Next week is the biggest week of the year for the Washington-area beer scene. Yes, D.C. Beer Week (in August) and the week leading up to the Savor Festival (in June) are big, but they can’t match the Craft Brewers Conference. More than 10,000 brewers, sales reps and beer-industry workers will come to Washington for the annual event, which takes place at the convention center Monday through Thursday. While the seminars, keynote speeches and trade show are closed to the public, the week is filled with top-notch happy hours, tap takeovers and other events (just know that you may have to stand in insanely long lines to try heavily hyped beers).

Everything listed here is free unless otherwise noted — you just pay for the beer. For dozens of additional options, check the official calendar at, or look for listings on, which has more of the smaller and unofficial happenings.


East Coast’s Finest at ChurchKey
How do you get CBC Week off to the best possible start? ChurchKey goes for the gold medal by tapping at least 30 beers from five of the country’s hottest, most sought-after breweries: Maine’s Bissell Brothers, New York’s Other Half and Suarez Family, Massachusetts’s Trillium and Virginia’s the Veil. Doors open at 2 p.m., and you should expect long lines. 2 p.m. 1337 14th St. NW.

Charlie Bravo Charlie at Meridian Pint
This annual dinner pairs a six-course meal with beers from six top-notch breweries: DC Brau, Firestone Walker, Flying Dog, Maui, Surly and Wicked Weed. Each brewery sends a founder or brewer, making the night even more special. Advance tickets are required. 7 to 9:30 p.m. 3400 11th St. NW. $85.

Haze for Days at Brookland Pint
If you love soft, juicy New England-style IPAs, head to Brookland for this tap takeover, which features the official debut of the Brookland Pint/Aslin collaboration Joose Pun and a rare D.C. appearance of Lawson’s Sip of Sunshine from Vermont. Civil Society, Heist, LIC Beer Project and SingleCut will also have multiple beers on tap. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. 716 Monroe St. NE.

Bell’s Eccentric Cafe at City Tap House
A highlight of a visit to Bell’s brewery in Kalamazoo, Mich., is the Eccentric Cafe, a restaurant and beer garden with 40 Bell’s beers on tap. For one day, City Tap House is transforming into the Eccentric Cafe, with 40 beers, including many never served outside the brewery; dishes from the Cafe’s menu; special decor, including a photo booth; and a DJ beginning at 7 p.m. 11 a.m.-midnight. 901 Ninth St. NW.

Dogfish Head Record Store Day at Lost and Found
Join Dogfish founder Sam Calagione at the Shaw bar for 10 Dogfish Head beers on tap, giveaways ranging from Firefly Festival tickets to Crossley turntables, live music, a DJ and a mobile art exhibition. 6 to 9 p.m. 1240 Ninth St. NW.


Family Tree Reunion at City Tap House
Fun piece of trivia: The brewers from DC Brau, Manor Hill, Waredaca and Vanish all worked at Flying Dog earlier in their careers. The official beer of the Craft Brewers Conference is a collaboration between those five breweries, dubbed Family Tree. The Belgian pale ale is being served at only one place outside of the conference: the Family Tree Reunion at City Tap House. Each of the participating breweries will also tap a trio of beers. 5 p.m. 901 Ninth St. NW.

Collaboratron: Uniters of the Brewniverse at Jack Rose Dining Saloon
DC Brau turns six this month — its first beer was released April 15, 2011 — and it celebrated the anniversary by brewing six collaboration beers with Stone, Melvin, Firestone Walker, Union, Atlas and 2SP. All of those beers will be on tap at this party at Jack Rose, alongside other rare and cool beers from all seven breweries. 5 p.m. 2007 18th St. NW.

In Conversation: Nathan Zeender of Right Proper and Walt Dickinson of Wicked Weed at Right Proper Brewing Company
Wicked Weed's Walt Dickinson and Right Proper's Nathan Zeender are disciples of wild yeasts, sour ales and aging beers in wood. The two will have a conversation about beer at Right Proper's Brookland production facility, followed by a Q&A session and tasting of both brewery's offerings. 5 to 7 p.m. 920 Girard St. NW.

