PHOTOS • BY ERIC BOND and BILL BROWN
See the beer-soaked slideshow at the bottom of the page.
As the first raindrops spattered down around 4:30 p.m., Beerfest attendees assured each other that the downpour was forecast for 8:00pm. That gave plenty of rain-free time to imbibe, socialize, and watch the fire-dancing finale. This was just a scattered shower, they hoped.
But the clouds defied the forecast. The downpour came three hours early.
The fire-dancers cancelled, but the undaunted beer drinkers donned hats and raincoats, lifted umbrellas, or crowded under pavilions and the porch. The fifth annual Nuclear-free Beerfest fundraising event went on.
A little downpour wasn’t going to keep anyone from enjoying FINE BEER.
And fine beer there was. A dozen local and regional brewers provided their craft beers and ales.
Choices included three Octoberfest beers, a number of India Pale Ales, wheat beers, a couple of stouts, a pilsner or two, and at least one porter. Then there were the exotic brews: a pumpkin ale, yeasty Belgian saison-style beers with lemon or pepper flavors, a brown ale made with pecans, and a stout made with oyster shells.
There was something for everyone—while it lasted. Even in the heavy rain, the popular beers ran out before the end as they do every year. It was a testimony to the duck-like characteristics of local beer fans.
The location was elegant even when damp. The Cady-Lee Mansion, built in 1887, is a local architectural gem. Fortunately, it has a long, wide porch. The grounds are large, too. There was plenty of room for a long line of beer and food pavilions.
Local restaurants and stores supplied good food: Blessed Coffee, Capitol City Cheesecake, Cedar Crossing Tavern & Wine, Dolci Gelati, Johnsonville Sausages, Mark’s Kitchen, Olive Lounge, Roscoe’s Pizzeria, Soupergirl, TPSS Co-op, and Whole Foods. Though months from opening, the Takoma Republic Restaurant sent food and chefs to prepare it.
The Beerfest earned the Takoma Foundation an estimated $15,000. The foundation bestows grants on community groups and projects. These include arts-enrichment programs for immigrants, the Community Kitchen, and the Folk and Jazz Festivals.
As the soggy but happy Beerfest attendees would likely say, “We’ll drink to that!”
Participating brewers were 3 Stars Brewing, Baying Hound Aleworks, DC Brau, District Chop House, Franklin’s Restaurant & Brewery, Gordon Biersch, Growlers Brew Pub, Heavy Seas, New Belgium, Old Dominion/Fordham/ Rock Bottom, and Starr Hill.