Craft beer enthusiasts in the Washington, D.C. area are lucky to have one of the best beer bars in the world close to home: The Brickskeller. The amazing beer selection is not the only thing that makes the Brickskeller stand out. True, the Brickskeller is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as “the bar with the largest selection of commercially available beers” but there is a lot more to this Dupont Circle tavern than the long beer menu.
The beer tasting events are why I love going to the Brickskeller, and I attended one not long ago with my brother-in-law Rich. The “Multiple Guest Brewmaster Strong Ale Tasting Extravaganzee Part d’OH!, with host Bob Tupper and lotsa guests” was held on February 23 and featured 12 beers from local breweries:
- American Hopped Belgian Triple from the District ChopHouse in Washington, D.C. This sweet, smooth, velvety beer was strong (10.4%) and delicious.
- Winter Saison and Harry Hood Porter from Johanssons Dining House in Westminster, MD. The brewer described his first offering as Saison IED because of an explosion during the brewing process. The Porter was smooth and strong (7.5%).
- Sledgehammer and Tongs, a Belgian/American Strong Ale, also described as an ice beer, that is frozen to concentrate the alcohol and flavor. This offering from Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills, NC clocked in at 11%.
- Robust Porter from the Ruddy Duck Brewery and Grill in Solomons, MD, was a solid Porter (7%).
- Tuppers’ Hop Pocket Ale, from Bob Tupper, and brewed by the St. George Brewing Company in Hampton, VA. The massive amounts of whole flower hops used in the brewing process gives this beer a strong hop aroma and delicious hop flavor.
- Raging Bitch and Dog Schwarz from the Flying Dog Brewey in Frederick, MD. Raging Bitch is a 8.3% and 60 IBU masterpiece. Dog Schwarz, a Smoked Double Lager, was black and smokey, dark and delicious.
- IPA and Barley Wine from Capitol City Brewing Company in Shirlington, VA. The well-balanced IPA had impressive numbers: 7.5% and 90 IBU. The Barley Wine, aka Dark Tripel, was a malty 10%.
- Hot Monkey Love from Oliver Brewery in Baltimore, MD. A sweet, strong ale made with honey that also topped 10%.
- Barrel Aged High Desert Imperial Stout from Sweetwater Tavern in Merrifield, VA. This black beer slapped my taste buds with an alcohol punch in the mouth along with spicy-sweet oak flavors.
As each beer was served, the brewers took the stage and talked about their creations. Their comments about their beers really added a lot to the experience. My favorite beer of the tasting was the first beer of the night, the Belgian Triple, which my notes indicate had a “lovely taste.” I was surprised a beer this smooth and drinkable was 10% ABV. Now that’s what I call Drinkability! On your knees Bud Light, and bow to true Drinkability!