Men in the kitchen, beer on the table, kids in the hoophouse: This week’s restaurant news

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The Craft Brewers Conference is being held in Washington, D.C., this year—a big enough deal to begin with, but news of one of our own breweries being highlighted in a Symposium Ale collaboration is even more exciting. Jason Oliver of Devils Backbone Brewing Company is working closely with brewers of DC Brau and Brewers Art to create Beggars & Thieves (formerly called Symposium Ale) Anti-Imperial Rye Lager. This specialty beer will be served in bottles and on draft throughout the conference from March 26-29. They’ve been brewing since February at Devils Backbone’s satellite spot in Lexington to create a flavorful beer that’s lower in alcohol (a.k.a. a session beer). The idea for an anti-imperial (the opposite of imperial, meaning high gravity) style of lager comes from the desire to drink more without getting sloshed. This beer clocks in at a non-punishing 5 percent ABV, and combines the pumpernickel-like spiciness of European-style beer with Sterling hops, which tend to impart fruity and floral flavors often found in the Northwest. Visit craft brewersconference.com.

MACAA (Monticello Area Community Action Agency) is celebrating its 26th annual “Men Who Cook” event on Saturday, April 6, at the Omni Hotel. Sixty amateur chefs will present an array of culinary treats to benefit the organization, which helps low-income families escape poverty. Pre-dinner cocktail hour begins at 5:30pm with music by the Trius Jazz Trio and hors d’oeuvres, moving into a silent auction, and dinner from 6:30-10:30pm. Tickets are $125 each, or a table for $1,000. Visit macaa.org for information and reservations.

The Clifton Inn is beckoning spring weather with a five-course beer dinner in collaboration with Beer Run on Monday, April 8. Highlights include crispy rabbit with lavender vinaigrette and endive paired with Founder’s All Day IPA. Other beers include Victory Swing Saison and Augustiner Brau Maximator. Canapes begin at 6:30pm, with dinner seated at 7pm. Tickets are $62 and can be reserved at cliftoninn.net.

Hill & Holler is kickstarting its 2013 dinner series season in collaboration with Beyond the Flavor on Sunday, April 21, with an urban farm dinner at Old Metropolitan Hall. Chef Dean Maupin of C&O Restaurant will serve four inventive family-style courses sourced from local farms and paired with Virginia wine. “Cocktail” hour will begin at 5pm with music by Red & the Romantics, passed canapés, and cider from Potter’s Craft. Tickets are $100 and proceeds support the local farm and food enthusiast community. Visit hillandholler.org to score a seat.

Help the Buford Middle School City Schoolyard Garden “Hoist up their hoophouse” via Kickstarter by April 10. It’ll take a village to raise $6,000 to build the 13′x28′ hoophouse used to grow seedlings for the school and neighborhood gardens in Charlottesville. The City Schoolyard Garden is dedicated to providing year-round educational and hands-on opportunities to students in the city of Charlottesville to learn about seed saving and the lifecycle of plants. The gathering space will be heated in winter and shaded in summer, which will also allow the school to expand its programming and capacity. For more information or to donate, visit kickstarter.com/projects/ 828385493/hoist-up-our-hoophouse.

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