Soused Beer Release at DC9
Before founding Virginia’s Pen Druid brewery, the Carney brothers toured the world as the psych-rock band Pontiak. They’re playing together at a party that includes the release of Soused, a collaboration between Pen Druid, Stone, Right Proper and guitarist Greg Anderson of Sunn O))). 9 p.m. 1940 Ninth St. NW. $12-$15.

Asheville Gets Funky at Anxo
This tap takeover at D.C.'s best cider-focused bar features 12 weird and wild ales from Asheville, N.C., breweries Burial, Wicked Weed and Hi-Wire. 3 p.m. 300 Florida Ave. NW.


Union Craft Brewing’s Baltimore Invasion at Rock and Roll Hotel
While many craft beer music events are focused on metal or bluegrass, Union’s takeover of the Rock and Roll Hotel shows off a much more diverse side of its home city. Five bands, including hip-hop duo Bond St. District and the noise-pop group Surf Harp, will perform; the four DJs include Animal Collective’s Geologist, rapper Blaqstarr and Baltimore club heavy James Nasty. 9 p.m. 1353 H St. NE. $15.

Craft Beer All-Stars Vol. 3 at the Sovereign
The Sovereign’s outstanding lineup of events continues with a night featuring more than two dozen beers from Jester King, Jolly Pumpkin, Tired Hands and the Veil, including a Jester King/Tired Hands collaboration beer and the first batch of the Veil’s Lambic-inspired ale. 4 p.m. 1206 Wisconsin Ave. NW.

Victory’s 21st Birthday Bash at City Tap House
Victory founders Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski host a night full of rare beers, including some brewed just for the Craft Brewers Conference, to celebrate the Downingtown, Penn., brewery’s 21st birthday. 5 to 9 p.m. 901 Ninth St. NW.

New Belgium Brewmaster Peter Bouckaert at RFD Washington
New Belgium has been at the forefront of the sour beer movement in the United States, thanks to brewmaster Peter Bouckaert, who came from Belgium’s esteemed Rodenbach brewery. At RFD, Bouckaert will lead a sampling of six sour ales and discuss how they came to be. Advance tickets required. 5 to 9 p.m. 810 Seventh St. NW. $30.

Sour Showcase at Brookland Pint
Grab the Tums: Brookland’s night of sour beers features 16 barrel-aged wild ales from Wicked Weed, Cascade, Almanac and Bullfrog. 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. 716 Monroe St. NE.


The Gang’s All Here at 3 Stars Brewing
In preparation for CBC, 3 Stars created collaboration beers with its friends at J. Wakefield, Other Half, Ocelot and Aslin. Taste all of those brews, plus beers from Modern Times and 3 Stars, at this mini-festival. There will also be adult beverages from Charm City Meadworks and Graft Wild Ciders; food trucks; DJs; and a performance by School of Rock students. 5 to 10 p.m. 6400 Chillum Pl. NW. $15, includes one beer and a commemorative glass.

IPA Festival at Meridian Pint
Meridian Pint’s “most ambitious event to date” features 60 IPAs from 30 breweries on tap on both levels and pouring on the restaurant’s patio. Surly, Creature Comforts, Melvin, the Answer, Westbrook and Modern Times are among the big names joining a slew of locals. 2 p.m. 3400 11th St. NW.

The British New Wave at the Partisan
If “British beer” makes you think of one-note brown ales, it’s time you tried the sours, stouts and hoppy lagers coming out of the new generation of British craft breweries. This tasting includes a dozen drafts from Scotland’s Fyne and England’s Siren and Cloudwater. 5 to 11 p.m. 709 D St. NW.

Up in the Mountains at ChurchKey
The premise is a little forced — breweries from Wyoming and Vermont on the same night because both states have mountains? — but you don’t turn down a chance to drink IPAs from Melvin, Lawson’s Finest Liquids, Foam and Black Tooth. (They have great sours and stouts, too.) 2 to 11 p.m. 1337 14th St. NW.

California Tap Takeover at Iron Horse
Nine California breweries are taking over the draft lines at Iron Horse Tap Room, including Alpine, Green Flash, 21st Amendment, North Coast and Anderson Valley. 6 to 9 p.m. 507 Seventh St. NW.