Craft Beer + Food Truck Festival at Kastles Stadium/SW Waterfront

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

This could be cool:

WHAT: LivingSocial is hosting its First Craft Beer & Food Truck Fest. This event will bring together 25+ craft breweries along with 10 of DC’s best food trucks. The event will feature local musical groups and artists for a weekend of celebration that is unique to Washington, DC. Interactive art installations, musical entertainment and fun activities throughout the day will transform this event into a beer festival with a day-time party vibe.

Customers will have their ID checked and be given a bracelet, as well as a sampling glass, which will give them access to the event and tastings from each of the breweries. Food trucks will be selling their delectables to customers throughout the duration of the event. The festival will feature various stage and dance areas, communal “Oktoberfest-style” tables and benches, access to bleachers, VIP tents, boardwalks along the water, as well as free walking space where the food/drink vendors will be set up.

WHERE: Kastles Stadium/SW Waterfront
800 Water Street Southwest

WHEN: Saturday, April 21 & Sunday, April 22
12 pm – 5 pm

· $35/person
· $70/person after March 24th


Great Lakes
Jack’s Cider
DC Brau
Sam Adam
New Belgium
Sierra Nevada
Dogfish Head
Magic Hat
Flying Dog
Leinenkugel/Blue Moon
Pilsner Urquell/Peroni
Crown Imports (Negra Modelo, Modelo Especial)
Pabst Blue Ribbon
Port City

Lobster Truck DC
DC Empanadas
DC Slices
Curbside Cupcakes
Rolls on Rolls
Hula Girl
Basil Thyme
Rolling Ficelle

Beer tastings are unlimited and they say US Royalty will be performing.

24 Comment

  • SouthwestDC

    I really like the setup they had here last summer when Thievery played at the stadium. Such a great vibe and it sounds like this will be pretty similar. Too bad there’s no way I could drink anywhere close to $35 in beer.

  • Woodchuck, Yeungling, Pabst Blue Ribbon are craft beers? Bwhahahahahahaha, ok then.

    • This is why DC is not a great beer city. If you put this lineup out in Portland, Denver, or Dan Diego, they’d laugh at you. Craft beets? Are you serious?

      • Sorry, I meant, “craft beers” (although craft beets might be amazing) and “San Diego”.

      • Ok, then go move to Portland, Denver or San Diego. Bye!

        • Ah, the always thought-provoking “move there” comment. While I’m sure you’re a long-residing citizen of DC (ha!), you haven’t yet taken to our local penchant for debating. Try again.

          • Only been here 3 years… I moved from Denver. DC’s beer scene is great for the east coast – at the rate we’re going, in a few years, it will be comparable to Philly.

          • I should have turned my sarcasm up. I assumed you wre a new resident, since the “move to …..” and “welcome to DC” comments are very popular among those who haven’t lived here long. I agree that DC is getting better in terms of beer (it could hardly get much worse than it was in the 90’s-mid 2000’s), but it has a long way to go if this beer festival is any indication.

        • It’s because living social hit up all the distributors for free beer, and this is what they got. All brands/distributors that feel they have to give their stuff away for people to be interested. This event is not curated, it is a rag tag of free stuff for living social to make money off of. DC is a great craft beer/food town. This just isn’t a great craft beer/food event. It’s a shame because it has the potential to be amazing if they actually procured the best food trucks and best brews that they could. Lame.

  • 35$ for tastings… and pay for food? That’s ridiculous to me.

  • This seemed pretty badass until I saw the price. Not sure I’d get my money’s worth with all the crowds, particulary if the breweries just pour their readily available stuff.

    • This is par for the course in “America’s Best Beer City”. Overpriced brews being sucked down by the suckers willing to shell out the cash. For an extra $15, you get to taste craft bourbons and make your own ultra craft mini boilermakers.

  • claire

    Sure I’d love to get unlimited free beer samples, but the problem with these things is they’re always so crowded that I don’t have the time/energy to wait in all the long long lines (inevitably longest at the breweries I’m most interested in). $35 doesn’t strike me as a horrible price though.

  • Doesn’t sound like it’s worth it, but since it’s a Livingsocal event, you can bet that someone is going to lose money on it.

  • is it just me or is anyone else wondering about the 2,843 people that have already got tickets and the mere FIVE hours they will have there? It sounded cool at first but I think LivingSocial has a bit of a history of over committing themselves, e.g. Taste of DC last year…

    • Sure the business model is a commodity, but Taste of DC was actually put on by Chicago-based Groupon and not Living Social.

