Ah, November: Where the remnants of Halloween and Oktoberfest meet holiday beer, holiday baking and more. Whether you’re ready to move on to Thanksgiving and Christmas or whether you want to hold onto fall for just a little while longer, there’s something going on in November with your name on it. Here are some of the month’s best bets.
Tidings Release Party at Port City Brewing, Nov. 1
Port City Brewing wastes no time getting into the holiday season with its release of the holiday-spiced Tidings Ale. The winter seasonal – a Belgian style ale brewed with Virginia wheat and local wildflower honey – is a perennial favorite each time it hits the shelves (and the kegs), and beer fans’ wait is almost over. Beginning Friday, Tidings will be available on draft, in bottles, and to go from the brewery in crowlers and growlers. Pop by to lift a glass and celebrate the start of the holiday season. 3950 Wheeler Ave. 3-10 p.m.
Rustico Novemberfest 2019, Nov. 2
Rustico’s annual post-Oktoberfest soirée keeps the beer festival going into November. Forty of Virginia’s breweries and cideries will be on hand to offer up an overwhelming 80 different brews for tasting. Breweries from the likes of Aslin to Crooked Run will be in attendance, and wine lovers won’t be left out, either; Barboursville Vineyards will pour some of its best wines for the occasion. While you sip, munch on BBQ pork sandwiches, chili, sausages and more. 827 Slaters Lane. Noon-5 p.m. $25 for advance tickets, which includes 20 tasting tickets; $10 at the door with $1 tasting tickets.
Pumpkin IllumiNIGHT at Nalls Produce, Nov. 2
Keep the Halloween spirit alive with another weekend of pumpkin-carving. Nalls Produce will provide the (child-friendly) tools and the pumpkins; kids provide the creativity and artistic muse. Then, once the sun goes down and darkness descends on the scene, watch as the pumpkins all come alive, lit up to brighten the night. 7310 Beulah St. Noon-4 p.m.
Holiday Crafting and Cookie Decorating Workshop at AR Workshop, Nov. 17
It’s hard to believe, but holiday baking time is rounding the bend again. Not quite sure how to get started? AR Workshop has you covered. The tutorial will take would-be bakers through the steps to create three Thanksgiving-themed masterpieces, as well as teaching them how to properly ice and decorate the cookies for maximum beauty. 1212 King St. 2-5 p.m. $79.
Alexandria Cider Festival, Nov. 23
Move over, craft beer – craft cider is now the name of the game. The Alexandria Cider Festival celebrates the sweet and savory sides of cider with nearly a dozen cideries offering up their wares for tasting. Your entry fee grants you chances to try the ciders on offer, plus as souvenir glass, autumnal activities and live music. Mount Vernon’s food truck, Executive Orders, will be on hand to make sure you don’t leave hungry. Lloyd House, 220 N. Washington St. 1-5 p.m. $45 in advance; $55 at the door.
Hope Nelson owns and operates the Kitchen Recessionista blog, located at www.kitchenrecessionista.com. Email her any time at email@example.com.