Review: Lager Fest @ City Winery (8/19/18)

Lager Fest 2018 @ City Winery
Lager Fest 2018 @ City Winery on Aug. 19

We drank a ton of lagers on Sunday!

The first annual Lager Fest held at the new City Winery (in Ivy City) took place on August 19th to kick-off DC Beer Week. The event was hosted by the DC Brewers Guild and City Winery, with a ton of local breweries offering their lager beers for you to quaff. What was our reaction?

* Not a big crowd, so the active participants could get around easily and sample all the beers, without lines.
* The music was very appropriate, with an instrumental electric blues rock band called Lee, Blackwood & Graham.
* Some good beers, especially the Pilsners.
* City Winery is a very nice spot in Ivy City, with multiple levels and decks. I didn’t try the food, but by the looks of the plates coming from the kitchen, I’ll need to head back.

* It was on a Sunday. Sure, it’s the kick-off to DC Beer Week, but a bigger crowd probably would have come out on a Saturday.
* I like dark beers, so usually appreciate a mix of options for all tastes. But it’s Summer, so let the crisp, refreshing beer reign for a day!

Best Beers I Tried
I had enough time to try 18 different beers from 17 local breweries. That’s a pretty good effort and represented a good majority of the beer offerings, right? Absolutely.

Here are some of the stand outs:

Stargazer (Euro Dark Lager, 5.1% ABV) by Vanish Farmwoods Brewery (Untappd Rating: 3.73) – A black lager with cocoa nibs was a nice change of pace from all the lighter beers.

For The Company (Helles Lager, 5.2% ABV) by Bluejacket (Untappd Rating: 3.63) – Pretty good! I’ll need to head over to their bottle shop and pick up some of these cans.

Don’t Hassel the Hoff (German Pilsner, 4.8% ABV) by RAR Brewing (Untappd Rating: 3.60) – A really tasty Pilsner, but extra credit for the name.

Fraconian Kellerbier (Kellerbier, 5.1% ABV) by Port City Brewing (Untappd Rating: 3.61) – Port City is consistently good, and this continued the trend.

Funk Sway (Sour – Berliner Weisse, 4% ABV) by Jailbreak Brewing Company (Untappd Rating: 3.68) – Wow, this was super tart, and quite a refreshing addition to the overall mix of beers at the festival.

Schweinhaxe (Rauchbier, 7% ABV) by Oxbow Brewing Company (Untappd Rating: 3.83) – I don’t love smoked beers, but this was quite good despite being super smokey!

Other Good Beers (I didn’t sample these, because I’ve had them before)

Solidarity Beer (Pilsner, 5% ABV) by Atlas Brew Works – I did try their Festbier, and that is solid.

Bare Bones (Kölsch, 5% ABV) by Hellbender Brewing Company (3.38) – Bummed they didn’t have something else available.


Lager Fest 2018 @ City Winery
Lager Fest 2018 @ City Winery on Aug. 18
Lager Fest 2018 @ City Winery
Lager Fest 2018 @ City Winery on Aug. 18
Lager Fest 2018 @ City Winery
Lee, Blackwood & Graham @ Lager Fest 2018
Lager Fest 2018 @ City Winery
City Winery in Ivy City
Lager Fest 2018 @ City Winery

Author: Jeremy Bailey

Writer and editor living in Washington, D.C.

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