Young and Hungry

This Week in Beer: Sierra Nevada Rarities, SweetWater Invasion, Cask Lab & More


This week's beer fun comes primarily in the form of Earth Day and 4/20 references. Read on for my picks but for more details on any event, click on it in the D.C. Beer Events Calendar above.

LAGERHEADS PICK: On Wednesday, Meridian Pint celebrates Earth Day with a "Dazed and Enthused" tap takeover with brewer Terrence Sullivan of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Stand outs among the 14 beers on draft include this year's Bigfoot Ale, an American-style (translation: hoppy) barleywine, last year's Pro-Am Audition, a strong, malty old ale style brewed with homebrewing whiz Doug McLendon, and a wood-aged version of Life & Limb, Sierra Nevada's 2009 collaboration stout with Dogfish Head. But the real eyebrow-raiser is Sierra Nevada's 2x4 Ale, a Belgian-style blend of a dubbel and quadruple (mind your d's and q's) aged in brandy barrels with dates and currants added. Bliss!

The Black Squirrel is hosting a week long tribute to SweetWater Brewing Company of Atlanta, Georgia. The environmentally-minded brewery's annual 420 Fest was last weekend, but the crew at the Black Squirrel has brought the party to you, complete with hemp brownies. Featured brews include  SweetWater flagships 420 Extra Pale Ale and India Pale Ale, the not as common Happy Ending Imperial Stout, and SweetWater's blueberry ale, appropriately called Blue.

In keeping with the 4.20 theme, Great Lakes Brewing Company will be at Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont location for their weekly happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Like every Tuesday and Wednesday, all drafts are half price. If that's not cheap enough, find Great Lakes sales representative Bernie Van Order and say, "It's 4:19, got a minute?" for a free Holy Moses White Ale.

Also Tuesday, ChurchKey will host the draft launch of Steenbrugge Abbey Tripel, along with several other Belgian classics from Latis Importers like Palm Ale, Boon Kriek lambic, and several offerings from the sour ale experts at Rodenbach. Across the river in Clarendon Fire Works American Pizzeria is serving a six beer, five course pairing dinner featuring Brooklyn Brewery. Cost is $75 per person inclusive of tax and gratuity, and seats were still available this weekend.

For those interested in hands-on learning about cask ale, on Wednesday Columbia Firehouse in Alexandria is having their second cask lab, this time with Stephen Marsh of Baltimore's Heavy Seas Beer. Learn about how to brew, serve, and enjoy cask-conditioned ale while slow pouring yourself some. Both Dubbel Cannon, a 7.25 percent alcohol by volume Belgian-style India pale ale and Loose Cannon, Heavy Seas' popular India pale ale, will be available on cask, as well as brewery glassware and complimentary snacks.

On Friday there is one last opportunity to get some Earth Day drinking in. The Black Squirrel will be pouring hike-worthy offerings from Long Trail Brewing Company, including their Double India Pale Ale, Imperial Porter, and Belgian White ale.

Also on Friday, cask masters Bill Madden and Charlie Buettner of Mad Fox Brewpub in Falls Church will tap a cask of Fennec Ale, a 4 percent alcohol by volume English-style dinner ale made according to a 1911 recipe.

For the complete list of beer events, check out the calendar above. If I missed something, let me know.

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

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