Savor, one of the country's biggest craft beer events, will return to the National Building Museum the weekend of June 5-6. This is later than usual for Savor, which is usually held in May, but the beer lovers who travel from around the country probably won't care.
Seventy-four "small and independent craft breweries" each bring two of their beers to Washington for the party, where they're paired with hors d'oeuvres for unlimited sampling. For aficionados, this is a chance to try beers that don't usually make it to Washington -- when was the last time you saw a bar with Short's (Michigan) or Surly (Minnesota) bar on tap? -- and an opportunity to meet and greet the rock stars of the beer world.
Tickets go on sale to the general public through Ticketmaster March 25 at noon, and purchasers are limited to two tickets per night. Prices are the same as last year: $135 for general admission, and $155 if you want to attend one of the popular educational salons. The salon schedule hasn't been announced yet, but last year's sessions included Sam Adams founder Jim Koch discussing the brewery's barrel-aging program and offering rare samples; the brewers of Stone, Green Flash and Coronado talking about San Diego beer culture and sharing West Coast IPAs; and the founders of Dogfish Head and Left Hand demonstrating how drinking proper glassware enhances the flavor of beer.
If you're trying to get tickets, you need be online as close to noon as possible: Tickets generally sell out within half an hour. (There's a Tuesday pre-sale open only to the American Homebrewers Association, so ask any homebrewing friends if they're members.)
And if dropping $135 for one night sounds like too much money, you don't need to go to Savor to sample rare and wonderful beers: Many of the breweries hold tasting events and meet-and-greets at D.C. beer bars in the days before the festival. (Here are a few of the highlights from Savor Week 2014.)