Something’s Brewing: Grab a Pint at the DC Craft Beer Festival

People like beer. That’s a given. Snobby connoisseurs like craft beer. That’s true as well. Well, you don’t need to be a beer snob to like craft beer, but it helps, as it’s generally more expensive than domestics and harder to find.

And if you’re a craft beer fanatic, the kinda guy or gal renting an apartment in Tenleytown who thinks even Guinness is old hat and tame, then the DC Craft Beer Festival – Winter Harvest is for you.

The event takes place on Saturday, November 22, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The thing is so big they need two sessions to hold it properly: one in the afternoon and one in the evening. The reason for the season (other than, you know …) is to “showcase winter releases from 75 of America’s best craft breweries, with a special focus on breweries from DC, Maryland, and Virginia.”

Beer Festival (Four Brewers via Flickr)

Bock to school: Beer scholars will likely be foaming at the mouth to attend one of the event’s beer-focused seminars. Each presentation includes a three-beer tasting session. Score! (Four Brewers via Flickr)

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The festival will again feature a Craft Concierge Center, “a craft beer-focused information center that will be staffed with leading regional craft beer experts to answer any questions that are unable to be answered at the taps.”

With unlimited 2-ounce tastings of approximately 150 craft beers, ciders and mead, I’m wondering how many lucid questions you’ll be able to think up, let alone articulate well enough to be taken seriously. Hey, those 2-ouncers add up.

You can also purchase some prepared food “designed specifically to highlight this winter’s craft beer releases.”

Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001

What would a craft beer festival be without seminars? I’m not sure, either. Just thought I’d ask. Each festivalgoer receives a souvenir tasting glass, too.

Here’s a list of the breweries that will be represented. Brooklyn Brewery, the DuClaw Brewing Company and Bell’s Brewery, Inc. are the kind of suds this festival will feature.

Now we get to tickets. No, you can’t get in for free. Actually, entrance is quite steep; to me anyway. Regular admission is $49 plus the lovely $4.32 fee (they don’t even have the courtesy to name what type of fee it is, service or processing; they just call it a “fee.” We are conditioned to accept it and move along, how crass. What if we protested?). Designated drivers get in for $25 plus a $3 fee (a saint tax?). Lastly, you can gobble up VIP tickets for $65 plus a $5.83 fee. At least their fee prices are creative.

Don’t mind me.

Session I begins at 1 p.m. for VIPers and 2 p.m. for the rest of us. The session ends at 4:30 p.m. for all in attendance. Session II begins at 6 p.m. for the VIP crowd and 7 p.m. for general admission purchasers, and the curtain comes down on everyone at 9:30 p.m. Here is a festival FAQ. This is a 21-plus event.

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Here are the event sponsors. One dollar from each ticket is donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; the festival has also partnered with volunteer organization One Brick.

If you’re going sans designated driver, take Metrorail’s Green/Yellow Line and exit at the nearby Mt Vernon Sq 7th St-Convention Center stop.

This looks to be a fun, if pricey, event. Drink up.

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Scott D

Scott D

Scott is a local writer and has been with the Apartment Showcase blog since its inception in 2010.

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