Ask anyone who has ever organized an event: it’s easy to put together the “first annual” version of something.  The challenge comes with the encore presentation…what do you do to prevent your great idea from going down as a one-hit wonder?  To answer that challenge, the organizers behind DC Beer Week have taken a page from Zoolander’s “old school” walk-off rules: Duplicate and Elaborate.

This year, DC Beer Week will take place over the course of 8 days.  It will include more than 30 bars and restaurants highlighting beers from roughly 20 breweries.  And it will even feature a Craft Beer Cruise on the Potomac.  Not too shabby for their sophomore outing.

So what do you need to know to take advantage of so much suds-centric activity across all four quadrants of the city?  Thankfully, the organizers and their partners have put together some great resources to keep track of the who, what and where of each day’s events.

Getting the Party Started:

DC Beer Week kicks off tonight at the Rock n’ Roll Hotel on H Street, NE, with a very special episode of DC Nerd Nite.  Check out Greg Engert, Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s resident beer guru, and other experts as they geek out on topics that address the history, artistry and science of beer starting at 6:30, then stick around for a “rock & barley” show that celebrates the close relationship between beer and music.  Tickets are $10 for one show or $16 for both.

Sticking to the Schedule:

Washington City Paper, which has partnered with DC Beer Week to promote (and in some cases sponsor) the festivities, is here to help.  Or at least The Lagerheads are.  They’ve got every announced Beer Week event on their regularly updated DC Beer Events Google Calendar, and it’s an impressive sight to see.  How often do you have your pick of 5, 9, even 13 beer-themed events in one night?  During Beer Week, it’s a nightly occurrence.  The calendar includes details, location, time and price for each event…everything you need to take full advantage.

Up-to-the-Minute Updates:

The @dcbeerweek Twitter feed is another new addition to the Beer Week toolkit, and it promises regular updates as well as some special offers for followers.

Fritz’s Best Bets:

Fritz Hahn, one of the Post’s Going Out Gurus, knows a thing or two about bars and events in the District.  He gives great advice with his fellow GOGs every Thursday on everything from where to find that perfect indie band to where NOT to have your bachelorette party.  In honor of Beer Week, he’s put together a list of the festivities he’s most excited about.  With 17 events on the list, it’s going to be a busy week for Fritz.  Check out his list and see if there are a few that speak to you, too.  Don’t forget – some of these events require advance ticket purchases or reservations, so act quickly if you see one you’re especially eager to check out.

Know of any other useful resources to help map out your Beer Week strategy?  Let us know in the comments section.  We’re looking around for a Beer Week map…if we can’t find one, we’ll likely make one this afternoon and add it to this post.

beer week<<UPDATE 3: 8/9/09 8:00 AM – Just checked out the Facebook group again and saw that there are two more events listed – a tasting at the Black Squirrel hosted by DC Beer and a DC Beer Week Happy Hour at RFD.  I’ve updated the list below and the map accordingly.>>

<<UPDATE 2: 8/6/09 4:15 PM – New details on the Beer Week special pricing for the 8/21 Nats-Brewers game: 
Mezzanine seats for only $23 (regularly $30) and LF/RF Reserved for only $16 (regularly $24).
Call Mike Benko at 202-640-7648 and mention “Beer Week” to purchase your discounted tickets.>>

<<UPDATE: 8/6/09 1:15 PM – Just got back from Teddy Folkman’s first lunch service at Capitol Lounge, and I had a chance to chat with him about Beer Week.  To register for any of the ticketed or reserved events – like the beer dinners – contact the respective restaurants directly.  He also encouraged me to direct people to the DC Beer Week Facebook group, which they are regularly updating with events as they get them locked in.  I’ve updated our map and our list below so they are current through right now.>>

You missed out on Savor and the unofficial Beer Week events that surrounded it back in May.  You passed on the opportunity to taste your way along the “Virginia Ale Trail” with the folks at the Brickskeller last month.  By now you’re probably thinking that you’ll have to wait until 2010 to get all hopped up on hops…or else you’ve just continued drinking beer at your favorite bars around town (why can’t every week be Beer Week?).

Fear not!  The organizers of DC Beer Week ’09 are here to help.  Beer Guy Jeff Wells (aka “Hoppy”) and chef Teddy Folkman have collaborated to bring us five days of events at restaurants and bars all across town from Sunday, August 16th through Friday, August 21st.  Ranging from the truly beer-focused (like dinners featuring pairing specials) to the merely beer-friendly (like the Friday evening Nationals-Brewers game) this is another great opportunity for Washingtonians to celebrate suds.

If you’re like us, you find it helpful to see all your options for the week in one convenient place.  While other folks like Orr Stuhl at the City Paper and Tom Cizauskas at Yours for Good Fermentables have published the events in list form, we have yet to see a map that will help you plan out your Beer Crawl.

After the jump, we’ve got the current list of Beer Week events to go with this map.

Click on the image to go to our Google map that locates all of the participants in DC Beer Week 2009 with event details.

Click on the image to go to our Google map that locates all of the participants in DC Beer Week 2009 with event details.

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