On a cold Saturday in January, I found myself in the Crystal City Underground, which is basically a maze of stores and shops leading to the metro in Washington, DC. I was there to participate in the Washington Wine Academy’s Second Annual 1k Beer Walk. At approximately 2pm, I was given my number (#104), and was ready to start the “race.” This was anything but a race, except for the fact that there was a clearly marked Start and Finish, but what happened in between those points was entirely up to you. The beer stations marked 1-10 were set up like a pub crawl and each contained a variety of brewers. My novice beer friend who henceforth shall be known as Sharon the Supertaster, was eager to enjoy the tastings and share her impartial off the cuff beer reviews, such as ”this one tastes like pecans”.
The beers themselves were not entirely unique or remarkable. Brewers such as Brooklyn, Flying Dog, New Belgium, Sam Adams, and Leinenkugel among them. I had made a mental note the night before of the beers I would make a point to try. However, the big surprise came at station four.
When I wrote this, it was 24 hours later I was still trying to wrap my brain around why this bothers me so much. Days later it’s still confusing me. While we were at station 4, we noticed that there was a table set entirely with wine. When my curious companion enquired about the wine and its availability she was told that “spouses had called to complain that there would be no wine at the beer event”. I tried to soak that in, and then because I couldn’t get that sentence to compute in my head, I just said “what?” Sharon Supertaster repeated the sentence for me. Sharon had been at the wine walk the previous week, so I asked her “was there beer last week at the wine tasting?” Just as I had suspected, she confirmed that there had not been a beer table.
Is this bothering me because only in DC would someone call to make a complaint that a beer event contains no wine? This is probably one of the few places that a special point would be made to provide it. Is it bothering me because no “spouses” had called the wine event and loudly demanded a table of Port City or DC Brau? Was it because to me the point of going to a tasting is to at least make an effort to enjoy some of what was offered (like my adventurous Supertaster) and not to entirely dismiss the point of the event? Maybe it’s the fact that the sold out 2pm time slot could have been filled with someone who appreciates and honors craft beer? Whatever it is that’s sticking in my craw, it didn’t diminish what was otherwise a great day at a well organized event which included free food, fun prizes, fun facts, music and a lively DJ. I would highly recommend this one in the future.