RED BEAR BREWING CO.

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WASHINGTON, D.C.

As the story goes, three pioneering Seattle natives headed east to the nation’s Capitol looking for a cool spot for their dream endeavor. By March ’19, the entrepreneurial trio of Bryan Van Den Oever, Simon Bee and Cameron Raspet found the culturally diverse nightlife of Washington D.C.’s newly renovated NoMa district the perfect spot for an “East Coast meets open casual West Coast style” brewery.

At this bustling industrial office hub (north of Massachusetts Avenue), RED BEAR BREWING CO. began operations. Inside a red brick neighborhood mall near Union Station and close to the elevated trains, Red Bear takes up a medium-sized corner spot down the street-level stairs.

Inside, the rustic cement-floored pub features 20-plus taps (proprietary beers plus seltzers and ciders) at the centrally located bar while the surrounding area offers wood and metal four-seaters and community tables plus board games for the kids. Kettled brew tanks are at the far right. The superb pub food menu and a host of upscale liquors back up the wholly reliable brew selections (of which, I will discover five well rounded and widely differentiated elixirs reviewed below).

At the partially covered outside patio, my wife and I (with dog Roscoe) consume five diverse homemade creations on a rainy Saturday in May ’22.

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Floral-daubed ginger cologne, mild carrot-pureed spicing and yellow grapefruit zesting coalesced for briskly clean cucumber-watered saison, 24 Karat, an effervescently offbeat springtime moderation.

Another Maytime endeavor, soft-toned pinkish amber Peak Bloom Cherry Wit, let subtle Pez-candied cherry tartness fade into soap-stoned guava and gooseberry brining over a delicate white wheat bed.

Sweet ‘n sour oated ‘cream pale ale,’ Floof, a glowing sunshine hued New England IPA knockoff, readied salty guava-passionfruit tartness for lemon meringue and peach cobbler confections above lactic acidulated malts.

Dry opaque salmon-tinted fruited gose, The Floor Is Guava, regaled lively guava brining and tart coriander-seeded raspberry sedation as well as white peach, cranberry and crabapple snips over feathery sourdough wheated pilsner malting.

Black malted dark chocolate and mild espresso tones reached the soily earthen bottom of DC Dirt Porter, leaving chalky dried fruiting on the tail end.

Lactose peanut buttered dark chocolate roast deepened by coffee-stained hop char of rich milk stout, Tall Dark & Nutty, picking up latent bourbon vanilla spicing to contrast oily dark-roast mocha nuttiness.

DENIZENS BREWING COMPANY

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SILVER SPRINGS, MD.

Off the northern tip of D.C. in the heart of Silver Springs lies one of the more intriguing, multifaceted and sizable microbreweries. DENIZENS BREWING COMPANY, run by wives, Julie Verratti and Emily Bruno, plus co-founder Jeff Ramirez, was a venture taken on in 2013 seeking to galvanize those ‘unified by beer.’ Incorporating an enormous turf-floored, 200-seat, wicker-lounged, mezzanine-level beergarden to enhance the adjoining cement-floored interior bar (an Industrial wood, metal and aluminum-studded space with leather tap handles) and lower level taproom, this rust orange-hued gastropub has become a local staple.

With a second location at nearby Riverdale Park starting production brewing in 2019, Denizens has grown by leaps and bounds since its 2014 Silver Springs inception, crafting over 150 different beers by my May ’22 quest. The varied flavor profiles and boundless stylization explored onsite at the first floor brewtanks match the diversity of Silver Spring’s urbanized civilians.

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At the beer garden at noon, my wife and I tried all four core beers (listed below first) plus four more during our rainy one-hour visitation.

Sturdy Czech-styled pilsner, Born Bohemian, combined musky wet graining, floral-spiced Saaz hop herbage, mild grassy astringency and light lemon licks.

Smooth as glass double dry-hopped IPA, Animal, plied zesty orange-peeled yellow grapefruit bittering and lemon-candied pineapple, mango and peach tanginess to pine-sapped herbal spicing.

Dry caraway-seeded rye breading consumed earthier IPA, Southside Rye, retaining moderate grapefruit-orange bittering, resinous pine tones and tingled spicing.

