Across the street from the marine barracks in the Navy Yards of Washington DC, veteran-inspired VALOR BREWPUB opened to the public September 2018. Jeff Hancock, co-founder of nearby DC Brau, emerged as brewmaster in 2022.
An English cavern-like restaurant and brewery with a prohibition era speakeasy appeal, the patriotic 2,500 square-foot pub features a 20-stooled right side copper top bar with seven taps, two brewtanks and two TV’s alongside the red brick back wall. A few four-seat tables along the left wall plus an outside front patio allow for more patronage. Glass-encased brew tanks are in the rear.
Caged Edison lights hang above the bar and exposed pipes give the low-ceilinged taproom a certain rusticity.
My wife and I settled in at noon on a sunny Saturday in March ’23 to imbibe five rounded brews.
Brisk Bavarian kellerbier, Moonbeam, let herbal-perfumed grapefruit, orange and peach spicing receive musky hay acridity above its lagered pale malt base.
Honey-fruited Shellback Amber Ale retained sweet cherry, berry and fig spicing as well as bourbon vanilla whims over treacly molasses toastiness.
Lemon-soured herbage and grassy hop astringency placated Blue Nose Kolsch, a tidy moderation with humble white wheated pilsner malts.
Dark candi-sugared syruping draped the brown-sugared raisin, fig and date sweetness of Valor Belgian Holiday Ale, picking up mild cinnamon, candied orange and glazed pecan licks.
Dry cocoa-powdered Bakers chocolate fortified Pollywog Porter, leaving milk-sugared coffee tones and wispy cola nuttiness on the backend.