Covering 10 cities every summer, including this stop in Washington, DC, the Tour is more than just an opportunity to sip 4oz samplers and swap impressions of mouth feel. It’s a celebration of a lifestyle that sees beer as a jumping off point to both uninhibited self-expression and planetary responsibility. It also has serious charitable chops: each host city's 200 to 400 local volunteers support also-local bike advocacy groups by pouring beer, pitching tents, hauling water, etc. Groups such as Black Women on Bikes, Fairfax Advocates for Better Cycling, Phoenix Bikes and Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts show up for for a myriad of reasons, from urban renewal, environmental concerns, and the need for safe routes and helmets, to the simple love of biking, teamwork, and... fun.
The money left behind after the trucks drive off is serious, however. DC's attendees raised $65,000 -- up 20% from last year -- taking New Belgium closer to its national target of $750,000, on top of $3.7 million raised since its inception 15 years ago.
Just because you are serious doesn't mean you have to look it, as evidenced by the crowd’s insane get-ups, a “no wrong answers” assemblage including Mega Man, a geographically appropriate Barack Obama (complete with a full Secret Service detail), and some of New Belgium’s own employees dressed alike as interstellar Tin Men (the brewery started canning in 2008, and this probably has… nothing to do with that).