[Ed. note: This piece has been updated as of April 1 with The Roosevelt's involvement and a rough menu for the event, and no, this isn't an April Fools' joke.]
Is it wrong to slurp oysters directly off of mignonette popsicles? If so, we don't want to be right. This warmer weather has us dreaming of flavorful mini ice luges, perfect for ingesting a boat-load of brine, albeit messily; but how else does one eat oysters, really? Thanks to Ardent Craft Ales (and King of Pops), there’s a chance our oyster-and-popsicle dreams could come true on April 10.
Ardent, the little brewery that could, is holding its first outdoor festival at the brewery from 4 to 8 p.m. in Scott's Addition, and appropriately named the soirée Swine & Brine. The event will feature 12 different beers from Ardent, as well as fare from Rappahannock River Oysters, King of Pops, Metzger Bar & Butchery, Saison, The Roosevelt and ZZQ. Expect whole hogs and a whole mess of other extremely appealing food stuffs, though vegetarians, pescetarians, or those with dietary restrictions are welcome, too; this festival has covered the bases with a vegetable plate and myriad other options. Your $18 ticket includes entry and two food items or two beers, plus an event t-shirt. Additional tickets for food and drink will be $5.
To get your mouths watering in anticipation, here's the full list of beer on tap:
- IPA Batch #11 (release day) - made with Simcoe hops
- "Touchstone" Wheat Pale Ale - a Triple Crossing Collaboration
- IPA Batch #9
- IPA Batch #10
- Sweet Potato & Sage Autumn Ale
- Robust Porter
- Dark Rye
- Berliner Braunbier
- Belgian Brown
And a few casks, for good measure:
- Robust Porter with Fig
- IPA 11 - dry-hopped with Equinox hops
- PLUS: two additional surprise casks, TBA
And because you're probably all wondering about the food, we now have a rough menu:
Pork Dishes - All $5 or One Ticket:
- The Roosevelt / Mike Braune: Cheerwine BBQ Ribs with Collard & Mustard Green Slaw
- Metzger Bar & Butchery / Brittanny Anderson: Whole Beer-Brined & Smoked Kassler Bone-in Loins (chopped to order) with Sauerkraut Slaw
- Saison / Adam Hall: Whole Hog! Pulled Pork Tacos with Salsa Verde & Cilantro
- ZZQ / Alex Graf and Chris Fultz: Oak- and Hickory-Smoked Pulled Duroc Pork Sandwiches with Buttermilk Potato Salad
Seafood from Rappahannock and Merroir:
- Merroir Crabcakes - $10 or 2 tickets
- Stuffn’ Muffn’ (Chef Pete Woods' famous Thanksgiving oyster stuffing with a bacon-scallion cream gravy) - $5 or one ticket
- Steamed or Raw Rappahannock River Oysters - four for $5 or one ticket
The festival also marks the occasion for Ardent's new spring lager release. Kevin O'Leary, Ardent’s co-founder and head brewer, will be around to expound on his brewing process and discuss the special casks they'll be pouring throughout the day.
The event is expected to draw roughly 800 people, but we advise getting there on the early side (that ZZQ can go fast, after all). Tickets are available here.