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Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 08/23/2006

More Brews at the Zoo

By Fritz Hahn

The Friends of the National Zoo's annual Brew at the Zoo takes place on Thursday and if you don't have a ticket for the celebration of local restaurants and beers, you may want to stop dithering -- FONZ says just over 100 tickets remain out of an original 2,000.

There's been some grumbling because tickets for non-FONZ members have almost doubled in price, from $35 to $60, even though last year's event had a few stumbles -- most restaurants ran out of food before the event's midway point, some brewers didn't bring enough beer and those that were well-stocked had long lines at their stands.

FONZ's Rob Madill says that the price hike is because the event is "doubling in size" this year, expanding from the grassy area on Lion and Tiger Hill up Olmstead Walk to accommodate the 29 participating breweries and 16 restaurants. He's aware of last year's problems and says FONZ "recruited more restaurants and are doing what we can to make sure that doesn't happen again."

Still, I have to wonder whether last year's sellout crowds had anything to do with the large price increase, since many tickets showed up on Craigslist at double the price, meaning scalpers were making as much as the Zoo's selected charity. (This time around, the money's going to Elephant Trails: A Campaign to Save Asian Elephants.) If people are willing to pay more than $50 for a ticket, why not let the money go straight to the Zoo?

The tickets allow unlimited food from restaurants like Bar Pilar, Lebanese Taverna, Tryst, Open City, the Diner, Chipotle, La Tasca and the Zoo Bar Cafe, as well as open taps from the beer stands. Skip the ubiquitous Anchor, Pilsner Urquell and Sierra Nevada and make your way to Flying Dog, North Coast Brewing, Clipper City, Rogue, Victory, Abita and Hook and Ladder, the newest guys on the local block. Local brewpubs Gordon Biersch, Capitol City and Sweetwater Tavern will also be dispensing samples.

-- Fritz

By Fritz Hahn  | August 23, 2006; 10:40 AM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
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The Zoo website now shows it as sold out. Off to Craigslist (or not).

Posted by: Columbia, Md. | August 23, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

zoos are so depressing. not sure why people would be buying scalped tickets. that's silly.

Posted by: mc | August 23, 2006 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Me and my husband went last year and had a great time, even with the lines. Beautiful night, good cause, and all the beer you could drink (until they ran out of course)

Posted by: Colleen | August 23, 2006 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I went last year and had a great time, but as soon as I saw how expensive the tickets were this year, I scratched my plans to return. The event was a lot of fun and a bargain for the $30 price last year, but it's not worth $50, even if the money's going to a good cause.

Posted by: DCenthusiast | August 24, 2006 3:24 PM | Report abuse

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