From Rob Fink. Follow him on Twitter @RobDFink or email him at rob[AT]borderstan.com.
The Craft Brewers Conference (dubbed “CBC” for short) is an annual gathering of breweries, brewpubs, restaurant managers/beer directors/cicerones, as well as those who manufacture brew kettles, draft systems and kegs, amongst other things. Thankfully, CBC is being held in our fair city this year at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center March 26-29.
Although it’s specifically for brewing industry professionals, that doesn’t mean that us regular folks are prohibited from indulging in the vast array of events happening during that week.
Given there are so many events in and throughout the city, some of my must-go-to-or-else-you-should-relinquish-your-human-sanctity type of events are not in Borderstan proper. In no particular order, here are my top three choices for CBC 2013.
Tuesday, March 26, 5 pm
For this event, Firestone Walker is bringing a formidable lineup of barrel-aged rarities (one of which I’ve written about here) such as Parabola (barrel-aged imperial stout), Sucaba (barrel aged barleywine), and Velvet Merkin on nitro (barrel-aged oatmeal stout). If you’re more hop-inclined, Ballast Point will be slinging their inimitable Sculpin, both on draft and on cask. This is an event not to be missed.
Thursday, March 28, 4 pm
Where and What: Churchkey: The California Craft Beer Extravaganza.
Quite naturally, Churchkey has some of the best events for all of CBC week and Thursday’s will be particularly burdensome on the palate (in a good way, of course). Although the specific beer list has yet to be released, I already know I’m going to be here.
The list of breweries currently includes The Lost Abbey, Stone Brewing Company, Green Flash Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and 21st Amendment — that list alone should be sufficient to convince you to make an appearance.
Friday, March 29, 1 pm
Where and What: Meridian Pint: Drink Local! Sponsored by BeerAdvocate.
Although CBC is really about bringing craft brewers from across the country together in one place, I would be remiss to not mention what’s looking to be the best event surrounding local beer. Twenty local breweries from Maryland, the District and Virginia will occupy all tap lines in addition to 20 different gravity-fed casks.
Although the beer list has yet to be released, look for not only Meridian Pint collaborations with some of the breweries, but also for standalone offerings from the likes of DC Brau Brewing Company, Flying Dog Brewery and Port City Brewing, just to name a few.
I want to stress that this is just a minute smidgen of the entire week; comrades in arms and fellow beer lovers at DC Beer have done a wonderful job of cataloguing the wide spectrum CBC events — please check out their webpage here. Cheers!