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Imbiber’s Agenda: Italian Craft Beers and the Repeal Day Ball

Two not-to-miss drinking events this week.

Photograph courtesy Almond ‘22

Today, Imbiber’s Agenda devotes itself to two promising drinking opportunities that both happen to take place this week.

First, be honest with us: Did you know the Italians were even making craft beers? Until quite recently, we did not. But they are, and Eastern Market Italian restaurant Acqua Al 2 has just ordered up some very good ones to go with the fare on offer. But due to a bunch of stuff having to do with importers and Italy, they’re kind of expensive. So to entice you to try them, Acqua is offering free tastings through Thursday, December 1, at the bar, between the hours of 5:30 and 7:30 PM. That’s right: free beer.

Notable among the offerings is the Almond ‘22 Torbata (a bottle regularly goes for $20), which has a smoky-peaty quality that inspires tasters to describe it as “Scotch-like.” Certainly if you’re a fan of Islay Scotches, you should have a sip. Equally lovely: Nora, from Birrificio Le Baladin in Piozzo, which has winning citrus and spicy ginger notes.

Also this week: the DC Craft Bartenders Guild Repeal Day Ball. Now, as you’ll recall from your Ken Burns documentary watching, Repeal Day marks the end of prohibition. And every year, craft bartenders around the country throw parties and run specials in an effort to turn Repeal Day into a holiday that’s celebrated with the same—nay, more—enthusiasm as, say, St. Patrick’s. And here in DC, the bartenders really, really go all out for Repeal Day, throwing a (reportedly epic) ball featuring drinks from all the city’s best drink mixers.

This year, the party happens on Saturday, December 3, at the Halcyon House. (Official Repeal Day is December 5, but this is not the kind of thing you want to celebrate on a Monday.) If you’re into drinks, you won’t want to miss this particular wingding. Here’s where to get tickets.

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