The District’s annual celebration of local breweries, DC Beer Week, is back this Sunday through September 15. The huge lineup of events, organized by the DC Brewers’ Guild, covers tastings, competitions, tap takeovers, brewer meet-and-greets, parties, and much more. The festivities starton Sunday with a kick off party at noon at Bluejacket in Navy Yard (even better: admission is free). Here are our other top picks for novices and hop heads alike.
If you love competition
Brews get boozy at Boundary Stone on Tuesday during a battle between six breweries serving beers aged in barrels from locals distilleries. The ticketed event includes tastes of all so you can play the discerning critic alongside the contest’s official judges. Details: September 10th from 5:30 PM to 9 PM; tickets $35 to $60.
Seven breweries at Roofers Union are going to head to head — or rather, keg to keg — at the Kick the Keg competition on Wednesday. The first brewery’s keg to be consumed is crowned the winner and gets $300 to donate to a charity of their choice. Options include a funky kombucha pilsner from DC Brau and Atlas Brew Works’ blood orange gose. Details: September 11 from 5:30 PM to 11 PM; free entry.
If you’re in it for the camaraderie
Pioneering DC beer haven Churchkey is dedicating their 55 draft and cask lines to local breweries for a Total Tap Takeover on Tuesday. The showcase of District beers includes fruity, spicy, and sour options along with The Solidarity Brew, a special DC Beer Week collaboration from several local brewers. Details: September 10 from 4 PM to 11 PM; free entry.
Red Bear, DC’s first 100-percent-gay-owned brewery, is giving the women shaping DC’s beer scene the microphone during a panel discussion featuring industry leaders on Thursday. In honor of the event, the NoMa bar is pouring “Blonde Boots,” a collaborative brew from five female brewers. Details: September 12 from 6 PM to 10 PM; free entry.
If you want unlimited beer
Head to the new Aslin Brewery in Alexandria on Saturday, September 14 to celebrate the businesses’ fourth birthday with free-flowing beers and live music. Tickets cover unlimited pours from more than 120 breweries, with a mixture of names from near and far. Details: September 14 from 1 PM to 5 PM; tickets $65 to $145.
More than 30 local breweries are tapping beers at Brewer’s on the Block on Saturday, September 14 from A (Atlas Brew Works) to V (Victory Brewing Company) The brewers are setting up shop at Suburbia, Union Market’s seasonal outdoor beer garden. Details: September 14 from 2 PM to 6 PM; tickets $55 to $75.
If you want to sample cider
Maryland-based Distillery Lane Ciderworks is teaming up with Red Bear on Wednesday for Cider for the Beer Nerd, a night of fermented apples, hops, or a mix of both. Try cider-beer concoctions like “snake bites” and and chat with the makers. Details: September 11 from 5 PM to 11 PM; free entry.
Beer buffs can still sip lagers and lambics, but cider takes the spotlight on Saturday, September 14 at ANXO’s barrel-shooting event. Throughout the day, the Truxton Circle location will be practicing txotx, a Basque custom where cider is shot from a barrel and caught in a glass. Details: September 14 from noon to 11:59 PM; free entry.
If you want to learn something new
Heurich House (a.k.a. the Brewmaster’s Castle, once home to a historic DC beer pioneer) organized three educational events for beer novices and those looking to dive beneath the foamy surface. Visit the museum for a lunchtime exploration of the exhibits; a brewmaster tour and beer tasting; and/or a talk about traveling the world to sample beer for your job. Details: Vary by event.
Home brewers can learn how to detect flavor flaws in an off-flavor tasting at Pizzeria Paradiso on Sunday in Georgetown. Enrollment in the tasting includes the class and six beers for sampling. Details: September 8 from 2 PM to 3:30 PM; tickets $25.
If you don’t feel like going 100 percent local
The Sovereign is opening its taps to experimental Connecticut brewery Area Two for an evening of fruity and funky ales on Wednesday. Flavors include a red ale with dark cherries or a prickly pear blond ale. Details: September 11 from 5 PM to 11 PM; free entry.
Downtown bar and restaurant the Partisan is welcoming two breweries from the Big Apple on Friday, Thin Man and Barrier. Pair pastry-style stouts from their District debuts with charcuterie from Red Apron Butcher. Details: September 13 from 5 PM to 11 PM; free entry.
If you want to pair brews and food
Labor Day has come and gone, but you can hang on to summer at DC Brau’s annual all-you-can-eat crab feast at Quarterdeck in Arlington on Monday. Bottomless crabs are $50 plus $5 pitchers and $1 drafts of DC Brau. Details: September 9 from 5 PM to 10 PM; tickets $50.
What pairs with a wood-fermented beer? A wood-fired dinner at Right Proper in Shaw on Monday, complete with a whole roasted pig and other flame-tinged dishes. Tickets cover three courses, each paired with different ales. Details: September 9 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM; tickets $50.
If you want to drink and play
Punchlines meet draft lines on Friday at a comedy event hosted by RedRocks on H Street. Grab a ticket to see comedian Gordon Baker-Bone and friends take the stage with featured pours from DC craft beer company Sankofa. Details: September 13 from 7 PM to 9 PM; tickets $25.
Right Proper‘s Brookland location is hosting a record sale on Sunday, fusing hops and hip hop, funk and fermentation. Local beer meets local record vendors like Songbyrd and Joe’s Record Paradise. Food from neighborhood spots like Bri’s Ice Cream provides sustenance. Details: September 15 from 1 PM to 5 PM; free entry.