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Posted at 7:00 AM ET, 01/18/2010

Beer events on tap

By Fritz Hahn

This week looks promising for local beer lovers: there's a chance to try rare (and wonderful) beers from Switzerland and two events celebrating the return of local favorites Tuppers Hop Pocket Ale and Tuppers Hop Pocket Pils.

Great beer from ... Switzerland?

Over the last few years, the bartenders at Birreria Paradiso have enthusiastically recommended beers from a small brewery called Brasserie de Franches-Montagnes or BFM, nestled in Switzerland's Jura mountains. The beers are unusual to say the least -- Cuvee Alex Le Rouge is a strong, unfiltered imperial stout made with tea and pepper; the port-like L'Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien is dark and sour from being aged in old wine barrels. More than just interesting science projects, they're delicious.

Try them for yourself at Birreria Paradiso Georgetown on Monday, when BFM brewmaster Jerome Rebetez -- who trained as a winemaker -- will be in town to talk about his work. Get small samples of the beers for free, including La Muele, a blonde ale made with sage, and Tarry Suchong, an amber ale brewed with smoked tea, three vintages of L'Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien, and a fresh cask of the Alex Le Rouge. (A small taste is free; a bottle of each beer is $9 and glasses of the cask will be $7.)

Rebetez will be in the building from 6 p.m. on, and there's no formal tasting or need to make reservations -- just drop in and have a drink.

Finally, Tuppers Hop Pocket beers return

For years, my favorite local beer was Tupper's Hop Pocket Ale, a truly wonderful mix of malt and bold hops created by Bethesda beer aficionados Bob and Ellie Tupper and brewed by the Old Dominion Brewing Company.

Unfortunately, when the Fordham Brewing Company acquired Old Dominion in 2007, managers dropped a number of the brewery's special contract beers, including Tupper's Hop Pocket Ale and its sibling Tupper's Hop Pocket Pils, a sharp pilsner.

Last spring, though, the Tuppers announced on their Web site ( that they'd reached an agreement with the St. George Brewing Company in Hampton, Va., to begin producing both Tuppers beers. The beers arrive in Washington bars this week with a series of special events that benefit local charities.

On Tuesday, the Tuppers will be at Hard Times Cafe in Bethesda pouring their beers, handing out souvenir pint glasses and giving away door prizes from 5 to 8. Hard Times is donating 25 percent of the night's take to Samaritan Ministry, a nonprofit organization that helps the area's homeless get back on their feet. (The Tuppers have long donated half of the proceeds from their beers to various local charities.)

Wednesday, the Tuppers will be at the Brickskeller, where Bob has long been the host of the bar's beer tastings. Between 7 and 9, they'll pour the beers and hand out free pint glasses (while they last). A portion of the evening's sales are earmarked for Children's Hospital.

-- Fritz Hahn

By Fritz Hahn  | January 18, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs, Events  
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