Fall means beer festival season

Photo courtesy Denizens Brewing Co.

It’s fall, which means it’s beer festival season, and there are two local ones coming up.

First is the Takoma Park Nuclear-Free Beer Fest IX, which runs from 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 at the Cady Lee House, 7064 Eastern Avenue, N.W.

The festival will feature beers from 15 local breweries and food from about 20 area restaurants, along with live entertainment.

Ticket sales from the event typically raises about $20,000 a year to benefit the Takoma Foundation and its grant program for local organizations.

The following Saturday, Sept. 30, Denizens Brewing Co. hosts its third annual “Make It Funky” Wild Beer Festival featuring wild and sour brews.

Julie Veratti, Denizens’ director of business development, said this category is “sort of up and coming, at least on the East Coast of the U.S.”

She said that Jeff Ramirez, head brewer, had years of experience with these types of beers prior to opening Denizens.

Without going too deeply into the details of making lambics, goses, brett and similar types of wild and sour beers, Veratti said, “It’s a style of beer where breweries use different strains of yeast and bacteria to create flavor profiles you can find all over the world. If you really like lemonheads, for example, you’ll probably enjoy sour beers. If you like kimchi, you’ll probably enjoy sour beers. If you like kombucha, stuff that’s fermented, you’re really going to enjoy this style of beer.

“What I really appreciate about this festival is the range of the different styles,” she added. “Everything from very subtle, slight funky tartness to sort of like lip-puckering, super-sour tart beers.”

The festival will feature more than 100 styles of beer from 37 breweries from around the country, as well as local breweries, Verrati said.

She also noted that because this festival is a special permitted event, attendees will find brands that have never been available before in Montgomery County.

Food offerings will include oysters from Republic as well as burgers, hot dogs and similar choices.

The festival runs from 1-5 p.m. at the brewery, 1115 East-West Highway.

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