Broad St. Falls Church, VA; www.madfoxbrewing.com
Pedals ‘N’ Pints: May Long Ride
Are you a bicyclist who loves beer and lives in the DMV? Be a part of Port City’s Pedals ‘N’ Pints May Long Ride. The brewery heard cries from hardcore bicyclists who wanted a longer ride before their beers. So, come out for a 9:45 a.m. ride this May. The group will leave from and come back to the brewery after tackling about 30 miles round trip at about a 14 to 16 mile-per-hour pace. You’ll work up a thirst and return to plentiful brews. There will also be a May Short Ride on May 20. All participants will need to sign a waiver beforehand. All riders must wear helmets. 9:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. Port City Brewery: 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.portcitybrewing.com
THURSDAY, MAY 11
Cheese & Craft Beer for the Great Outdoors
Spend an evening with Righteous Cheese in an intimate class discovering and savoring seasonal cheeses. You’ll explore the world of cheese pairing by tasting four seasonal springtime cheeses perfect for the outdoors paired with four seasonal, refreshing craft beers, as well as accompaniments perfect for a picnic. Fromager and beer aficionado Melissa Provinsal will delve into the story behind each cheese, as well as give advice about selecting, serving, pairing and more. 7 p.m. Tickets are $49. Righteous Cheese: 1309 5th St. NE, DC; www.righteouscheese.com
SATURDAY, MAY 13
2017 LoCo Brewfest
The 2017 LoCo Brewfest will feature the debut of a new beer from 18 Loudoun breweries. Be the first to sample the newest brews on Saturday, May 13 at Loudoun Station. The LoCo Brewfest will also highlight local food from Loudoun Station restaurants. Enjoy outdoor games from The Zone, as well as local music from live performances throughout the day. 1-6 p.m. Tickets are $10-$35. Loudoun Station: Loudoun Station Drive in Ashburn, VA; www.lostrhino.com
80s Bar Crawl
If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, it’s probably this crawl. The 80s Bar Crawl takes you back to the days when MTV played music, when Pac-Man dominated the market and when Top Gun rocked the box office. Pull on your leotards, whip out your windbreakers and meet up at the bars. Tickets include a signature crawl cup, welcome drink, drink specials and a ton of 80s music. 2-10 p.m. Tickets are $20-$30. Public Bar (Registration Bar): 1214 18th St. NW, DC; www.publicbar.co
SATURDAY, MAY 20
Bram Brew Fest
If you are a true craft beer lover and a supporter of local breweries, then the Bram Brew Fest is for you. The event features almost 30 breweries that are within a drivable distance from Brambleton, so after you have your taste, you can easily visit the participators. Each brewer will be presenting two of their brews, plus be on hand to discuss anything you would like to know. 12-6 p.m. Tickets are $10-$50. Brambleton Plaza: Brambleton Plaza in Ashburn, VA; www.brambletonhoa.com/brew-fest
THURSDAY, MAY 25
Beer & Jazz Date Night
Enjoy a superb four-course dinner prepared by Chef Nima Khazaeli, with each course paired with a 10-ounce, specialty in-house brewed beer. 6-9 p.m. Tickets start at $55. Gordon Biersch: 900 F St. NW, DC; www.gordonbiersch.com
SAVE THE DATE
FRIDAY, JUNE 2 – SATURDAY, JUNE 3
SAVOR Craft Beer Festival
Discover the perfect pairing. Mingle with the people behind the beers. Delight your senses under the soaring columns of the historic National Building Museum. A must-attend event for craft beer aficionados and foodies alike, SAVOR offers a memorable craft beer and food experience to a limited number of guests in a truly unique atmosphere. At SAVOR, 86 small and independent breweries from around the country showcase 172 beers, each one thoughtfully paired with a small plate that will dazzle your palate. 7:30-11 p.m. on both dates. Tickets are $135 per session. National Building Museum: 401 F St. NW, DC; www.savorcraftbeer.com
Q&A with Drew McCormick
Executive Beverage Director, Pizza Paradiso
On Tap: How did you get into beer?
Drew McCormick: I’ve worked in restaurants for [as long as] I can remember. That’s how I got into alcohol generally, and I always loved beer growing up in Maine. I drank a lot of fresh IPAs up there. I started working at Paradiso maybe four years ago, and started drinking more and more beers, and realized that there’s way more than hoppy, fresh things. I realized that it can be a real culinary experience with pairings. I’ve always loved beer, and I believe that there’s a beer for every occasion.
On Tap: What sets Pizza Paradiso apart from other places you’ve worked?
DM: Staff education is really important to me, and you can do as much or as little with it as you want. We have a ton of people that are experienced here at work, so I’m always learning. I’m realizing that it’s a real profession, and something I’m really passionate about. In Maine, the restaurant season is real seasonal. Coming down here and experiencing the broader restaurant community is radically different, and open year-round.
OT: How do you select beers?
DM: If someone on staff has something that I really like, I’ll bring it in and give it a try. Plus, you have to go out and drink and try new things. In the past few weeks, because of the Craft Brewers Conference, there’s [been] a lot of beer in town that’s not normally accessible in DC. All of our draft lists are constantly rotating, and it gives me the freedom to try things.
OT: How often do you add new brews? Are you always looking?
DM: A lot of it is bouncing ideas off of people. [It’s] a balancing act because you don’t want to bring in more things than you’re selling. Sometimes, you can’t help but order something weird to see if it works out.
OT: Are there certain beers that you get most excited about, such as varietals?
DM: I think it depends on the mood. My beer drinking mood depends on the weather. I love saison, [and] the whole farmhouse category, and I love anything that’s dry with a little bit of funk. Sour beers are good for the summer weather; when you’re outside and sweating, it’s good to have a salty beer. I’ve been drinking a lot of hoppy pilsners lately. They’re hoppy like an IPA, but not as boozy.
OT: What beer do you recommend for summer 2017?
DM: Union Brewing up in Baltimore has its Old Pro that’s really delicious. [It’s] a summer favorite around here. That hoppy pilsner is a great thing. One of my all-time favorites is a hiking beer: Evil Twin’s Sour Bikini. The ABV is super low, because you can drink it all day and even [stay] hydrated. I love the New England IPA style as well, because [of] their hoppy, delicious beers. I’m excited to see what will happen with that over the summer.
Pizza Paradiso locations:
Dupont Circle: 2003 P St. NW, DC
Georgetown: 3282 M St. NW, DC
Old Town Alexandria: 124 King St. Alexandria, VA
Go to www.eatyourpizza.com to learn more.