Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Northern Virginia, DC's Beer Country Earth Day Green Events - Plus a Summer Beer Festival!

Happy upcoming Earth Day, April 22nd! Have a beer - it's the Beer Festivus.

From Beerutopia - "You may not think of beer as a particularly Earth-friendly product but in many ways the world's oldest and most popular alcoholic beverage is very green. These days, the best beer is produced by craft or "micro" breweries. These small operations are inherently more sustainable because of their size. They are to the macro breweries (Anheuser Busch, Miller) what a local farmer is to the agricultural mega corporations. They often use locally available ingredients and only deliver their beer within a small geographical area. This cuts down on transportation which in turn cuts down emissions".

In short, beer is green, and beer fests are veritable fields of greenery.

Here in Northern Virginia and Loudoun County, otherwise known as "DC’s Beer Country" (nestled among the vines of DC’s Wine Country), local micro-breweries and brew pubs are very popular, though sparse, with some clear leaders and favorites. While "Old Dominion" long served as the region’s mainstay – it’s now gone the more "macro" route, bought last year by Coastal Brewing Company (out of Annapolis, 49% owned by Anheuser Busch), and some of the very best titles including "Tupper’s Hop Pocket" are no more. The new favorites, in our book, revolve around Leesburg, at Vintage 50 and Fireworks Pizza.Vintage 50’s Loudoun beer list as a micro-brewery and restaurant is fantastic, with weekly and monthly specials ranging from Extra Special Bitters to our favorite, Point of Rocks Pale Ale – "not for the hop impaired, and is known to induce hophead hysteria".

Earth Day (April 22nd) brings with it lots of great family events, including "Earth Day at Loudoun" (in Brambleton near Clyde’s – itself not without a decent beer menu). Rebounding from Earth Day, seek hop-stimulated conversations regarding "green or sustainable businesses in Loudoun County", over at the Loudoun "Green Enterprise and Beer – Loudoun Green Drinks" gathering in Broadlands, May 1st.

Rounding out a very green and enjoyable spring beer season in Virginia, it’ll be time to head over to the very popular Northern Virginia Summer BrewFest – the very best summer gathering of beer lovers and beer makers in the entire DC metropolitan region.

The Northern Virginia Summer BrewFest "A Celebration of American Beer" will be held at Morven Park in Leesburg, VA June 27-28, from 11am-9pm Saturday, and 11am-7pm Sunday. As a "microbrew festival", the Brew Festival in Loudoun County will feature over 40 of America’s best breweries, a variety of food to complement the craft beers and great local and regional bands to entertain you.

The following Breweries participated in 2008. The Northern Virginia Summer BrewFest expects many will return – the actual list of 2009 participating breweries will be posted on or about June 1.

  • Abita Brewing Co.
  • Allagash Brewing Co.
  • Anheuser Busch
  • Baltimore-Washington Beer Works
  • Bear Republic
  • Bells Brewing Inc.
  • Boston Beer Co.
  • Brooklyn Brewing Co
  • Callys
  • Clipper City Brewing Co./ Oxford B.C.
  • Dogfish Head Brewing Company
  • Fordham Brewing Company
  • Harpoon Brewing Company
  • Hook and Ladder Brewing Company
  • Lagunitas Brewing Company
  • Lancaster Malt Brewing Company
  • Mad River Brewing Company
  • Magic Hat brewing Company
  • Mendocino Brewing Company
  • New Holland Brewing Co.
  • Old Dominion Brewing Co.
  • Otter Creek Brewing Co./ Wolavers
  • St. George Brewing Co.
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
  • Stone Brewing Company
  • Stoudt Brewing Co.
  • Starr Hill Brewing Company
  • Victory Brewing Co.
  • Vintage 50 Restaurant and Brew Lounge
  • Wild Goose
  • Flying Dog
  • Williamsburg Ale Works
  • Yuengling Brewing Company
  • North Coast Brewing Company
  • Kona Brewery
  • Lexington Brewing Company<
  • Smuttynose Brewing Co.
  • Oskar Blues Brewing Co.
  • Fisherman Brewing Co.
  • Coors Brewing Co.
  • Blue Moon Brewing Co.
  • Miller Brewing Co.
  • Leinenkuegals Brewing Co.
  • Pyramid Brewing Co.
  • Mad Fox Brewing Co.
  • Anchor Brewing Co.
  • Spoetzl Brewing Co.

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