This Week: Cherry Blossom Dinner at Granville Moore’s, Belgian Tasting at Bier Baron & Firestone Walker Hits D.C.
It's a big week in beer with plenty to do, from pairing dinners and meet-the-brewer events to beer seminars and regular old draft nights. You can even volunteer for Earth Day in the name of beer this week. Check out my notes below for more info or click on any event in the D.C. Beer Events Calendar above for details.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Few breweries can sport the amount of hardware Firestone Walker Brewing Company has in their trophy case. Inside you will find plaques for Brewery of the Year in 2003 and again in 2010 at the Great American Beer Festival and more individual beer medals than you can shake a bottle opener at. What a treat that this California brewery has decided to start shipping their beer our way. Firestone Walker has a wide range of brews, from their straight forward Union Jack IPA to barrel-aged goodies like Abacus, a big, boozey barley wine with tons of oak character. D.C. drinkers have the opportunity to meet co-founder David Walker, taste some of his beers, and hear about the linked oak barrel system he makes them in twice this week. Walker and several of his Proprietors Reserve series limited release beers will be at ChurchKey Monday from 6 to 10PM and The Black Squirrel on Tuesday from 7 to 10PM. If you can't make it, don't worry. These unique, award-winning beers are available throughout the District starting this month.
This week's pick was a tough call because there are a lot of great events. On Monday, Bourbon in Adams Morgan is having a battle of the cans with Natty Boh, now also available on draft in D.C., and Schlitz. The event includes special beer prices, some including shots, hidden prizes, and the winner will be decided by which beer ends up building the largest can pyramid. Sounds like a good time.
If low-alcohol beers sound good but not the frat party atmosphere, on Sunday Pizzeria Paradiso is putting on a pairing brunch with craft beers of 5 percent or below alcohol by volume. The seating begins at 12:00 at the Dupont Circle location. There won't be any Bloody Mary's served at the end of the brunch as a prize for your temperance, but you can always go get one after.
On Tuesday at 6:30PM the Bier Baron, the beer bar formally known as the Brickskeller (or TBBFKAB), is having their first tasting event. The new owners will be filling Dave Alexander's shoes, who hosted some of the biggest names in craft beer when he and his wife ran the Brickskeller, with an inaugural tasting of Belgian beer. The list includes Rodenbach Grand Cru and Steenbrugse Tripel among others.
Also on Tuesday, Granville Moore's is hosting a beer pairing dinner to ring in Spring and the arrival of D.C.'s cherry blossoms. The foie gras "hash" of duck confit, sweet potato dumplings, and bourbon-pouched cherries with Kasteel Rouge is enough to make the night with $60 and a trip to H Street, Northeast.
Tuesday again, "Beer Activist" Chris O'Brien is leading a tutored tasting of local beers at the I Street Synagogue at 7PM. The author of Fermenting Revolution: How Drinking Beer Can Save the World, will regile guests with stories from his research and explain how many of the world's beers are made in ways that support their surrounding communities. It's a few weeks late for green beer in the literal sense, but that's what he's all about.
And finally for Tuesday, ChurchKey will feature nine Sierra Nevada beers, most notable their new release Ovila Abbey Dubbel. This beer is the first in a series of collaborations with the monks from Abbey of New Clairvaux in Northern California. A portion of the proceeds from the beer will go toward the restoration of the Abbey's Ovila chapter house, which was dismantled and shipped to California from it's original 1190 location in Spain in 1931. ChurchKey will be showcasing new Belgian-inspired dishes to mark the occasion.
And Wednesday was a day of rest...or a trip to the suburbs. Be sure to tune in to the Kojo Nnamdi Show at 1:30 to hear the founders of Chocolate City Beer talk about D.C.'s brewery boom. Gordon Biersch in Tyson's Corner will be tapping their malty, ready-for-spring Maibock and Tuscarora Mill in Leesburg is hosting a beer dinner featuring Brewery Ommegang.
Thursday, to celebrate the Cullen-Harrison Act, which made 3.2-percent alcohol by volume beer legal after prohibition in 1933, the local bars who collaborated with Schlafly Beer to make House In Session Ale are throwing a release party at Old Ebbitt Grill at 6PM in the restaurant's corner bar. Read more about this special D.C. beer here and here, and keep a look out for another post this week. (You've been wondering how those Ben's Chili Bowl half-smokes got to St. Louis, right?)
On Saturday morning put on your overalls and traipse down to the Southeast Waterfront to help the local Great Lakes Brewing Company crew clean up the area near Seafarer's Yacht Club for Earth Day. For your altruism, which includes showing up by 8:30AM, you will be rewarded with a special pass to the post clean-up after party and a golden ticket for Great Lakes Christmas Ale.
That's all I got for this week. If I missed something, let me know.
Send submissions for the D.C. Beer Events calendar to firstname.lastname@example.org.