DCBeer's DC Beer Week 2014 recap will arrive next week. Until then, here's something to whet your appetite.
I only moved to DC about a year ago. During last year’s DC Beer Week, I was still much too entrenched in a wide-eyed tourist’s view of the city to even know about DCBW2013, much less attend events or appreciate what is special about the local craft beer scene in DC. Since that time, however, I have come to see the District as the beautiful local space it is–filled with the amazing people, businesses, and history that make it so much more than the nation’s capital.
In learning to see the beauty of the city in its neighborhoods, its restaurants, and its architectural styles, I have realized how much more there is to discover. This same evolution describes my relationship with the DC craft beer scene and my excitement at the opportunity to learn more about it during this year’s DC Beer Week. Attending events across the city in celebration of this booming industry and the delicious IPAs, saisons, porters, and pale ales it creates encapsulates the idea that beer is almost as much about the people and the place, as it is about the product.
With the transience often attributed to DC, it is easy to forget that there is history being created here, as well as a flavor and style to the people choosing to call the city home. The breweries and bars making and serving local craft beer have proven time and time again the value they bring to the District, both as a driver of the local economy and a point around which to create community. These breweries, and the community that rallies around and supports them, beget staying power. This staying power was well-represented at the flagship Solidarity Session IPA Tasting event in Chinatown last Thursday night. The brew created for this year’s Beer Week, the Solidarity Session IPA, is a hip and hoppy session IPA at 4.5% whose light citrusy flavor offers up just enough bitterness for IPA lovers. This beer makes clear that brewers in and around DC know how to collaborate well, and that they have a close relationship with their consumer.
There is a quiet excitement to the craft beer industry in DC, an industry that promises to never cease working hard and working together to make DC a craft beer destination. Learning from educational events, chatting with other craft beer advocates, and tasting many delicious pints made last week a great and informational experience for me, and I hope you can say the same. Cheers to DC Beer Week 2014, and cheers to the promise of an even bigger and better Beer Week next year.