I was lucky enough to get to attend the 2017 Craft Brewers Conference (CBC) a couple weeks ago, and thought I’d share some details of the conference and trip over the next few posts. Each year CBC is hosted by a different US city–Washington, D.C. this year. I’m an avid traveler, so hardly needed an excuse to come spend most of a week in a city I’d only spent a few days in at age 12. A different type of trip, indeed. The distance and cost to attend another East Coast location (last year CBC was in Philadelphia) meant that West Coast representation and attendees were sparse. A totally different beer landscape than I’m accustomed to here in the PNW, that is to say. But I found some local gems!
Three Local Beer Highlights
Right Proper Brewing Co. has two locations, one in the trendy Shaw neighborhood of D.C., which was near the convention center and my accommodations. I headed over for a couple beers and dinner on my first night in town, and was so impressed that I returned several days later with a friend. Their beers are extremely creative, flavorful, and made with care and finesse. Farmhouse styles, kettle sours with unique ingredients and beers made with alternative yeasts were all on draft. Plus, they have a bartop cheesemonger station which was exciting to watch! Their offerings change frequently, it seems, so who knows what you might encounter if you go. The saison brewed with oyster shells was probably my favorite when I visited.
Port City Brewing is just a short drive away in Alexandria.
A fellow alumni from the Portland State Business of Craft Brewing program works there and played host to some of us other alums and current students. I was really excited about the range of styles done well at Port City. I tried almost everything they had on tap that day and really enjoyed their Wit and the Amaro Barrel Aged Double Red, which I earnestly hope they make again. Parked outside was a food truck where I had probably the best barbeque I’ve ever had. You know, a match made in heaven? Smoked meat and beer! Honestly though, you’ll be missing out if you don’t make it down to Port City if you’re in DC.
Jack Rose Dining Saloon is not a brewery, but it is a fantastic bar with a highly curated beer selection and truly knowledgeable bartenders. They are known for their spirit selection (supposedly the largest whiskey collection in the Western hemisphere), boasting a ridiculous amount of scotch, but they also sell locally-made cigars which I saw patrons enjoying on the rooftop patio. They also have a weekend Tiki Bar, and their cocktail list is pretty exciting. Located in the bustling U Street business district, I’d recommend a visit, especially if you’re in the mood for spirits instead of/as well as beer. Whatever you do there, I’m pretty sure you’ll be in good hands.