Young and Hungry

This Week in Beer: DC Brau Launch, Flying Dog Exclusive, Brew Cruise and More


It's another big week for craft beer fans in D.C. There is plenty to do from fancy multi-course pairing dinners to casual pay-as-you-drink draft nights and even a beer cruise on the Potomac. Read on for my picks or click on any event in the D.C. Beer Events Calendar above for more details.

My pick of the week: D.C. makes history with the official release of DC Brau Brewing Company's first batch of beer. DC Brau, the first operating production brewery in the District of Columbia in over 50 years, is hosting a launch party on Friday, April 15, at Meridian Pint. At long last, Public Ale, their 6 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) American-style pale ale, will be poured on draft starting at 5 p.m. The beer will be on special for $4 a pint until 8 p.m. and $5 for the rest of the night. Meridian Pint will be the exclusive site for DC Brau's Public Ale for the rest of the weekend but look for kegs and cans across the District by the end of the month. But show up Friday for a chance to celebrate with founders Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock. You may even score a commemorative t-shirt.

On Monday, Birch & Barley is hosting a five-course pairing dinner featuring nine beers from Victory Brewing Company. Brewmaster Bill Covaleski will guide the pairings and talk about the brewery, which he started in Downingtown, Pa., in 1996. Tickets are $76 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity, and were still available this morning.

Not up for a formal sit-down dinner? The Big Hunt in Dupont Circle will tap a cask of Cherry Blossom Ale from Oliver Breweries in Baltimore at 5 p.m., just in time for spring. For those hoping to hang on to winter a while longer, Galaxy Hut in Clarendon is having a barleywine night, featuring Firestone Walker Abacus, Southern Tier Backburner and Sierra Nevada Bigfoot on draft. These intense, high-alcohol brews are sure to having you thinking back to your winter coat and mittens.

On Tuesday, Flying Dog Brewing Company is sharing some of the special brew they made for Amsterdam beer bar In de Wildeman's 25th anniversary. The rest of this one-time release brew is headed straight to Europe, but Flying Dog managed to siphon some off for their loyal locals. You can try In de Wildeman Farmhouse IPA at ChurchKey starting at 6 p.m.

Tuesday is quite a night this week. Lyon Hall in Arlington is having a spring beer dinner featuring a variety of European brews including top picks from Brasserie DuPont in Belgium and Austria's Hofstetten BreweryClyde's in Alexandria is hosting a beer dinner featuring new local star Port City Brewing Company. Also, Biergarten Haus on H Street NE is having its weekly trivia night with more German beer and food specials than you can fit in a boot.

On Wednesday, Meridian Pint is hosting an evening with Baltimore beers and brewmasters from Oliver Breweries, Stillwater Artisanal Ales and The Brewer's Art. Standouts on the list of 22 rare drafts and casks include collaborations like Le Revelator, the second beer brewed exclusively for Meridian Pint, and Channel Crossing #3, the third ale brewed by Brian Strumke of Stillwater and Stephen Jones of Olivers. The event goes from 5 to 8 p.m. but Baltimore can show D.C. a thing or to about partying, so expect to stay late, especially if you want to get through even half of the list.

On Thursday, Belga Café is showcasing five beers from Unibroue of Canada by comparing them with five similar brews from Belgium. The pairing dinner includes four courses and costs $79 per person. A rarity for D.C., Bernard Johnson, East Coast manager for the brewery, will be leading the dinner. Beers like La Fin du Monde and Trois Pistoles were some of the first Belgian-style beers available in the District, but there have been few chances to meet someone from Unibroue, which has its headquarters outside Montreal.

Finally, if the crowds at Meridian Pint's DC Brau launch on Friday sound unappealing, perhaps the Washington Wine Academy's beer cruise on the Potomac River is more your speed. The evening will feature tastings of 40 beers from around the world conducted by experts from the academy's D.C. Beer School. An array of cheeses, crudite, bruschetta and antipasto will be served. Tickets are $58.50 and the boat departs at 8:30 p.m. from the Washington Marina in Southwest D.C. and returns at 10:30 p.m. Anchors away!

Send submissions for the D.C. Beer Events calendar to thelagerheads@gmail.com.

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