One of our favorite craft beer festivals returns to the nation’s capital this Saturday, October 12. And if you’ve never attended this audacious beerganza you’ve been making a beastly mistake.
Named after a mythical dragon-like beast, rumored to have inhabited the mid-Atlantic’s backwoods around the turn of the century, Snallygaster is a monster of a festival and one of the region’s most anticipated events.
You see unlike so many craft beer festivals that offer a predictable roster of standards, (along with an occasional seasonal thrown in), Snallygaster does just the opposite.
Snallygaster is all about showcasing the unique and less common… beers not normally offered at even the more upscale beer festivals.
Now in its eighth year, Snallygaster is presented by The Neighborhood Restaurant Group (NRG) an award winning collection of independent and idiosyncratic businesses devoted to the culinary arts in Washington DC, that under the tutelage of beer director and partner Greg Engert has become a force in the craft beer biz.
As always Engert is overseeing the breweries attending…some of brightest and most interesting brewers in the biz.
And just as with the industry, Snallygaster has been evolving. When it debuted near Nationals Ball Park back in 2012, it was big, but not nearly the all-encompassing presentation it is today.
In 2018 the festival moved from that Navy Yards location to Pennsylvania Avenue, where it continued to add new breweries, food options, bands, and other activities.
The festival has also moved away from its original ‘snallybucks’ concept, where entrance to the event came with a certain amount of beer tickets, to the unlimited pour concept.
“A lot of the festivals we love like Shelton Brothers’ and the Firestone Walker Invitational have moved to this model,” Engert explained to DC Beer.
The $50 Kraken Pass allows for unlimited pours of beer and wine from 2-6pm. The Basilisk Pass costs twice as much, but it comes with a noon entry and extra two hours of unlimited drinking.
For this year’s beerganza, Greg has assembled 150+ cutting-edge breweries and more than 400 beers from all around the world – including all kinds of limited releases, fall seasonals, barrel-aged exotics.
And Snallygaster isn’t just good drinking…It’s drinking for good.
Snallygaster serves as the largest annual fundraiser for Arcadiafood.org, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a more equitable and sustainable local food system throughout the MD/DC/VA region..