Aged to Perfection
The third week in August is Beer Week in DC, for those who haven’t left the District to beat the heat. The event is an eight-day celebration of the growing local craft-brew scene that includes tastings, tap takeovers, educational programs, and beer pairing menus. Participation has exploded in recent years as more breweries pop up within the DC boundaries, and Bloomingdale’s Boundary Stone hosted one of the favorite events of the series: The Battle of the Barrel-Aged Beer.
The battle pits local breweries against each other as they try to impress the judges (and the public) with their special barrel-aged brews. This year’s heavyweight lineup included battle veterans DC Brau, Atlas, Three Stars, and Port City, but it was the newcomer Right Proper that took the title.
Each year’s winner gets to choose the beer or barrel style for the following year. Three Stars Brewing, last years’ defending champs, chose wine barrels for this year’s contest. The winner receives a dedicated tap line at Boundary Stone, a special Battle of the Barrel-Aged Beer trophy, and the “love, admiration and respect of beer drinkers across DC.” This years’ judges were Fritz Hahn of The Washington Post, Dan Silverman, the Prince of Petworth, John Fleury of DC Beer, and Boundary Stone’s own Doug Farkas.
“Once again the Battle of the Barrel-Aged Beer was an awesome event. Each year our local breweries continue to up the ante with better and better entries for the competition, and this year really highlighted the immense talent in the DC beer scene,” explained owner Colin McDonough. “We were thrilled to have five local participants including newcomers Right Proper who ended up taking home the title.”
“Boundary Stone is one of the best pubs in the District and have been supporters of Right Proper since day one. Naturally we would want to partner with them as much as possible and are incredibly grateful that they feel the same,” said William Bruder of Right Proper. “We were super humbled to receive such praise and surprised because of how stiff the competition was. We’ll proudly display the trophy in our tasting room as we get ready to defend the title next year!”
Throughout September, Boundary Stone will be hosting its Monday open mic nights as usual. It will also have two concerts as part of its summer series: Crack Spliff (Jazz Trio) on Sept. 9 and Los Caribbeat (Music from the Caribbean, Africa and Detroit) on Sept. 16.
This month saw the first ever Bloomingdale Block Party, and judging by the participation, it will not be the last. More than 250 neighbors from all over Bloomingdale came to celebrate each other and the local businesses that help sustain (and feed) their slice of Northeast DC. The event was organized by a group of seven local volunteers with the assistance of NextDoor.com.
“The small group came together seeking a way to build community bonds and trust in a rapidly growing and changing population,” explained Lena Beth Schneider, one of volunteer team members. “Neighbors old and young, long-time residents, and families new to the area came together over food, games, and dancing to celebrate our wonderful neighborhood and community. We wanted to see a neighborhood where folks said hello to each other on the street and feel involved in keeping their community safe, happy, and engaged. The Bloomingdale First Annual Block Party was a step toward that vision.”
The event was a potluck-style barbecue, stocked primarily by the planning team and supplemented by neighbor contributions. The party also found lots of support from community businesses. Crisp Kitchen & Bar offered the group a place to meet every Monday to plan, as well as lemonade and iced tea for the event. DC Mini Supermarket on First Street NW donated ice, and Mount Bethel Baptist Church donated tables and chairs for the event. DC Water provided 200 water bottles as giveaways.
Even though this was their first attempt at a neighborhood event, according to Schneider, the planning team was thrilled with the turnout and is already planning next year’s bash.
LeDroit In Full Force
The LeDroit Park Civic Association hosted their annual LeDroit Community Day at the end of the month to celebrate the neighbors, new and old, and the businesses that keep LeDroit moving. With one full block roped off for games, food, drinks and bubbles, kids and parents got to spend a lovely day outside connecting with neighbors and local officials who represent them.
The event was well-attended and included participation from all parts of the community. “The event is critical for neighbors to get to know one another, make new connections, talk about issues of importance to the community, and just have fun,” explained Ethan Arnheim, vice president of the LeDroit Park Civic Association.
“It is also key to get our local businesses involved. We were thrilled by the support from local businesses, including Inizio salon and Electric Cat Scratch tattoos, which just opened in the past year,” said Arnheim.
It was also an opportunity for the businesses to enmesh themselves even more in their local community. Electric Cat Scratch was on hand to give temporary tattoos to the kids (and ended up doing more on adults than on their children). “Many of our neighbors have already become our clients and our friends, and we were given the opportunity to meet the rest of our neighbors and other local businesses in LeDroit Park,” explained the ECS team. “Having the general negative stigma of a tattoo shop, we wanted to make ourselves available and approachable, beyond our daily “dad joke” sandwich board and water bowl. What better way to make a good impression on parents than getting their children interested in tattoos?”
Local organizations on hand, included the LeDroit Park market, Elks Lodge, The Royal, Inizio, Shaw’s Tavern, and Nellie’s.
Taylor Barden Golden is a real estate agent with The Stokes Group at McEnearney Associates Inc. A former Hill staffer, Taylor lives in Brentwood with her husband, two dogs, and a cat. She’s always on the lookout for new places to explore and ways to spend time outside. Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org; @rtaylorb.