The 2023 Cystic Fibrosis Brewer’s Ball: A Spectacular, Sold-Out Event on the Wharf in Washington, DC
Words by Dan Rozman; pictures by Mark Raker
In a remarkable display of community support and fundraising efforts, for the second year, the 2023 Cystic Fibrosis Foundations Brewer’s Ball took center stage on the picturesque Wharf in DC on June 9. This highly anticipated event attracted a sold-out crowd, bringing together passionate individuals and organizations dedicated to making a difference in the lives of those affected by cystic fibrosis (CF).
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundations Brewer’s Ball has become an annual tradition, fostering unity and rallying support for the CF community. Each year, the event serves as a fundraising platform to generate vital resources for research, treatment advancements, and quality-of-life programs for individuals battling this challenging genetic disorder.
Patrick Feely, Chief Development Officer for CFF, expressed his gratitude, stating, “We thank all of the supporters and attendees who come to this incredible event called Brewer’s Ball. And just like a great Brewer, who brings the perfect ingredients together to make something special. It is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, researchers, and scientists who come together and try and find the perfect cocktail. The perfect ingredients through research to find a cure for cystic fibrosis, and events like this raise the money that is necessary to bring that hope alive. So we thank all of our brewers for making such a fun event happening tonight. Tomorrow we’re going to be back at it in the lab to find the cure.” So far the event has raised over $275,000 to support finding a cure for Cystic Fibrosis
Set against the breathtaking backdrop of Washington, DC’s Wharf, the event offered a picturesque location that only added to the evening’s allure. With the Potomac River gently flowing nearby and the city’s iconic monuments in the distance, attendees were treated to a truly unforgettable experience. Chantae McMillan, USA Track and Field Heptathlete athlete, (Olympian 2012 Olympics in London, training for the next Olympic team in Paris 2024), expressed her delight, saying, “I was invited by my friend who works at the foundation for the event tonight, and it’s amazing. I love how they brought the food and the drinks together for an amazing cause. And being outside on the Wharf looking at the Washington Monument, it’s wonderful, it’s so fun.”
True to its name, the Brewer’s Ball showcased a selection of local craft beers. Participating breweries, cideries, and distilleries, generously offered their finest creations for attendees to savor. From hoppy IPAs to Saisons and refreshing Lagers and Pilsners, beer enthusiasts had numerous styles to enjoy. Brewer’s Ball was a chance to drink and eat for a good cause.
Elliot Kiemel from 2 Silos Brewery shared his enthusiasm, stating, “We had 2 Silos are so happy to be out here supporting Brewer’s Ball. It’s a wonderful cause and tonight is a great evening here in DC. We are pouring our Cream Ale, and 2 IPAs tonight. Our Mosaic Goat is available statewide in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Please come out and enjoy our delicious liquid at our taproom in Manassas, Virginia.”
Complementing the craft beers, the Brewer’s Ball also featured a choice of foods to sample. With catering partners that included Windows Catering, Ivy City Smokehouse, Haute Dog, Union Pie, DC Pretzel Company, and Chouquette Chocolates, there was plenty to eat while listening and dancing to the high-energy Bachelor Boys.
One of the highlights of the evening was the presence of individuals directly impacted by cystic fibrosis. Their stories of resilience, hope, and determination served as powerful reminders of the importance of supporting CF research and the pursuit of a cure. Speakers took the stage, to enlighten the audience about the latest breakthroughs in research and highlight the ongoing efforts to improve the lives of CF patients.
Peter Hodge, whose daughters both have CF, said he was quoting the famous English poets Mick Jagger and Keith Richards: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need.” And he is definitely trying, Peter has helped the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation help to raise more than $50 million to help fund the science that will find a cure for CF.”
Justin Owens with Thrashers Rum shared his thoughts, stating, “We had a great time out here tonight. This is a lot of fun. We are proud to help CFF raise a lot of money. And we talked to a lot of great people to raise awareness for this Cystic Fibrosis.”
The Brewer’s Ball is not just a celebration but also a platform for raising crucial funds to support CF-related initiatives. Throughout the evening, attendees participated in various fundraising activities, including an online auction, and personal donations. The collective efforts of the attendees, sponsors, and volunteers resulted in a resounding success, with the proceeds going to the ongoing work in the field and helping to provide hope for a future free of cystic fibrosis.
The 2023 Cystic Fibrosis Brewer’s Ball was an extraordinary affair, bringing together a passionate community of supporters dedicated to fighting cystic fibrosis. Against the stunning backdrop of Washington, DC’s Wharf, attendees reveled in an evening of craft beers, exquisite cuisine, heartwarming stories, and inspiring speeches. The event’s tremendous success, both in terms of attendance and fundraising, exemplifies the unwavering commitment to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis. With each passing year, the Brewer’s Ball continues to be a shining example of the power of unity, compassion, and collective action in the pursuit of a brighter future for those affected by this challenging genetic disorder.
For more information, you can watch the news story about the Brewer’s Ball on NBC Washington’s website: Brewer’s Ball: Beer for Cystic Fibrosis Research.
Here are some photos of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Brewer’s Ball at The Wharf on June 9, 2023. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Mark Raker.