Review: Brew at the Zoo 2018

Brew at the Zoo
Do tigers like beer? (Photo Credit: Jeff Lucas)

“Drink Beer. Save Wildlife!”

Is the motto of the National Zoo’s annual outdoor beer festival known as Brew at the Zoo. The event was held on July 19 during the absolute nicest weather possible for a July evening in DC. This year there were over 70 breweries (mostly local craft breweries) with 134 beers to choose from.

It was absolutely wonderful to see so many new local breweries that I was not aware of. Vasen, Crooked Crab, Spencer Devon and Sinistral were among the breweries I’d never had anything from until Brew at the Zoo.

Vasen had my favorite beer of the night in the Everything Floats on Passion Fruit sour. Generally, I could take or leave passion fruit, but this sour was perfect for a nice summer night. Fruited, but not too sweet and not too sour. It was definitely a hit among our crew. Other favorites included Crooked Crab’s Raspberry Mango Walked Into a Bar (sour), Offshoot Relax (NE IPA), Spencer Devon Xqizit Mayan Gold Coffee Cream Ale, and Sinistral Teufel Hunden Hefe.

Hands down the most interesting, and divisive, beer of the night was the Adroit Theory Antithesis: D.R.A.N.K. gose (red Hawaiian punch edition). If you like Hawaiian Punch, you’d probably like this beer, because that’s just how it tasted. My first inclination was to drive to the brewery to get a couple of growlers and fill a punch bowl. Surprisingly, the beer drinkers in our group loved it; while the others weren’t as taken with it. It’s a limited run beer and it’s unclear if it will be available again this summer.

Brew at the Zoo is a lot more casual than some other beer festivals in DC. It’s always a great time to have good new beers, hit a food truck or two, see a few animals, and hang out with friends.

Proceeds from the festival benefit the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s mission to save species. Read: Good reason to drink beer.



Brew at the Zoo
Brew at the Zoo (Photo Credit: Jeff Lucas)
Brew at the Zoo
Brew at the Zoo (Photo Credit: Jeff Lucas)

Author: Jeff Lucas

I like craft beers, a lot. So far I've had over 4,600 different beers and have been to 126 breweries in 27 states plus DC. Always looking to try something new, except when it is from the Bud Light "____ ____ rita" family. Follow my adventures in craft beer on Untappd at

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