Lovely rounded tripel, Third Party, let coriander-spiced orange peel sweetness, lemon meringue tartness, candied apple sugaring and wispy banana pureeing contrast white-peppered tealeaf herbage.

After these year-round faves, we consumed Hike The Alps, a simple helles lager with lemon-honeyed herbage set atop its doughy barley cracker base.

Flaked rice, grassy hop herbage and lemony orange acridity consumed premium lager, PGC, leaving a mellow honeysuckle-dried respite.

Dewy peat moss and mild herbage draped misty orange oiling for Lowest Lord ESB, a biscuit-based moderation.

Huell Melon hops redirected Macadocious Maibock, trading stylish red-orange fruit spicing for slightly soured floral-backed passionfruit, guava and gooseberry tropicalia.

SHEPHERD’S EYE BREWING COMPANY

Shepherds Eye Brewing Company - Absolute Beer

FLORIDA, NEW YORK

Inside a gray aluminum warehouse with green awning, veteran-owned SHEPHERD’S EYE BREWING COMPANY opened for biz October 2, 2021. Specializing in German beer but unafraid to dabble into American IPA’s and dark ales, the farmland-situated pub has loads of room for expansion into its adjoining buildings.

A plastic-furnished wood planked porch deck leads to the epoxied cement-floored brewroom where a large capital-lettered Shepherd’s Eye signpost spreads across the top of the 7-seat bronze-sided serving station (with ten copper-piped draught taps and five turbine ventilator lights). Several wood seats fill out the interior and an electronic beer menu shows today’s offerings. Overhead doors to the right of the bar lead to the concrete-floored beer garden corridor. A canning line has recently been installed.

My dog Roscoe and I grab seats in the beergarden to sample today’s generally easygoing fare.

Gallery | Shepherd's Eye Brewing Company

Muskily raw-grained, aluminum straw-hued German pilsner, Prost, let herbal Noble-hopped barnyard astringency and polite lemon licks merge in an easygoing straightforward manner.

Dry grassy-hopped lemon musk and mild herbage welcomed Day Brake, a light-bodied kolsch.

Daintily lemon-candied banana and clove tartly sweetened the front end while wispy white peppered herbage hit the salty wheat bottom of Shep’s Hef.

Dewy Deutscher Hund Dunkelweizen segued mild dried fruiting to lightly floured chocolate breading.

Getting away from the German styles…

Roughhewn toasted grains saddled the dewy mossing and red-orange fruiting of rugged English-styled amber ale, George, leaving caramelized barley sweetness in its wake.

Utilizing a rotating hop bill, April ’22-brewed NEIPA, Mystery Machine hurled floral-perfumed grapefruit peel, orange rind and pineapple bittering plus lemon-limed gooseberry sourness at its pine lacquered grassy knoll.

Flagship Imperial IPA, Shepherd’s Bite, gathered subtle grapefruit, orange, tangerine and peach tanginess as well as sweet floral spicing to contrast dry piney hop bittering.

Nitrogenated chocolate stout, Kariin, plied cocoa nibs creaming to black coffee, espresso and cola nut reminders.

 

MAGNIFY BOURBON BARREL AGED LOCAL TONGUE

On tap at Taphouse 15, luxurious fudged chocolate sweetness coats sticky bourbon vanilla-spiced creaming for fab lactic milk stout. Confectionery Oreo cookie chewiness, gooey chocolate cheesecake tartness and caramel-sauced dolce de leche sugaring gain a strong foothold alongside tertiary brownie batter, caramel latte, toasted coconut, hazelnut paste and cappuccino illusions beneath the finishing bourbon chocolate warmth.

Bourbon Barrel Aged Local Tongue - Magnify Brewing Company - Untappd

EVIL TWIN I’D LIKE A TRIPLE, GRANDIOSE, EXTRA SWEET, COOKIES ‘N CREAM IMPERIAL STOUT

On tap at Taphouse 15, decadent full-bodied stout embraces milk-sugared coffee tones, doughy chocolate cookie sugaring, dried cocoa nibs nuttiness, creamy cappuccino frothing and caramel macchiato sweetness while ancillary toasted coconut, marshmallow fluff and black cherry illusions deepen luxuriously confectionery dessert splendor.

Evil Twin I'd Like A Triple Grandiose Stout – CraftShack - Buy craft beer  online.