A Girl’s Guide to DC Breweries

Breweries Most people probably wouldn’t think of DC as a mecca for craft beer but in the past few years things have been changing rapidly and DC is quickly making the beer industry take notice. It seems like new emerging breweries are popping up by the handful and since we had heard so much buzz surrounding our city’s new craft, we had to go out and see it for ourselves and then of course share what we found with you.

But before we start, we have to be honest, we aren’t beer connoisseurs. We aren’t even close. Of course we enjoy a good craft beer every now and again (mostly with our husbands) but our drink of choice is usually wine. But after taking a peak behind the curtain of the beer making process, the people behind it, and what goes into it, lets just say we have a better appreciation now and so do our tastebuds. Our first stop was to a newer craft brew house, called 3 Stars, run by two longtime friends that shared the same passion. We were fortunate enough to have a tour from the two men behind the brewery that has DC talking and we can see why.

Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey have mastered their craft and unlike most people may think, it took a lot of hard work and dedication for them to see their dream come to life. After putting it all on the line, cars sold off and being down to their last nickel, they found an investor that believed in their dream and best of all loved their beer. And after trying them all out ourselves, we see why this investor believed in them and gave them the chance to bring their small batch home brewing system to a full production reality. To date, the brewing team at 3 Stars has released over 40 different distinctive beers and cultivated a reputation for pushing the envelope when it comes to creativity.

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They have also been named DC’s Best Local Brewery two years running by Washington City Paper, and were named Rising Stars in 2014 by Star Chefs Magazine. Our Favorites: The Peppercorn Saison was hands down our favorite but we also loved The Nectar of The Bogs and Southern Belle. Another thing that makes this brewery unique is that they have a home brew shop located in their facility!

We expect to see this brewery flourish and quickly. Look out for their list of events and also check back in a few months as they will be expanding their tasting room. The second stop on our tour was to DC Brau, a brewery most people living in the DC area have come to know quiet well. We again were privileged to have a tour by Co-Owner, Brandon Skall, where he showed us around his brewery, told us his story and let us try his brews.

Owners, Brandon and Jeff Hancock are both DC residents that share years of experience in both brewing and beverage distribution, and noticed a void in the DC beer industry. They then decided to combine their knowledge and passion to found the DC Brau Brewing Company which was founded in 2009 being one of the first DC Breweries to sell beer in The Nations Capitol for almost 60 years. Saying this brewery has personality is an understatement, walking through the warehouse you will find spectacular graffiti art covering walls and they have also named most of their brew tanks, Steamy Nicks had us giggling.

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Our Favorites: The Corruption and The Citizen were our beers of choice after tasting them all. Our third visit was to Atlas Brew Works which is newer brewery run by two friends located in the Ivy City neighborhood of Northeast D.C. This rowdy brewery was founded by Justin Cox, CEO and beer industry expert and then he brought on his buddy and now master brewer, Will Durgin. Durbin came to Atlas with more experience than most, graduating from UC Davis Master Brewers Program and also holding positions brewing at Telegraph Brewing Company in Santa Barbara, CA and Pyramid Breweries in Portland, Oregon. With their combined experience and love for their craft, they are cranking out some of the best beers served in the District. You will just have to try this one for yourself!

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