Score one for the DC Beer scene, last night Orr the Beerspotter hosted a beer tasting at Red Derby. New host, new event and a new venue that I haven’t seen host beer events before. The universe of DC Beer just expanded last night.

It was a great informal event at a bargain price of $20 for 8 9 beers. The main focus was on comparing the various canned beers that grace the Red Derby’s extensive beer chalk board. The event was held in the back pool table room where the table served as the pouring station and everyone crowded around to grab the beers as they were poured. We also had some pretzels and crackers to clear the palette.


First up was a comparison of Natty Boh and Schlitz, both–Orr revealed–are brewed by Pabst! Seems like they’ve got the beer-flavored beer market cornered and they are competing with themselves. This first comparison was a great way to ease new craft beer drinkers into a beer tasting that would soon reveal just how great canned beer could be. It seems like Natty Boh actually has more malt flavor than Schlitz although the difference was pretty subtle.



Following the warm-up exercise, we tried Belhaven Scottish Ale and Oskar Blues Old Chub. This seemed to be a theme of the night, comparing a regular style of a beer versus the blown out of proportion extreme version. Belhaven was smooth and almost tea-like when compared to the malt-bomb of Old Chub.

Next we had Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale served alongside Butternuts Pork Slap. Pork Slap’s malt lightly-hopped pale ale recipe definitely registered differently on the palete when compared to Dale’s Pale Ale. Side-by-side, Dales was a blast of hops where-as the ginger in Pork Slap was the major feature of that beer.

After these beers, Orr pulled out a surprise pack of Goose Island Matilda (in bottles) as a bonus beer. Orr thought it would be cool to give people a taste of a style that wasn’t represented in the night’s canned beer selection.

For desert we had Butternuts Moo Thunder versus Oskar Blues TenFidy. We were instructed to taste the Moo Thunder first. The little stout is certainly no match for the beast that is TenFidy.

After talking with a few attendees, I found a bunch of people were Red Derby regulars who mainly drank the $2 Natty Boh, but were drawn in by the promise of a good deal and some education. I think the event really did serve as a good intro (gateway one might say) for these non-craft beer drinkers to become more informed specialty beer lovers. A few of these beers were just as accessible as the Pabst beers of the world and I bet some of the stronger ones may have made a mark on peoples taste buds as well. Thanks Orr and the Red Derby staff for putting on this great chill beer tasting! (Also thanks to those of you who tuned in for the live broadcast last night, it was a bit of an experiment. If you missed that, you can check out some of the unedited, dark, some-what random footage here.) Check out our Red Derby review here…