With Congress in recess during August, the 6th Annual DC Beer Week (August 17-24) couldn’t have fallen at a better time for me. The slower work schedule not only allowed me to head out to lunch at places that were offering local beers, but also let me taste one while there. Halfway through the week, I met a colleague at a DC restaurant institution — Old Ebbitt Grill. Old Ebbitt can be a little touristy, but they have some of the best crab cakes in the city, so when I saw that they were one of the restaurants participating in DC Beer Week, I couldn’t pass up going there.
As I already mentioned, a number of DC beers are only available on tap at local restaurants or at the breweries themselves, which adds to the mystic of some local brews. The problem for me is that unless you visit the brewery, you’re missing out. And, since Hubby doesn’t drink, going to a brewery on a Saturday afternoon isn’t really his idea of fun, so there are a number of local beers I’ve been reading a lot about, but haven’t had a chance to taste. As, Atlas Brew Works has only been open for about a year, their beers are a little harder to find than some of the other local breweries, so I haven’t had a chance to try one yet. Therefore, you can imagine my excitement when I saw the Rowdy Rye on the tap list at Old Ebbitt.
The Rowdy Rye (brewery, untappd) is a rye beer from Atlas Brew Works in Northeast Washington, DC. The beer was a hazy, copper color with hints of amber. On the nose, there was rye bread, caramel, and black pepper mixed with a hint of something floral and zesty. In the mouth, there was only the slightest hint of hoppy bitterness mixed with rye, caramel, black pepper, and resin. The beer had a medium body.
Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely! If you see this beer, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. This beer is anything but rowdy, as it’s well-crafted and nicely balanced. It’s a beer I wish was available in my local store because it would make a regular appearance in my house. In fact, it’s a beer that I enjoyed so much, I looked up the location of the brewery to figure out how difficult it would be to visit semi-regularly so that I could keep some of their beer on hand. The Rowdy Rye was smooth and easy to drink on its own, while also making a gorgeous pairing with my crab cakes. To be honest, when I first tasted the beer, I was concerned about how the pairing would work. I loved the way the beer tasted, but I couldn’t picture it mixing well with my lunch. So, I was very pleasantly surprised to see how the beer and the crab cakes really enhanced each other when put together.
Question of the Day: Do you buy growlers of beer from a local brewery or store? If so, I’d love to hear more about your experiences.
P.S. For those of you who are local, Atlas Brew Works is holding an anniversary celebration at the brewery THIS Saturday (9/6) from 1-5pm. There will be local DC food trucks (including one of my personal favorites, Cap Mac), live music from local bands, great beer (obviously, although only your first beer is included in the price of admission), and community spirit, as all the proceeds from the event will benefit the Washington Humane Society. Tickets are $10, and you can purchase them here through OnTap. I’m not getting any kickbacks from the brewery or OnTap if you buy tickets, although I did receive complimentary admission from Atlas for Hubby and me, so we’re planning on checking things out. If you see me, say hello and we can toast some fantastic local brews together!
When & Where: Saturday, September 6, from 1 to 5 pm
@ 2052 West Virginia Ave. NE, Washington, DC
Food: DC Sliders, Cap Mac, and Woodland’s Vegan Bistro
Music: Live music from Bumper Jacksons (a DC roots jazz/country swing band),
Unstable Heights (a Baltimore progressive/alternative rock band), and Sunwolf.
Price: $6.95 per pint
Purchased at Old Ebbitt Grill
Overall: 4 Corks