Have I mentioned before that I like beer? Because I do. And I’m rarely one to turn down a good beer festival. So when my brother Ben found tickets for a big one locally on discount through Living Social called “Red White and Brew Beer & Wine Festival”, we hopped on it. I’d done a very similar event hosted by Drink the District three years before – it may have even been the same event with a different name. So I knew what to expect. I met Ben and Nicole at the Yards parking lot, and we got in line early – making sure we had sunscreen, water, and were prepared for our afternoon. Note: we were not prepared.
I had somehow managed not to eat lunch before going to the festival (rookie mistake!) and knowing this, and since we got in 15 minutes before tastes started to pour, I made my way to the food trucks nearby. This particular truck was one I hadn’t seen before, and since I like cheese, I decided to check it out. The guy at the counter was super friendly, and may have even been the owner/founder. When I ordered curds and asked for a recommendation on sauce he said “sriracha mayo” without even hesitating. They were delicious. Hot and cheesy, and the the mayo was both cool and spicy, giving the curds a fun twist. If you’ve never had fried cheese curds, they’re kind of like a mozarella stick…but not. I can’t explain it, but they can.
Finally, it was time for some tasting. My first beer (I think the one on the bottom left?) was the Natty Greene Wildflower Witbier, and it may have been my favorite of the entire festival. So light and refreshing – perfectly delicious for a hot summer day. As a note, I would end up trying nearly 20 beers or ciders over the course of the festival. Maybe 1/3 of those were full tastes of my own (and there was at least one where I dumped it out because I didn’t quite like it). So please don’t worry too much about my liver – that’s really only a pint glass worth of booze that I drank. Unfortunately it was hot, and I think having my main meal be cheese based had not been a fantastic idea, so things weren’t sitting very well.
Our tickets were from 1-4, so while we may not have ended up staying very long, we did some fantastic people-watching. The Drink the District Events tend to bring a crowd that is very enthusiastic about a theme, and with the July 4 weekend coming up, and folks looking for as many excuses as possible to wear their Red-white-and-blue gear – there was a lot of great people watching. These are just a handful of the flag-themed outfits we saw. There was one girl wearing stars and stripes leggings which were…interesting. There were also plenty of terrific non-flag-themed tee shirts, but these were the ones that made me laugh the most. Wear ’em when they’re relevant!
Teddy Roosevelt from the Nationals Racing Presidents was also in attendance. We managed to track him down at one point to get a picture. I just realized that Ben and I are wearing Nats hats, so we’re totally on theme for this photo op!
At this point, we were starting to get a little overheated, felt we had gotten our moneys worth of beer, and were ready to get out of the sun. I contemplated getting ice cream from Captain Cookie, but when I saw there were ice pops, I had to get one of those instead. I’d never seen Maracas Ice Pops before, but they had my favorite flavor of popsicle (lime), so I knew it was meant to be. So cool and refreshing, the only problem being that it was so hot out that it got super-melty halfway through. No matter – I just ate quickly and made sure I enjoyed every bite. It was so good that the folks at the Lyft tent asked where I got it, and I was happy to point them out.
Overall it was a terrific event. We may have only stayed 2 of the 3 hours we were allowed (I think that’s what happened 3 years ago too – phew it was hot!) but those 2 hours were full of good times, and good brews. If you want to see what I drank, take look at my check-ins on Untappd from 6/25. And if you’re interested in attending a Drink the District event in the future, watch their website, and see if there’s an event near you!