DC Beer Week ends on Saturday

Two full days of beer events remain around Washington as DC Beer Week prepares to close out another successful year.

WASHINGTON, August 17, 2012 — Not many years ago, there were only a handful of bars around the District that could lay serious claim to an attentive craft beer program. In fact, many would be hard-pressed to recall much after Capitol City Brewing Company multiple locations and the venerable Brickskeller on 22nd street (now, under new ownership, called the Bier Baron).

The Brickskeller’s owners have moved on to focus solely on sister restaurant, and one of the most respected in the city, RFD in Chinatown, Capitol City is down to two locations, Foggy Bottom Brewery has faded away, and so too has Bardo (across the river in Arlington) along with its Marion Berry Lambic.

But with changing times and a changing perception of beer comes a whole new lineup of quality beer joints. Dotting the city map from the NW to the SE are bars and restaurants like Pizzeria Paradiso, ChurchKey/Birch & Barley, Granville Moore’s, Biergarten Haus, Meridian Pint, Brasserie Beck, and Belga Café.

DC Beer Week (DCBW) began this past Sunday with a spectacular cruise on the Potomac River aboard the Odyssey. Nearly 40 breweries poured beers for three hours while a dinner buffet was served and music entertained the crowd of craft beer enthusiasts.

It was a great welcome party for both large and small breweries alike as relative newcomers such as DC Brau, Bluejacket, Chocolate City, 3 Stars had their place along side larger and more established local breweries like DuClaw, Mad Fox, and Flying Dog and those from farther abroad like Sierra Nevada, Allagash, Chimay, and Victory. The event was also the debut for the Solidarity Saison brewed both in individual batches by seven local breweries as well as a blended version.

Now, with five days of events under its belt, DCBW prepares for the last two days of celebration with events around the city to fit all appetites.

Sour beers will be poured at Smoke & Barrel in Adams Morgan. ChurchKey, near Logan Circle, will be serving super-rare drafts from Bell’s Brewery in Michigan. Bier Baron will host a barleywine festival. Rustico in Ballston rolls out a menu full of Ommegang. Meridian Pint will offer one of the last chances to taste the special DCBW Solidarity Saison. Port City Brewing in Alexandria serves up a unique combination of cask-conditioned beer along with special Puerto Rican food.

In all, there will be more than thirty opportunities in the next two days to stop by a local favorite watering hole or brewery for the taste of something special.

Come Monday, all will be back to normal, which by the standards set by many of the establishments participating in DC Beer Week is a pretty extraordinary normal.

–Read more of Bryan’s work at After Hours in the Communities at the Washington Times.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Bryan Kolesar

Bryan Kolesar has been tracking down great beer for over twenty years. From the most hard-to-find delicately balanced low alcohol beer to the big monsters weighing in at over 10% ABV, he has yet to find a style that does not have a story to tell and a taste to share. Though, when pushed, Kolesar has historically staked a claim to the Saison style as one of the most versatile and his favorite.

In 2005, Bryan co-founded The Brew Lounge blog/website as a canvas to illustrate the best of the craft brewing industry and to document his own travels within it. Though he has lived in Philadelphia and is currently headquartered in the city's western suburbs, Kolesar shares a wealth of information and images that he collects from his travels around the world and some of the best beers that he has tasted along the way.

In 2010, Kolesar came aboard the Communities section of The Washington Times to contribute stories from across the craft brewing industry as it continues more than ever its explosive growth amongst increasingly more of the mainstream alcohol-consuming public. 

While the beer - its tastes, aromas, and incredible pairing opportunities with food - is often the beginning of a story, he often finds it more interesting to dive into the stories behind the people, places, and events associated with the final product. 

Locally around Philadelphia, he has been named a Beer Writer of the Year finalist multiple times, hosted beer/running events during each annual Philly Beer Week, served as a Philly Beer Geek judge, paneled local beers for submission into the Great American Beer Festival competition, judged beer and food competitions, been featured in local publications chronicling the beer scene, and been named the "Best Beer Guy" of 2008. 

In addition to his beer-y pursuits, Kolesar works a professional career in the business world by day and dabbles in distance running, cooking, homebrewing, gardening, photography, and is a staunch advocate for animal rescue/adoption. He lives with his wife, Patty, of fifteen years and has been a long time, mostly suffering, supporter of local Philadelphia sports.

Contact Bryan Kolesar


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