Snallygaster in D.C.
If you search for “Snallygaster” in Google Images, you’ll get numerous pictures of a creature that’s dragon-like, bird-like and serpent-like. It’s all wings and claws, things mysterious, creepy and intriguing.
Snallygaster supposedly roamed the Blue Ridge Mountains, the picturesque range that extends from Georgia to Pennsylvania, terrorizing settlers centuries ago.
This October, though, Snallygaster will have a more amicable mission: fundraising through beer.
In its second official year, Snallygaster will be held Oct. 19 at Washington D.C.’s popular Union Market, a large warehouse that hosts craftsman and artisans near Gallaudet University. Funds from the daylong event will benefit a nearby food nonprofit organization, Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture.
Snallygaster is expected to tap 200 different beer brews, many of which will be seasonal offerings, like pumpkin ales and classic German styles. There will be brews from small Virginia producers, historic recreations and more rarities, like Grodziskie and Gose styles. The most recent list highlights a barrel-aged imperial pumpkin ale from Blue Mountain Brewery called Spooky and a Rauchbier from Krau Hirschen-Trunk via a rubber-clad gravity keg. (There are expected to be 16 rubber-clad and then numerous wood-clad gravity kegs.)
Sponsored by the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, which operates a number of well-known restaurants in D.C. and Virginia, Snallygaster started as an Oktoberfest that outgrew its space, said Megan Bailey, the organization’s director of public relations. Bailey says Michael Babin, the owner of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, can claim the credit for the Snallygaster name.
(I was at one of the earlier iterations of Snallygaster at Rustico in Alexandria, Va., and it was a well-run, though crowded, Oktoberfest celebration.)
In 2012, when the event was held at the Yards Park, near the Nationals baseball stadium, it was the largest single fundraiser for Arcadia that year, according to Bailey.
For information on Snallygaster: http://www.snallygasterdc.com/documents/Snallygaster2013FAQ.pdf
For information on Arcadia: http://arcadiafood.org
For information on Union Market: http://unionmarketdc.com