Blue Ridge, in Glover Park, is the latest in a series of restaurants launching impressive beer programs in the District. The restaurant, which calls itself a “Neighborhood bar and beer garden” is hosting a Hop to Table Craft Beer Octoberfest that starts today and runs through the rest of the week. This restaurant has serious chops. A release from the restaurant notes, “Eli Hengst and Jared Rager are co-owners of Mendocino Grille and Wine Bar in Georgetown, a 4-time Washingtonian “Very Best Restaurant” selection, and Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, on Capitol Hill, winner of the 2007 Best Neighborhood Restaurant RAMMY and recognized in 2009 by the Washingtonian as one of Washington DC’s best bars.” So these folks have the whole wine thing down, but how will they fare with beer? Our early take is, quite well!

Blue Ridge’s mission is to “use the best naturally-raised and organic ingredients we can find and source from local growers, ranchers, and fishermen throughout the Mid-Atlantic whenever possible.” That mission is reflected in their menu, which features a bevy of American bistro type selections that will find numerous favorable pairings with the extensive beer list.

Ah, right, the beer list. Featuring 12 drafts and 125 bottles, Blue Ridge has a little bit of everything. The list is broken up, Churchkey-style, into flavor profiles like “Funky, Wild, and Over the Top” and “Hops, Hops, and More Hops.” From pints to bombers to 750s, there are options for the individual, couple, or party. Or you could get ambitious and polish off that 750 of Allagash Interlude yourself. No judgment here. Amanda Earley, manager and director of the beer program at Blue Ridge, said in an email, “[The beer list] is humble, and not trying to beat out any of the big guys. We just want to be a place that serves great craft beer in the upper NW.” Earley is being, perhaps, overly humble herself. You may not find the incredible rarities that some of the other beer big boys in DC put out, but there’s something for everyone on this list.

Anyway, the Octoberfest kicks off tomorrow night. The restaurant’s blog (sidebar: I think it’s really pretty neat that they’re keeping up a blog for the restaurant, good way to interact with the community) says that the first night of the Octoberfest is “for us and our neighborhood.” To that end, residents of Georgetown and Glover Park (bring your driver’s license or a piece of mail with a GTown/Glover Park address) will get free Sam Adams and food from 6:00-7:30. After that it’s $20 for food and beer.

The rest of the week will feature “nightly craft beer tastings, product giveaways, food pairings, beer movies, and a
unique “Hop To Table” dinner featuring renowned American craft brewery Southampton Publick House (NY).” Check the events calendar at the blog to stay up-to-date on everything that will be going on.


Be sure to check out UrbanDaddy’s preview for more information. We’ll get over there this week and let you know how this whole Sweet 16/quinceanera/bat (beer?) mitzvah for the beer menu is going. I’m certainly excited to have another very viable craft beer option in Glover Park. Blue Ridge joins Bourbon and Breadsoda, among others, in that neighborhood as a fine place to get quality suds.

Been over to Blue Ridge? What’s your impression so far? Let us know in the comments!