Where to Get in the Holiday Spirit for Christmas in July
It’s one of the best holidays of the year, so why wouldn’t you want two Christmas celebrations? The concept of Christmas in July originated in countries like Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, who wanted to emulate the wintry white Christmas traditions of Northern Hemisphere countries. Since their winter is our summer, the best time for a frosty Christmas Down Under is in July.
The tradition caught on and the first Christmas in July in DC was celebrated in 1942 at the Calvary Baptist Church with a special sermon, carols, and a fully-decorated tree. Now it’s a popular summer event across the country. And what better way to cool off in the muggy summer than pretending to be in a winter wonderland?
Here’s our picks for where to channel the Christmas spirit this month in DC:
Christmas in July in Old Town Alexandria
This annual summer festival on July 26 is the area’s biggest celebration; all day events feature face-painting, photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and lots of fun activities for kids. But don’t worry, adults: the event is co-hosted by Union Street Public House, which will be offering drink specials all day. (121 S. Union St, Alexandria, VA; 703-548-1785)
One of the best parts of Christmas is when breweries release their seasonal brews for a limited run. For the month of July, Black Squirrel will be tapping some of your favorites, like the highly coveted Great Lakes Christmas Ale brewed with ginger and spices (7.5% ABV), the sweet and strong Troegs Mad Elf Ale brewed with honey and cherry (11% ABV), and Hoppin’ Frog Frosted Frog Christmas Ale (8.6% ABV). And of course, in a nod to multiculturalism, they’ll be tapping He’Brew Monumental Jewbelation 10 Double Nut Brown Ale (10% ABV) as well. (2427 18th Street NW; 202-232-1011)
Snow Day Christmas in July Bar Crawl
For the most bang for your holiday buck, sign up for this epic Dupont bar crawl on July 26. One ticket gets you a Snow Day mug and specials at each bar, like $2 beers, $3 liquor drinks, and $4 candy cane shots. Participating bars include BlackFinn, Front Page, Irish Whiskey, Mad Hatter, Mighty Pint, Recessions, Rumors and Sign of the Whale.
This Columbia Heights beer haven will be tapping Great Lakes Christmas Ale all month. Usually only available for two months of the year, this spicy brew (7.5% ABV) has a following of devoted drinkers who prepare for its release each winter. You can also order Jolly Pumpkin Noel De Calabaza (9% ABV), a Belgian ale brewed with figs, raisins, sugar plums and cashews off their regular bottle list. (3400 11th St. NW; 202-588-1075)
DC Brau Holiday Beer at Whole Foods
In case you missed it last fall, DC Brau will be tapping their collaboration holiday beer Exaltation at the P St. Whole Foods on July 24 at 5 PM. This is the only place you’ll be able to try this Belgian-style Christmas ale, brewed with cocoa nibs, cherries, whole cinnamon sticks, gingerbread, ginger and black rye until the next holiday season, so don’t miss it! (1440 P Street NW; 202-332-4300)
Christmas booze year-round:
G by Mike Isabella
Rumor has it that DC restaurateur Mike Isabella’s favorite cocktail is the holiday favorite, spiced Egg Nog. His artisan sandwich shop G always has the creamy and spicy drink, made with brandy, spiced rum, milk, nutmeg, and cinnamon, on the menu. (2201 14th St, NW; 202-234-5015)
Big Hunt and City Tap House
Both bars have DC brewery 3 Stars delicious holiday beer on the menu year-round: Wine Barrel Aged Winter Madness is sweet, dark and spicy, and will have you dreaming of chestnuts roasting over an open fire. (1345 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-785-2333 and 901 9th Street NW; 202-644-9433)
Always one of DC’s best options for beer fans, Churchkey offers two Christmas Ales on their regular menu: the Kerstmutske Christmas Nightcap, which has notes of vanilla, anise and molasses (7.4% ABV) and the Zinnebir Christmas, a ruby brown ale with flavors of toffee, plums and dark bread (7% ABV). (1337 14th Street NW; 202-567-2576)
Photo via Flickr
Tags: Beer, Cocktails, Food, Holiday