      PS +1 Anonymous “since it’s a Livingsocal event, you can bet that someone is going to lose money on it.”

  • i love waiting in lines! 3000 or so people + 25 booths= WIN!

  • For you folks bashing the non-craft breweries attending, you need to remember how beer is sold; distributors. The festival has to get their beers from distributors, the distributors make a large portion of their income from Bud/Miller/Coors/etc., they’re obligated to “represent their brands” evenly – meaning that can’t give them 100% craft beers or they’ll get in trouble with their big money makers. Sure it sucks, but that’s our archaic three-tier system for you.

    $35 is cheap for a beer festival – look at every other festival that is comparable in size – Phily and AC were over $50.

    • The words Craft Beer are in the title. It’s the name of the event so yes, people have legitimate pause about attending a “Craft Beer” event where it looks like a large portion of the beer is decidedly “not craft”.

      It would be like “Jumbo Slice” only selling hot dogs.

      This is nothing more than an attempt to capitalize on the “craft beer” moniker craze to sell tickets.

      $35 bucks, considering the realtive dearth of tents and past experience many here have with events like this is a borderline high price. The $70 dollar door price is ludicrous and I would be shocked if any more than 5 people decide to pay it.

      But hey, they’ve sold ~3600 tickets so to LivingSocial it is already a success. But don’t say I didn’t say “I told you so” when the large number of infuriated people hit the blogs after the event.

      • 4 of 25 breweries are not craft breweries – so 16% of the beers are macro – do you think that’s a “large portion” joker? Think about how many people will be drinking Blue Moon and PBR – tons, so that will cut down on the other lines a little bit.

        $35 is one of the cheapest unlimited-pour festivals I’ve seen in the past 6 years around the country.

        $70 door price is irrelevant, it’s already sold out. They probably just did it to create urgency, like pretty much any other business does, “buy now before the sale ends, yadda yadda yadda”.

        • DC Brewer, There are 24 names on that beer list.

          Crown Imports
          Blue Moon

          The above 6 are clearly not craft beers meaning a solid 25% of the beers there are as far from “craft beer” as it gets, not 16%.

          And folks can make legitimate arguments about a couple more on that list not deserving to be (Sam Adams, really?).

          Don’t get so defensive. A few thousand tickets have already been sold so the event is clearly going to be well attended. It will also be severely panned afterward.

          But it is beyond ludicrous to call something a craft beer event when a solid 25% of all the beers there are clearly not craft beers.

          • Woodchuck is cider, it’s a craft beverage, and any craft beer enthusiast would be happy to include them in a festival. I didn’t count Peroni, that was my oversight. Yuengling is kind of in the middle ground; they’re family owned and operated, started as a craft brewery, but have since grown to be a large regional brewery.

            Sam Adams is very, very craft – they were an original in the scene, they’ve earned their massive growth over the years. Check the Brewers Association for their membership.

            The reason I’m defensive is because the craft beer scene in DC is growing fast – if this event goes well, there will be another next year. Then more after that from other organizations. Every bit helps to put DC on the map as a beer city. It’s just a shame people in this city are so pessimistic and prone to whine as soon as they see something not precisely to their particular liking.

          • DC Brewer, you make a good point. We should be supporting the local (and I can’t stress that word enough) craft beer scene in DC. It is getting better, but I’m not convinced that events like this one really move the local brewing scene forward. There’s only 1 DC brewery listed. I’d rather see a format more like the MD brewers do in Frederick & in the Baltimore area, where MD breweries get together and have a festival supporting local beers. Those festivals have great beers and they’re much cheaper than this one.

          • I totally agree that I’d love to see an all-local festival – that will happen in time, but the very local breweries don’t have the resources to launch a huge event like this. Beer has small margins and new breweries need to focus on brewing quality beer and distribution. Flying Dog and Heavy Seas do the most events, but they are also the largest. Most festivals like this require the breweries to donate 5 or 6 kegs, which for a tiny brewery like Chocolate City, is a substantial amount of product.

            I’m bet it was really expensive to rent the stadium, hire security, rent the tents and tables, and pay the staff to man such a huge event. Sam Adams and Harpoon do big festivals like this because they can handle that cost. I’m sure our dream of an all-local festival will happen in a few years once the local breweries get large enough and the area proves there’s a demand (which I think they are).

            As for moving the scene forward, I don’t think this is a homerun, but every event builds on the next event – so having a festival like this will hopefully lead to LivingSocial or some other group putting on a bigger and better festival in the coming years.

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