Ever wonder what came before the beer from DC's first brewery? DC's neighbor to the south has a long history of brewing, one which the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation takes seriously. So seriously that you are invited to investigate via reenactment of how beer and ale were made in the 18th Century Virginia colony. "The Arts and Mysteries of Brewing" takes place Sunday 10/16, Wednesday 11/2, and Sunday 11/20 where you'll have a chance to see 18th century beer making in incredibly authentic fashion.
Frank Clark, Master of Historic Foodways at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, will brew beer in the Governors Palace Scullery, and the live demonstration will reveal the art as well as the mysteries of brewing. Trust me, there are many of them.
Frank has gone to incredible lengths to make his 18th Century brewing as authentic as possible. That is to say you will find no Citra, Simcoe, or Mosaic hops in his beer. You may find essentia bina, brewers licorice, or brown malt, but you'll have to go and ask the historic foodways master.
If Williamsburg, Virginia is too far from your cozy DC apartment, consider seeing Mr. Clark at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History at the end of October for The Great History of American Brewing, at The Smithsonian Food History Weekend. He and other historians, experts, and breweries will explore the history of beer and brewing in America covering four main time periods: Colonial era presented by Frank Clark, 19th century presented by Dr. Jon Grinspan, Curator of Political History at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Prohibition presented by Dr. Kate Haulman, Associate Professor Department of History at American University, and the 1970s presented by Charlie Papazian. Beverages are provided by Willaimsburg Alewerks, Heavy Seas, Bluejacket and Green Hat Gin. The festival takes place on Saturday, 10/29 with The Great History of American Brewing following in the evening (21+).