D.C.’s Beer Renaissance

First published July 17, 2011 – theredlens.com

It’s Washington D.C.’s time to take a turn at the craft beer movement. There’s been a lot of buzz lately over three promising new breweries inside the district, each potentially hold the promise of creating an identity for D.C. in the talented world of American microbreweries.

DC Brau, the first brewery to open within district lines in over fifty years, has rapidly climbed the ranks and is appearing in top restaurants and bars around the city. They’ve taken it upon themselves to sponsor an amendment to allow patrons to sample beers within the breweries. Before, it was illegal to taste and instead people could only buy beer from the breweries, this allows the microbrewers to offer samples while interacting with their customers in invaluable ways.

Two other promising district breweries are Chocolate City and 3 Stars, nicely adding to the scene in their own ways. Chocolate City is a small operation, filled with passion – the founder dreamed up the concept in his backyard and his partners come with great beer pedigree, previously working with large brewing heavyweights Flying Dog and Gordon Biersch. The men behind 3 Stars are not only building their D.C. business, but working with colleagues in Baltimore, MD to create “British-inspired” beers that collaborate with American brewing techniques to come up with flavors that will hopefully appeal to a wide audience.

A prevalent, and important, theme in D.C. is the support of locals within the community. Many restaurants, like Graffiato, take it upon themselves to represent local farms in their ingredients, and the same goes for the beer enthusiasts. John Andrade, of Meridian Pint – a craft beer pub – not only supports the efforts of the new D.C. microbreweries, but gives used 22 oz. bottles to local home brewers, reducing waste and encouraging others to create their own drinks.

Adding to the influx of local craft beer, a handful of well-regarded breweries have opened in Virginia, just outside D.C. Additionally, other popular American microbreweries will start shipping their wares to the D.C. metropolitan area, where they’ve been noticeably absent up until now.

In the district, residents never have to look far for an amazing restaurant boasting culinary clout and offering unique dining experiences. Great food and drink lie at the core of bringing people together in a city where their differences define them.

American University grad student Kate Musselwhite’s video, Gimme A Beer

Links:

Washington Post: Beer: DC’s impending brewery boom

DCist: Making The Rounds: The Latest From Local Breweries

CityStream.com: Evolving D.C.: The State of Craft Beer