When SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Festival moved from Washington, D.C., to New York in 2013, the landmark Old Ebbitt Grill saw an opportunity.
The historic restaurant, established in 1856 and located just steps from the White House, began the Old Ebbitt Grill Craft BrewHaHa. The closing event of D.C. Beer Week, now in its third year, is set for 8 to 11 p.m. on Aug. 15.
David Moran, the managing director of the Old Ebbitt Grill, says they started with around 500 participants, grew to around 700 last year, and may hit the 1,000-guest mark in 2015.
The seventh-annual D.C. Beer Week begins Aug. 9.
“Whenever we do events like this, what we’re trying to always do is, we want it certainly to be fun,” Moran says. “We want it to be food based. We want it to be somewhat educational. And we want to add a music twist so the party always ends with people dancing and having a good time. “
Nine local craft brewers will pair with nine area chefs, crafting complimentary menus to entertain guests in the restaurant’s large atrium space.
A local soul band, the Soul Crackers, will be performing. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased at brewhaha2015.eventfarm.com.
Brewers involved include: DC Brau (Washington, D.C.), Flying Dog Brewery (Frederick, Maryland); Evolution Craft Brewing Company (Salisbury, Maryland); Atlas Brew Works (Washington, D.C.), Hellbender Brewing Company, (Washington, D.C.), Port City Brewing Company (Alexandria, Virginia), Hardywood Park Craft Brewery (Richmond, Virginia), Denizens Brewing Company (Silver Spring, Maryland), and Old Ox Brewery (Ashburn, Virginia).
The chefs will be: Sal Ferro of Old Ebbitt Grill, Anthony Lombardo of The Hamilton, Chef Russell Jones of Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Nathan Beauchamp of The Fainting Goat, Travis Kern of Boundary Stone, Jeff Eng of Tower Oaks Lodge; Nathan Anda of Red Apron Butcher, Logan McGear of Smoke and Barrel, and Michael Friedman of The Red Hen.
“Our thought on this event is that we’re trying to capture what’s going on here in D.C. As it is in a lot of cities around the country, the local beer thing has just gone crazy,” Moran says. “What used to be, 15-20 years ago, everyone wanted to meet the local wine makers when they came to town from California. These brewers are like rock stars. People want to get to know these guys.
“It winds up with all of us on the dance floor, beer in hand, patting each other on the back. It’s a lot of fun.”
The current schedule for D.C. Beer Week, according to its website, goes as follows:
Aug. 9: Second Annual Brewers on the Block at Suburbia [1 to 5 p.m.]
Aug. 10: DC Brau’s Genuine Fourth Annual Officiall D.C. Beer Week Crab Fest Monumental Extravaganza [5 to 10 p.m.]
Aug. 11: Augtoberfest Beer Pairing and Tasting Party with Atlas Brew Works at Shaw’s Tavern [7 to 10 p.m.]
Aug. 13: Atlas Beer Works’ Backyard Cook-Out at The Dew Drop In [5 to 10 p.m.]; Third Annual Clambake Gansett Beer at Ventnor Sports Café [6:30 to 11:30 p.m.]
Aug. 14: Eastern Shore Fundraiser at Ventnor Sports Café [6 p.m. to midnight]
Aug. 15: Third Annual Old Ebbitt Grill BrewHaHa
By Danny Klein