Vintage Crystal City hosted another great fall event, Sunday, September 23; the inaugural Pups and Pilsners beer festival hosted by Jaleo and a wide variety of local breweries. Held a block away from the Crystal City Metro on a nice stretch of lawn, entrance fees were $20 per person. (No charge for canine companions who were welcome en masse.)
This covered the cost of admission and was worth three tickets for beer samples and one pass for a whole free beer. More tickets could be purchased for $2 a piece or whole beer passes for $5, but it was clear that the quotas were there to discourage binge drinking.
Cabot Creamery offered free cheese samples while Hamburger Hamlet offered a special on burgers and potato chips for $6 each. A number of canine welfare organizations were in attendance such as VA’s HART (Homeless Animals Rescue Team), and Homeward Trails Animal Rescue that featured a variety of adorable hounds wearing little orange jackets emblazoned with “ADOPT ME!”
Pups and Pilsners had a very nice selection of brews. I have always been more a fan of grapes than hops but even I was favorably impressed by the wares like a very nice light Catalan Pilsner, the Vienna Lager Company’s own signature Vienna Lager, and Port City Brewing Company’s distinctive Porter; a dark, chocolately, espresso, tasting beer. In the spirit of the season several places offered varieties of Oktoberfest beer and in keeping with the event’s theme both the Flying Dog Brewery was represented (with the Underdog Atlantic Lager) and the Laughing Dog Brewery (with the Dogzilla Black IPA and the Alpha Dog Imperial IPA.) There was even the Bowser Brewing company offering free samples of its non-alcoholic beer for dogs.
But really the joy of the event was from the dogs themselves or rather the dogs joy at being there. Humans may have the edge for opposable thumbs and abstract thinking but dogs are much better at unbridled happiness in the here and now. The combination of green grass, beautiful weather, lots of people, music, and best of all lots and lots of other dogs was a recipe for doggy ecstasy. All four footed guests had on big grins and I saw many instances of dogs spontaneously engaging in wrestling with each other. (Relax; it was the kind of wrestling where no one gets hurt.)
It was a fabulous array of dogs as well; everything from Burmese Mountain Dogs, to Corgis, to Huskies, to Collies, to Shih Tzu’s, to German Shepherds, with many more as well as a plentiful array of All-American mutts. Pups and Pilsner’s inaugural event was a rousing success and I fully anticipate it will become a beloved tradition in Arlington for years to come.
Photos: Stephen Elliot in association with MudProductions.com.