This last weekend, many Washingtonians lamented the final Truckeroo of the summer season, the event that, on occasional Fridays throughout the warm months, packed the Fairgrounds near Nationals Park with discerning eaters and some of the area’s finest food trucks.
While that event is over until warmer months, Yards Park, just a half mile away in Southeast, will fill any void this weekend. They are playing host to an outdoor festival certain to satisfy any Truckeroo regular. Or for that matter, any person who loves beer.
Snallygaster is the inaugural D.C. Oktoberfest celebration from the Neighborhood Restaurant Group. This group owns some of the most popular restaurants in the area, including Rustico, Birch & Barley and Talulla. For years they’ve been hosting an October drinking festival at the Alexandria location of Rustico. This year they decided to move the event inside the city limits.
They selected Yards Park, an increasingly popular space which sits between Nationals Stadium and the Navy Yard on the edge of the Anacostia River, for this year’s event. It’s one of the first steps in a revitalized Southeast D.C., and with pedestrian bridges and waterfalls, one of the more gorgeous sites in the area.
And what is Snallygaster? Well, in lore, it’s a mythical dragon-like creature that is supposed to inhabit the mountains of Western Maryland. This weekend it’s a large celebration of Oktoberfest, the German beer festival that has grown in popularity stateside.
The bars of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group spaces are typically known for their well-stocked draft beer lists, and at Snallygaster, even the hardest-to-impress connoisseur will be amazed with the collection of malts, hops and barley at Yards Park.
The current list of beers at the festival is astounding with over 153 available. It has been carefully crafted with the Oktoberfest holiday in mind. Among the offerings are special beers brewed for the two-week festival in Germany, pumpkin-flavored beers from across the country and other popular fall favorites. The European beers come primarily from German and its neighboring country, Austria. But the American beer list is seriously diverse. Choices come from obvious brewing state stalwarts such as Oregon, California and Colorado, but there are lagers and ales from Idaho and Michigan. Of course, the Mid-Atlantic brewers are well represented, with favorites from Virginia, Maryland and Delaware available to imbibe.
And for those that are less than inclined to drink a bunch a beer, there’s also a number of hard ciders on the list. The event though won’t only be about alcohol; there will also be live music, food and games, so everyone can keep entertained.
Snallygaster runs from 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. this weekend. Tickets are still available and come in two choices. The Rodan Pass costs $25 and comes with a beer mug and 25 food and drink tickets. The Gargantua Pass, which costs $50, gets you into the festival an hour earlier, and along with the same 25 food and drink tickets, gets purchasers a limited edition Snallygaster tee shirt.
Five dollars of each ticket will go to the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture, which works to make food supplies in the area more local and sustainable. Which also means, this weekend, you can drink delicious and daring beers while helping a great cause.
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