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WhiskyFest D.C. (Image: Peter Wagner)

9 can't miss festivals for whisky, wine & beer lovers

Being surrounded by wine country, Washingtonians love their wine. But that’s not all. Breweries are popping up all over the DMV. Yes, we love our beer too. And not to be left out, whiskey is on our radar as well. Besides visiting wineries, breweries, and traveling across the pond, this March and April there a slew of fun events in the DMV where you can taste it all.

The Alexandria Sister Cities Scottish Social and Whisky Tasting

  • March 9, Lloyd House, Alexandria

The place to taste some high quality Scottish whiskies, Virginia wines, and enjoy a delicious buffet dinner is the 5th annual Alexandria Sister Cities Scottish Social and Whisky Tasting. Your ticket includes a 45-minute expert-led tasting of curated Highland and Island Whiskies, where you’ll be able to ask questions and get answers from a Scotch whisky expert. In addition, there is a buffet dinner with elegant wines from Barrel Oak Winery, entertainment, and a fun party in the beautiful historic Lloyd House. Come in a kilt and your tartans. Proceeds from the fundraiser aid the Sister Cities Committee Mission to support educational and cultural exchanges between Alexandria, Va., Dundee, Scotland, and Helsingborg, Sweden.

The Shamrock Crawl

  • March 10, Clarendon Grill, Arlington

Get ready to celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a festive bar crawl! The Shamrock Crawl is the event to let your Irish shine through. Join fellow beer lovers at some of Arlington’s most popular bars. Each bar will feature Shamrock shenanigans and Shamrock beverage deals, plus you will get a refillable signature Shamrock mug, party favors, a raffle entry for great prizes, and free pictures of the event.

Murphy Goode Wine Tasting Event

  • March 15, Stanton and Greene, Washington, D.C.

This event is an interactive wine tasting featuring the wines of Murphy- Goode and is hosted by some of the most knowledgeable wine professionals in the industry. There will be appetizers as well take-home gifts. Wondering about Murphy-Goode wines? Back in 1985, around a friendly game of Liar’s Dice, three friends decided to make their love of fine wines official. Over 30 vintages later, the winery is still putting that same passion that their founders had into making the wine. Their roots are in the Sonoma County agricultural community.

Cherry Blossom Wine & Beer Festival

  • April 7 - 8, Audi Field -- the new home to DC United

It’s time to celebrate the arrival of spring and D.C.’s favorite cherry blossoms. This two-day festival offers tastings of 100+ wines, craft beers, and ciders, unlimited full-pour beverages including beer, cider, and sangria, access to D.C. area food trucks, social games, and live entertainment all day. Plus you’ll get four bottles of your favorite spring wines to take home (a $60 value).

Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ Festival

  • April 6 - 7, Maryland State Fairgrounds

At the Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ Festival your ticket gets you a souvenir glass for unlimited tastings of the 40 bourbons and 60 beers, plus BBQ galore. There is a game area with activities for everyone, a tasting theater with brew masters, and live music on the Main Stage.

DC Wine Fest Spring

  • April 14, Long View Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Sample premium varieties from some of the best wineries, taste some great food, and take in some art, all while music performers keep the party lively during this all-day, all-night wine experience. Here are just a few of the wineries that will be at the festival – Old Town Cellars, Onehope, Shoe Crazy Wine, District Winery, and Sweetzer Cellars. Food is by Hollodays and entertainment includes singer songwriter Katie Hargrove, Darcy Dawn & Company, and Olivia Castriota.

WhiskyFest Washington, DC

  • April 17, Marriott Marquis, Washington, D.C.

WhiskyFest is the longest running whisky festival in the country and is held in Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C. It offers you the opportunity to taste from a selection of more than 350 whiskies from around the world; many of them rare and exclusive. Meet the whisky makers at their booths to learn first-hand how their whiskies are made. Of course take some time to enjoy the never-ending gourmet buffet.

WineFest at St. Michaels

  • April 28 - 29, St. Michaels

WineFest at St. Michaels is a unique "streetscape" wine festival. Unlike other wine festivals, WineFest isn't only in one location. Instead, WineFest at St. Michaels is held throughout the entire town of St. Michaels with dedicated "Pouring Venues" all around town. These venues will feature more than 300 wines some from across the globe and others from down the street. And if you want you can purchase the wines at discounted WineFest prices. There will also be delicious gourmet foods and artisan crafts. Stroll the streets or ride one of the WineFest shuttle buses around town.

National Wine and Food and Festival at National Harbor

  • April 28-29, National Harbor, Maryland

What could be better than a festival set on the banks of the Potomac River and surrounded by the National Harbor hotels, restaurants, and shops? Now in its 10th year, this festival is more than just a tasting, the festival brings together award-winning celebrity chefs, artisanal craftsmen, culinary pioneers, live music, as well as wine and spirits from around the world. Besides tasting international wines, spirits, and beers, there will be local and regional favorites and an all-you-care-to-taste affair. In addition there will be chef demonstrations including Scott Drewno, Victor Albisu, Rock Harper, Amy Brandwein and more.