Jerry Bailey began homebrewing with friends in 1989, hopeful that the craft would bring fulfillment that his 9-to-5 failed to provide. Fulfillment it brought, along with numerous batches of tasty brew. Bailey couldn’t keep his inventions to himself; he quickly decided to open his own brewhouse as well as distribute his goods to other local establishments.
Today, Bailey proudly stands at the helm of both Old Dominion Brewhouse and Old Dominion Brewing Company. In the pub, chefs add variety to liquid meals with food such as burgers, crab cakes, and thin-crust pizzas while 30 flat-screen televisions keep patrons entertained with sports. The chefs also exhibit flair for Asian cuisine, slicing and rolling sushi and offering create-your-own mongolian stir-fries. At the bar, eight handles remain perpetually reserved for Old Dominion's craft beers, such as the award-winning Baltic porter and the Oak Barrel stout, which is loaded with flavors of vanilla and the color brown.
An evening at Tokyo Japanese Steak House generally includes dinner and a show, but it’s not live music or dancing, and each group of diners gets their own performance. Guests sit down at U-shaped tables built around grills, where chefs theatrically slice, toss, and sizzle teppanyaki dishes. Guests can choose a single protein or a combination—including filet mignon and shrimp—which are seared amid plumes of steam and fire before their very eyes. More mellow meals take place at the sushi and noodle bar, where patrons look on as chefs meticulously build smoked salmon nigiri and Japanese lasagna, a baked California roll with secret sauce. The dishes pair perfectly with their slew of Asian-inspired drinks. In addition to pouring sake and Sapporo, the bartenders mix specialty cocktails, such as the Tokyo sunrise with tequila, plum wine, and pineapple juice.
Grape and Grain tours bestow imbibers with a whirlwind six hours to sip and savor a kaleidoscope of diverse beverages. A chauffeur from Prime Transportation begins the day by whisking patrons to a brewery, distillery, and winery, each of which grants samples of their unique brews and vintages while instilling educational tidbits about their creation. At the Mediterranean-style Potomac Point Winery, patrons explore the wine cave and tour the cellar, dining on a bistro lunch and stopping at the olive oil bar to tend jaws creaky from chewing. At Blue and Gray Brewing Company, samples of seasonal beers emerge straight from the tanks to wash down a complimentary dessert, and the tour of family-owned A. Smith Bowman Distillery—a Fredericksburg mainstay since 1934—imparts tricks of the brewing trade that toe the line between tradition and innovation. Discounts on return visits and gift-shop merchandise urge tours to return, and patrons depart with souvenir glasses from each venue that will always remind them not to drink out of the brewer's tank.
Project DC Events organizes jubilant bar crawls, such as The DC Santa Crawl, Bright and Pint, Pink and Drink, Cupid's Bar Crawl, The Shamrock Crawl, All American Bar Crawl, and Clarendon Halloween Crawl, which allow visitors to enjoy drink specials at a wide range of Dupont Circle drinking spots. In addition to discounts on drinks, events often include complimentary party favors, pictures, and prizes.
Beyond the striped awning of Fern Street Gourmet lays a deli case, shelves of bottles, and a host of cardboard boxes and wooden crates. The culinary connoisseurs behind the counter want you to know where their goods come from, from fine Spanish wines at budget prices or hard-to-find European candies. Shoppers can browse hundreds of cheeses, meats, beers, and party snacks on their own or turn to staff, who can assemble towering custom gift baskets and point them toward the perfect hostess gift to say "Welcome to your new home" or "Sorry I ate that entire cheese platter last time."
There are drinking events, and there are music events. But for ticket-holders to On Tap Magazine's Can Jam Beer & Music Festival, there's no need to choose between the two. Festgoers can sip canned suds from breweries such as Flying Dog, Oskar Blues, Starr Hill, and Yuengling, as they boogie to the Latin-infused rock of Lloyd Dobler Effect, sway to reggae sounds, or channel their inner Grateful Dead as they jam to the sounds of Justin Trawick Group. There will also be games to play and food trucks to sample from the likes of Sol Mexican Grill, Willie's Po' Boy, and Top Dog. A portion of the event's proceeds benefits Southeast Tennis & Learning Center.