One of my favorite T-shirts says simply "I Like Beer."
It's a pretty simple shirt. I bought it in Milwaukee, a city with beer in its veins, from a local vendor called Brew City. It's one of those shirts that makes people smile.
"I like beer, too, buddy!" a Transportation Security Administration agent once said to me. It's not a comment you usually expect from airport security, but such are the passions beer brings to people.
Maybe that's why DC Beer Week, now in its fifth year, has people so up. It certainly comes at a good time, when Congress is out of session and during a time in the summer when drinking a cold one is about the most constructive thing to do.
The resurgence of craft and independent brewing in the United States, and in Washington, D.C., in particular, seems to be part of a larger trend toward people rediscovering the roots of what they eat and drink and why. The results are a real pleasure to take part in.
Consider the many "tap takeover" events this week at area bars, events where the establishment gives over their taps to a brewer, who then provides the thirsty with their many varieties. This is about as far from that one "Simpsons" scene at the Duff Brewery that shows one large spout feeding into separate taps for Duff, Duff Lite and Duff Dry.
A medley of craft brewers will take over RFD (810 Seventh St. NW) today, including Ommegang from Cooperstown, N.Y., and Abita Brewing Co. from Abita Springs, La. Mad Fox Brewing Co. from Falls Church, Va., takes over Smoke and Barrel (2471 18th St. NW) tonight. Bell's Brewery, the Galesburg, Mich., beer icon, takes over ChurchKey's taps (1337 14th St. NW) on Thursday. The list goes on.
It's easy to get a little lost in all the DC Beer Week events. Some of the ones that really caught my eye, though, include ChurchKey's hosting of a Quebecois craft beer sampling on Wednesday, DC Brau's Crab Fest at the Quarterdeck in Arlington, Va., (1200 Fort Myer Drive) on Wednesday, the NOMA Beer Fest on Saturday (First and N streets Northeast) and Sunday's preview of the forthcoming Bluejacket brewery, which will be opening soon along the Capital Riverfront area (300 Tingey St. SE).
A complete list of events is available on the DC Beer Week site.