More than 65 breweries showcased their most popular brews and presented new seasonal beers this past Saturday, October 4, as Capitol City Brewing Company hosted its 15th Annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest in the streets of Shirlington Village in Arlington. As one of the area’s largest Oktoberfests, more than half of the beer tents that lined the village hailed from the DC and Mid-Atlantic region – including DC Brau, Mad Fox, Port City, Lost Rhino, Devils Backbone, and Old Ox – with local restaurants serving authentic German cuisine. Streets were packed with beer enthusiasts, many sporting traditional Bavarian lederhosen and dirndl dresses, as well as families enjoying the Alpine folk music.

The breezy fall weather was perfect for tasting the popular porters and pumpkin ales of the season. After winning a silver medal for its Amber Waves Ale at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver earlier in the day, Capitol City featured its own signature fall beers – Dr. Punkinstein, a pumpkin porter, Smoketoberfest, a smokey copper beer with a mild hop profile, and the Oktoberfest Lager, a malty Marzen-style lager. Other breweries served their own fruity brews. Delirium put a spin on their Framboise beer by mixing it with their popular Tremens, an approach intended to cut the strong fruity notes.

As the afternoon wore on, the streets became more packed, and lines continued to grow. Delirium, Ommegang, Three Brothers, Brooklyn, DC Brau, and Great Lakes were popular choices among patrons as they flocked to familiar breweries. DuClaw Brewery offered its renowned “Sweet Baby Jesus” peanut butter porter as well as a pumpkin porter. Devils Backbone celebrated with festival goers after being named Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival.

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One of the newer arrivals on the DC beer scene, Old Bust Head Brewery out of Warrenton, Virginia, modestly promoted their lineup after beginning brewing in January of this year. A brewer stood nearby and recommended their Gold Cup Russian Imperial Stout as his first choice, but endorsed their flagship beer, the Bust Head English Pale Ale, as his second choice – a more balanced and an accessible pour for the light drinker.


Adroit Theory Brewing Company also steadily attracted a large crowd early in the afternoon. Its “Loved of the Damned” old ale contained a Syrah grape component giving it a wine-like finish. It was the most popular among visitors to it tents. The brewery also offered a black IPA, imperial saison and a Belgian stout that kept people coming back throughout the day.

From local breweries introducing themselves to the DC beer scene to well-known breweries offering seasonal and traditional brews, there were unlimited options for the craft beer enthusiast. Folk music and dancers entertained the crowds, while thousands eagerly celebrated the Oktoberfest traditions with a DC infusion.

Other notable mentions:

Capitol City Honorable Mentions:

Capitol City Brewery Medals:

  1. Sweetwater Brewing Company

  2. Victory Brewing Company

  3. Ayinger Brewing