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Where to drink beer in January

Winter beer festivals, barrel-aged beer tappings and more ways to beat the cold.

Local 44's eight anniversary specials

Courtesy of Local 44

A new year brings new beer events to put on your freshly hung calendar. Some breweries understandably slow down a touch after the holiday madness, but there are still plenty of reasons to stop hibernating and finally put on pants with a real waistband. Oh, and if you’re looking for a way to sweat while still enjoying your favorite barley-based beverage, there are running clubs for that, too.

Dec. 26-January 1: Local 44’s 8th Anniversary Week You’ve got just one day in January to toast Philadelphia beer bar Local 44 on its eighth birthday; the bar celebrates with special rotating local drafts, an extra early start to happy hour and menu specials plus brunch served noon-10 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 1. Special tappings include 2SP/Industrial Arts Citrus Rhine’d, 2SP/Oxbow Biere de Noel, Neshaminy Creek Disco Raisins, Bullfrog Grrrz, Pizza Boy Don’t Carrot All and many more. Get more info here.

Dec. 29-onward: Pipeworks Dojo opening It’s not a taproom, really more of a bottle shop, but Chicago brewery Pipeworks’ long-anticipated Dojo opens inside the brewery Thursday offering two-ounce sample pours and, of course, the freshest possible beer to go. Mmmm, more Ninja vs. Unicorn, please. Get all the details here.

Jan. 4 onward: Smog City @ SteelCraft soft opening Smog City Brewing Co.’s satellite taproom at the SteelCraft shipping container cluster at 3768 Long Beach Boulevard in Long Beach, California, soft opens on Wednesday, Jan. 4, with limited hours until the grand opening weekend Feb. 3-5. The soft opening means a tight list of drafts and no food vendors open (yet), but if you want to take a first peek at the space, this is your chance. By Jan 14, the taproom will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. Get more details and stay tuned for a grand opening announcement here.

January 7: Iron Hill’s Burn The Bourbons Before the brewpub’s Media, Pennsylvania, location closes temporarily for a remodel, it has to get rid of some barrel-aged beers to make room. In a boon to chilly fans of big beer, the Saturday, Jan. 7 event will tap Bourbon Russian Imperial Stout, Bruce Camp Ale, Bourbon Overload Stout, Bourbon Winter Warmer and Bourbon Baltic Porter beginning at 1 p.m. See more info here.

January 13: Burial Beer Co.’s Saisons and Seafood Asheville-based Burial Beer Co. teams up with stellar Seattle brewery Holy Mountain for a Friday, Jan. 13 lunch featuring a saison tap takeover and seafood-centric dishes from Burial’s Salt & Smoke kitchen. Tap list and menu are still TBD, so check here for updates.

January 13-14: 6th Annual Brew Ha Ha More 140 Michigan beers, ciders and meads from 40 breweries combine with two comedy shows per night at this annual event at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Michigan. General admission tickets are $25 and include a souvenir pint glass and eight sample tickets; $49 VIP tickets are available for the Saturday show only and include early entry to the event, a Q&A with brewery speakers, six samples that aren’t offered in the general sampling event plus the eight regular sample tickets. Get more info and purchase tickets here.

January 14: Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Festival Just saying the words Maple Bacon Coffee Porter makes our mouths water. Oakland Park, Florida’s Funky Buddha brewery celebrates this cult favorite beer with a new format for the annual bash on Saturday, Jan. 14 at the brewery’s back lot. Look for live music and more than 100 beers from across Florida and beyond; new this year, buy your allotment of MBCP in advance and pick it up at the festival. Tickets range in price: $55 includes access to the festival, unlimited sampling and guaranteed access to MBCP for purchase; $115 includes admission, sampling and four bottles of MBCP; $235 includes admission, sampling, 12 bottles of MBCP and a commemorative TEKU glass. Get more info and purchase tickets here.

January 15: Rhode Island Winter Beer Blast Join approximately two dozen breweries for this second annual event, taking place Sunday, Jan. 15 at the Historic Warren Armory on Jefferson Street in Warren, Rhode Island. Two 2-hour sessions offer samples of beer from breweries including Von Trapp, Thirsty Dog, The Bucket, Revival Brewing Company, Grey Sail Brewing, Long Trail, Otter Creek and many more. Tickets are $35; get more info and find a link to purchase tickets here.

January 18: Official Arizona Wilderness D.C. Debut Venerable ChurchKey welcomes Arizona Wilderness brewery to the D.C. beer scene with a tapping on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 4 p.m.. There is no cover charge to attend and AZ Wilderness beers will be available by 4-ounce and full pours. Expect Peanut Brittle Ale, Superstition Stout, Refuge IPA, The Roosevelts imperial IPA, Recolte de Chute saison with butternut squash, Baboquivari Blonde, Biere de Wassail, Cucumber-Ginger Gose and more. Get more details here.

January 20-29: Adirondack Pub & Brewery Funky Ice Fest Grab your warmest coat (and hat, and gloves) for the second annual Funky Ice Fest (this year extended over two weekends) in Lake George, New York. On Jan. 20-22 and 27-29, Adirondack Pub & Brewery invites Adirondack Winery, Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery, Lake George Distilling Company, Champlain Orchards, and Saratoga Courage Distillery to round out the beer offerings at the festival. This year’s theme is “Interactive Ice”(!), so expect luges, interactive ice sculptures and live music (it’s BYO vinyl, so bring a favorite record). Get more details here.

January 25: Hop To It at The Field Museum with Toppling Goliath What do you get when you mix a real T. Rex with a beer named for a T. Rex? A pretty sweet beer event at Chicago’s The Field Museum. On Wednesday, Jan. 25, join Toppling Goliath owner Clark Lewey (creator of PseudoSue and King Sue) as well as the museum’s Ancient Egypt curator Jim Phillips for a glass of PseudoSue, light bites and a behind-the-scenes view of some of the museum’s artifacts. Tickets are $35 for museum members or $40 for non-members and include a glass of PseudoSue, light food, museum admission and a commemorative glass. PseudoSue four-packs will be available for purchase at the event. Get more info and tickets here. (Read more about the museum’s collaborations with breweries here.)


Kate Bernot is DRAFT’s beer editor. Reach her at kate.bernot[at]draftmag.com.

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