This Week: Rare Casks at the Big Hunt & ChurchKey, Beer Dinners All Over
It's another fantastic week for enjoying beer in the District, with two rare cask nights and more beer dinners than you can shake a tallboy at. Read on for some tantalizing details, or click on an event in the D.C. Beer Events Calendar above.
On Monday the Big Hunt in Dupont Circle will have a cask of Tröegs Nugget Nectar, a hoppy 7.5%-ABV Imperial amber ale from Pennsylvania. Representatives from Tröegs Brewing Company will be on hand to talk about the beer and brewery from 5PM to 8PM, which may be longer than the cask will last.
Pizzeria Paradiso in Georgetown is hosting their fourth annual Dogfish Head dinner featuring seven beers and six courses. Menu standouts include a shredded pork shoulder, roasted potato, Gouda and smokey peach BBQ sauce pizza paired with Burton Baton oak-aged Imperial IPA and a date pesto, fig, onion, fennel, lamb sausage and feta pizza paired with Olde School Barleywine. At $65 including tax and gratuity, this is the best deal out of the week's five dinners.
The creativity award goes to Birch & Barley for Monday night's "Beer Belly" dinner. The five-course menu pays homage to the mid-section with beer belly-inducing beers (and spirits) paired with courses comprised of goat, lamb, and hamachi belly. Beers include Birrificio Del Ducato's Nuova Mattina, a Saison from Italy, Jolly Pumpkin La Roja an oak-aged sour amber from Michigan, Aecht Schlenkerla Oak Smoke an 8%-ABV smoked Christmas beer from Germany, Vapeur de Bises a Belgian spiced ale, and Pommeau de Normandie, a Calvados and apple juice blend from Domaine Familial Louis Dupont in France. The price is $76 per person plus tax and tip.
Also on Monday Biergarten Haus on H Street, Northeast, is pairing five courses of their traditional fare with beers from Einbecker Brauhaus in Northern Germany. Call the restaurant (202.388.4053) for reservations and menu details.
Tuesday night is all about rare beer. First, ChurchKey will be pouring a cask of Bell's Hopslam. That's right, cask. Hopheads go bonkers to find this rationed winter seasonal in bottles and are even crazier about it on draft. The chance to try this heck-of-a Double IPA under the softening spell of cask-conditioning is a rare treat. ChurchKey will be pouring Hopslam on draft and from the bottle for side-by-side comparison, but I suggest arriving as close to 4PM as possible for a chance to sample the only cask Bell's Brewery sent to D.C.
Then the bloggers at DCBeer.com are hosting a "Bootleggers" dinner at Scion in Dupont Circle featuring beers not currently available in D.C. A menu of eyebrow-raising rarities from the West Coast like Russian River Blind Pig, AleSmith Yulesmith and Deschutes Abyss ensured a quick sell out. If you are desperate, you could always show up and hope for no-shows.
Finally, on Wednesday beer sommelier Ray Daniels, president of the Craft Beer Institute and director of the Cicerone beer certification organization, will lead a four-course farmhouse ale dinner at Brasserie Beck. The beers are Southampton Cuvee des Fleurs, Brooklyn Sorachi Ace, Goose Island Pepe Nero and The Lost Abbey Red Barn Ale. The price is $75 plus tax and gratuity. As of Sunday there were a few spots left, so call the restaurant (202.408.1717) for reservations.
Gordon Biersch will host two "Brewer's Select" tapping parties this week. Vienna Lager will be celebrated at the Tyson's Corner location on Wednesday from 6 to 8PM, and their Rauch Weizenbock will be tapped on Thursday from 7:30 to 10:30PM at the Rockville Location. Both events are Super Bowl-themed fundraisers for the ziMS Foundation, which funds support and educational programs for Multiple Sclerosis.
This will be the last week Room 11 will feature a rare beer on their guest tap for awhile. Beer program director Dan Searing conjured a keg of Scarlet Sunset, a 6.2%-ABV smoked weissbier from Victory Brewing Company. It will be tapped Monday evening but will likely last most of the week.
Send submissions for the D.C. Beer Events calendar to email@example.com.