Here’s some good news for beer lovers: According to recent numbers from the Brewers Association, small and independent craft brewers now account for 21.9 percent of the U.S. beer industry.
And here’s some better news for Washington beer lovers: Ten thousand of those brewers are going to be celebrating their success right here in D.C. this week, as they fly in for the annual Craft Brewers Conference.
What that means for them: a lot of seminars at the Convention Center on yeast strains and fermentation tanks.
What it means for you: something like a bonus version of D.C. Beer Week, with dozens of events going down throughout the city all week. After all, these guys and gals aren’t going to come to town and NOT bring their beer.
Here’s a day-by-day plan of what you can drink and where:
MONDAY: From Michigan to Belgium
There’s a lot of competition on day one of the conference, so it’s hard to choose just one event. Let’s not. Instead, let’s start at City Tap House, which is being taken over all day by the iconic Bell’s Brewery from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Bell’s plans to recreate its entire brewpub in Penn Quarter, from the menu to the decor to the tap lineup. Then it’s onto The Sovereign in Georgetown, which is showcasing a different lineup of “beer all-stars” every night. On Monday, it’s 23 mostly rare, Belgian-inspired brews from Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, Crooked Stave from Colorado and the Bruery from California.
TUESDAY: With a Little Help from Their Friends
DC Brau, which led the city’s brewing renaissance, turns six years old this week. So like any enterprising beer geeks, they went and brewed six collaboration beers with locals like Union Craft Brewing and visiting brewers like Stone and Firestone Walker. You can taste them all (and then some) at Jack Rose starting at 4 p.m.
WEDNESDAY: Beer Archaeology at the Smithsonian
At this lunchtime event, the Smithsonian’s new beer historian, Theresa McCulla, will be showing rarely seen brewing artifacts from its collections. We are imagining something like the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, only filled with beer paraphernalia. After that, you’ll probably be thirsty, so head to ChurchKey, which is showcasing a different region of the country’s beers every day. Wednesday you’ll find beers of the West, like Arizona Wilderness and Missouri’s Perennial.
THURSDAY: That’s So Metal
Heavy metal beer is apparently a thing. So our own Atlas Brew Works is teaming up with Denver’s TRVE Brewing and Charlottesville’s Champion Brewing for a metal beer event. Expect brews with names like Decibeer Double IPA and Hail Satan Worship Doom Black IPA (yes, really). Also: three live metal bands.
FRIDAY: Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em
A spring Friday seems like a good time to head to a patio for lunch. Especially the one at Right Proper’s Shaw brewpub, which is grilling all manner of meats and pouring its three smokey beers—Lubitsch Touch, Motorik and Hyperborea.
SATURDAY: Coffee, Donuts and Coffee Beer
After a week of beer, you’ll probably need
a break more beer. So wrap up your hoppy week with Port City’s Brunch at the Brewery. Starting at noon, you’ll have your pick of Sugar Shack donuts, a coffee tasting from Lost Sock Roasters, and casks of beer in which Lost Sock beans have been steeping.
See the full list of CBC week events here.