Brooklyn Brewery brings its multimedia, multi-food-and-beverage MASH act to Washington this week, part of a national tour of 11 cities that not just shares its own sudsy vibe, but also showcases the New York borough’s incredible transformation.
It wasn’t too long ago that Brooklyn was viewed through the lens of its tragedies (the Dodgers decamping for Los Angeles), its parochialism (personified by pop culture expressions like “Welcome Back, Kotter” and any Woody Allen movie that references the filmmaker’s youth) and the fact that it wasn’t Manhattan.
Somewhere along the line it became “Division II Manhattan” (a line from Brooklyn-bred filmmaker Noah Baumbach’s movie “Kicking and Screaming”) and kept morphing into the cultural powerhouse it is now, with its own record labels, iconic restaurants, heck, even its own basketball team, with the Nets abandoning New Jersey for Flatbush.
With MASH, the Brooklyn Brewery folks are showing the world how much things have changed, and proceeds from each event’s ticket sales go to each city’s Slow Food chapters. Why “MASH”? It’s not for love of the Robert Altman film and classic television series. The beermeisters helpfully define it as:
n. 1: The first step in the brewing process; mixing malted barley with water, then heating to extract its sugars
n. 2: An adventurous mix of the best cultural happenings from our neighborhood and yours; dinner parties, concerts, comedy, readings and humanity’s favorite beverage.
So Sept. 17-22, expect a lot of beer, a lot of food, music, movies, books and anything else that appeals to the urban bohemian set.
MASH HQ will be at Churchkey (1337 14th St. NW), the craft beer mecca in Logan Circle, all week, with Brooklyn’s minions working with the house staff on beer-food combos and specials. They start things off Sept. 17 with a “Tap Attack,” featuring an all-Brooklyn Brewery happy hour.
“Chaos Cooking” looks kind of fun. Someone opens his or her abode for dinner, except the guests do all the cooking. This is slated for Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. For details, go to chaoscooking.com. Brooklyn Brewery House Chef Andrew Gerson headlines other events around town, including one with Shannan Troncoso of Matchbox on Sept. 18 and a Slow Food event on Sept. 20.
On Sept. 21, Glen’s Garden Market (2001 S St. NW) hosts “Books & Beer: The American Way of Eating” with Tracie McMillan, a discussion about the country’s food system.
Another tempting event is the Sept. 21 “Found vs. Found”: the Found Footage Festival vs. Found Magazine throwdown at the Warehouse Theater at 645 New York Ave. NW. Think you’ve seen some weird training videos or accidental poems? Show up to this one. The world is strange.
There’s a ton more to do throughout the week. For all the gory details, go to brooklynbrewerymash.com for dates, times and ticket prices.
Roll Call After Dark is about what Washington does when it's not at work.
The District of Columbia is a cultural capital where you can you get your kicks from movies projected on the National Mall, lectures on vermouth or Russian avant-garde art. There's always something to do.
Jason Dick is the Hill Life editor for Roll Call and has also worked at Greenwire, CongressDaily and National Journal Daily during his time in Washington. @jasonjdick