Taste of Arlington Adds Craft Beers to the Menu

by ARLnow.com April 6, 2011 at 11:52 am 2,849 30 Comments

Arlington’s largest food festival is adding a selection of craft beers to its menu.

Taste of Arlington features dozens of local restaurants and draws a crowd of thousands to the stretch of Wilson Boulevard in front of Ballston Common Mall. In years past the beer selection at the event has been limited, but organizers say they’re now “trying to make the drink selection as diverse as the food selection.”

A craft beer distributor will be bringing ten different brews to the festival, including varieties of Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, Newcastle, Ommegang, Saranac, Franziskaner, Breckenridge, Gordon Biersch, Shiner and Magic Hat. As before, wine will also be available.

Now in its 24th year, Taste of Arlington will be held from noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 22. Admission is free but tickets are required to sample the food and drinks. Tickets are currently for sale online for $20. Tickets sold on the day of the event are $25.

See a list of participating restaurants, after the jump.

Arlington Career Center
Bayou Bakery Coffee Bar & Eatery
Caribbean Breeze
First Down Sports Bar & Grill
Front Page Arlington
Holiday Inn Arlington
Honest Tea
Jaleo Crystal City
Key Bridge Marriott
La Tasca Restaurant
Lebanese Taverna Restaurant
Mad Rose Tavern
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro – Arlington
Pinzimini Restaurant
Ra-Ra Irish Pub
Rock Bottom Brewery
Sangam Indian Restaurant
Sushi Rock
Ted’s Montana Grill
The Melting Pot
Thirsty Bernie
Toby’s Homemade Ice Cream & Coffee
Union Jack’s British Pub
Velocity Five Sports Restaurant

  • 22201

    Beers sound great, but if you have kids in a stroller, stay away. The place is not family friendly, way too overcrowded to be enjoyable with a family. The wait in line for food tasting last year was ridiculous. Nothing like Clarendon Day – which is much more family friendly and more walkable.

    • +100 to the crowd issue.

    • CW

      In a similar vein, please keep the dogs at home.

  • JamesE

    I know a lot of people complain about the long lines and crowds, however, last year I went at noon and waited in no lines and fully got my money’s worth of food and beer.

  • Josh

    Franziskaner mmmmm

  • Southeast Jerome

    hopefully they get the homeless moved before this event.

    and why is dogfishhead ales not included. thats a shame.

    • I’m going to buy one a ticket and encourage him to hit the beers fast.

  • ChrisG

    If they would just spread the food and beverage stands out and get closer to the stage there wouldn’t be a problem. The food was delicious last year.

    I look forward to volunteering at the event with some of my YR friends again this year.

    • JamesE

      yeah I think more stands up Stuart and in the intersection there would help out a lot. Also willow’s food last year was amazing.

      • CW2

        Totally agree. They jam the vendor stands into way too tight a space (and allow vendor cars to park inside the ropes.) Just spread the vendors apart some more, and the crowd issues won’t be nearly as bad. It was pretty awful last year; not just the wait, but trying to even move from one spot to another.

        • CW

          The median doesn’t help much either, in my opinion.

          • LyonSteve

            They don’t help much anywhere, in Arlington.

  • VASQ

    Will this actually take place? You know, given that the End of the World is s’posed to happen the day before. Or so I read on the Internets. I wouldn’t want to miss out on all this yummy food and beer.

    • ChrisG

      You might be spending too much time w/ that woman who attacked the painting.

  • CW

    Wow, Mad Rose is implying that it will still be in business on May 22? Gutsy.


    How many vendors participated last year? IMO, there should not be an increase in the number of vendors/exhibitors without an increase in space.

    • ChrisG

      There was plenty of un or under-utilized space.

  • rick

    to clarify, that is NOT a craft beer distributor. I do business with them and it’s the classiest stuff they offer

    • Aaron

      Good point. Most people around here don’t have any idea what visegrips the local beer distributors have on NoVA retail outlets. You sign up with one or rarely two and you get whatever they deign to give you. Oh boy, Shocktop!! Sam Seasonal, yay!

      • GMo

        Seriously! Shiner? Thats the Yuengling of Texas…

        • CW

          (By the way, to those big city folks who think that Yuengling is a “good” beer, it’s not. It’s what the everymen of central PA have been drinking every day for the last 150 years or so. Just thought I’d clarify, as Yuengling has been somewhat deified in recent times as they ramped up production and started selling in bigger and more diverse markets.)

          • Lou

            And Shiner Bock is a ton better beer than Yuengling. But they are probably not going to have the Bock which you can get anywhere now (was not the case until around the mid-90’s), they will have a seasonal like their Kolsch. Just like the Sam product will probably be something like the Blackberry Wit (an excellent day-drinking beer this time of year) and not the Boston Lager you can walk over to 7-11 and buy.

            I wish they would just go back to the debauchery type festivals they had about 6 years ago. Fights all over the bars and 200 drunk people in line to use the Ballston food court bathrooms.

          • HP2000

            Yuengling recently passed Sam Adams as the “biggest” of the “little guys.” Is it great beer? No. Is it better than anything made by the InBev/SABMiller comglomerates? Mostly. I do enjoy a nice Yuengling Porter every now and then… much better than their Black and Tan.

          • CW

            Oh – don’t get me wrong. I love myself some yuengling. For the price in an normal small-town bar in PA or NY it can’t be beat. I just think that it’s funny that some big-city type folks thing it’s some mid-range or higher-end craft product.

  • Tabby

    “Ra-Ra Irish Pub”?

  • Balldizzle

    Outside of Magic Hat, Sierra and a couple Sammy As this beer list is terrible.

    • JennX

      Not to mention nothing local. While there may not yet be many breweries inside Arlington County, at least they could pull from the DMV.

      • Rick

        they distribute flying dog, and i think thats it for their local selection

  • mkh

    how i wish the space for this event would be doubled…it’s so crowded, you can’t move, you can’t see what’s being served and there is no space anywhere to enjoy your food/drink. somebody please add more space to this!

  • taste of boston

    I love the idea of having good beers there, but in what way is this a taste of Ballston? Bring in the local brewers! Mad Fox, Port City, even Rock Bottom. We can all get Samadammed any time, any where. I want to try unique things that make it worthwhile to live inside the beltway. AND support the little guys who are following their passions for food and drink.


Subscribe to our mailing list