Tuesday, May 17, 2011

American Craft Beer Week: OnTap Kickoff Party

With the start of American Craft Beer Week, On Tap Magazine hosted a kickoff party at the Arlington Rooftop Bar. Since the day job is located right across the street and that several big name craft brewers were in attendance, this was a no brainer. The best part of functions like this was not only drinking great craft beer, but interacting with representatives of each brewery. Before last night I didn't know that Saranac Brewery (Utica NY) is the second oldest family owned brewery in the United States - easy guess which is the oldest. And the brewery offers a concert series with major national acts: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Michael Franti and Spearhead,Umphrey's McGee, & Robert Randolph and the Family Band. Wow, these are big name musicians. And during the summer, Saranac hosts local artists on Thursday nights.

Speaking of music, Highland Brewing Company (Asheville, NC) just opened a music venue where they will be hosting live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Gaelic Ale and live music; that's a nice pairing. Our friends from Flying Dog Brewery (Frederick, MD) were also in the house and we learned of several new seasonals and partnerships as well as their 25th Anniversary parties planned for this summer. That's parties in that they will be traveling though out the DC Metro area hosting events to celebrate the occasion. We hope to have these events posted on Wine-Compass in early summer.

And finally, we spent some time with Alex from Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY). Over an Ommegang BPA - Belgium Pale Ale - we discussed their live music ventures as well as the specialty release: Gnomegang. This is a blonde ale created by a partnership between Brewery Ommegang and Brasserie d’Achouffe. It is made with five malts, two noble hops, and both of the distinctive Chouffe and Ommegang yeasts. I'll be out this weekend looking for this one.

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