It’s that time of the year again folks, DC Beer Week! Entering its 12th year, DC Beer Week is the annual celebration of all things craft beer in the District, organized by the DC Brewers Guild (DCBG).
Typically, the week (nine days with weekends) includes an awesome array of events and gatherings that bring the local beer community together. Those in-person events are not possible to do this year due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 outbreak, but the Guild is pressing forward and adapting to the present circumstances.
One major change is that this year DC Beer Week will actually be two, stretching from September 13-26th. During that time you can go to the DC Beer Week site or DCBeer.com, and check out all the events that your local breweries, bars, and restaurants are putting on. According to Paul Dean, Executive Director of the DCBG, this year’s event is about two things.
“We want to keep the traditions of DC Beer Week alive and give craft beer lovers a way to show their enthusiasm. Two, we want [DC residents] to support their local breweries. COVID has impacted the industry in a major way and it’s really important in this difficult time, if folks are able, to get out there and support their local establishments. Otherwise, there may not be the same vibrant scene on the other side of this.”
DC Beer Week Modifies Events
One of the ways that DC Beer Week typically kicks off is with the release of the annual Brewers’ Guild Collaboration beer called Solidarity Brew. Unlike past years, in 2020 every brewery will select and feature a beer from their existing line-up as their Solidarity Brew for this year.
This will tie into a new event, a Scavenger Hunt going on for the two-week period. Participants in the Scavenger Hunt can download and register in the TaptIn (official DC Beer Week sponsor) app. When you visit each participating brewery, use the TaptIn app to check-in and then ask for the clue tied to that location.
Each brewery visit counts as 5 points and anyone with 25 points or more will receive a DCBW prize. Those who get to 25 points first or have the most points will be eligible for additional special prizes. TaptIn users also get drink specials at each participating location.
In addition to the Scavenger Hunt, the Battle of the Barrel-Aged Beers returns as a virtual event. Hosted by Boundary Stone, the 7th Annual Battle of the Barrel-Aged Beers will be offered as a pickup package of 5 reusable 12oz crowler cans, one token to refill with this years’ winner, and a host of other goodies. Participants will vote online for their favorite beer and then everyone will gather for a virtual awards ceremony on September 22nd.
Would you rather eat and drink? On September 19th, DC Brau fans can get this awesome package of German foods, German-style beer, and a DC Brau stein from the brewery. Prefer pizza? Well, they’ve got you covered with an event featuring All-Purpose Pizza and Full Count Lager on the 23rd.
Typically, DC Beer Week is an important source of funding for the DC Brewers’ Guild. That will be limited for 2020, so in addition to participating in DC Beer Week, the DCBG encourages everyone who can to consider signing up for an Enthusiast Membership. The Guild lowered the annual membership fee to $50, which is a great deal considering a 10% discount on everything sold at DCBG member breweries, a free birthday beer, special events, and all the other benefits that come with the membership.
Paul would also like to offer a friendly reminder, “that most of the [DC] breweries doors are open with expanded patio seating in many locations.” Working with the District, DCBG members are creating a safe way for folks to get out and enjoy themselves. Most DC breweries are offering delivery and pick up options as well.