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Impressive Navy Yard-bound brewpub, sportsbar and restaurant, BLUEJACKET, was established in 2013. Inside a century-old factory with heavy industrial metal, steel columns and commercial grade windows, this red mammoth brick-based DC warehouse features a street level bar, two windy mezzanine levels and towering brew tanks everywhere.

The large wood-floored main dining room offers several community tables and semi-private booths serviced by the 20-seat silver-topped bar (with 22 homemade and 28 guest draughts).

Brewing director Ro Guenzel (formerly of Colorado-based Left Hand and Great Divide) has a flare for crafting a wide variety of traditional stylistic fare. There’ve been over 200 different beer recipes used in Bluejacket’s ten year stint. Cocktails, Scotch, rye, bourbon and wine are also available.

My wife and I consumed a dozen Bluejacket brews while visiting on a sunny Saturday afternoon, March ’23.

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Bone-dry German pilsner, Love Cats, utilized floral citric-herbed Loral hops to provide a clean crisping for its musky mineral graining.

Another Bavarian pils, Self-Portrait, lifted lemon-dropped Hallertau hop herbage above dainty cracker-like pilsner malts.

Easygoing light-bodied aluminum yellowed rice lager, Gan Bei, retained a fizzy Saaz-hopped lemon spritz and herbal lemongrass minting atop rice-dried spelt graining.

Mild grain musk and sour lemon coalesced for cellared lager, Lost Time Kellerbier, a delicate moderation with slight vegetal tinge.

Flagship Lost Weekend, a rounded hazy IPA, let light vanilla creaming seep into salty yogurt soured milking, waxy tropical fruiting and dank pine resin – leaving ancillary guava, gooseberry and grapefruit tartness as well as peachy tangerine tanginess on its oated wheat base.

Tropical hop bomb, Smile In Disguise, another hazy New England IPA, regaled orange-peeled pineapple, grapefruit, peach and mango tanginess plus brisk lemon zesting over crystal malt sugaring.

Milk-sugared vanilla sweetened tropical fruited sour, Strangers In Paradise, picking up minor citric acidity as its salted mango, guava and passionfruit illusions and wispy green grape esters linger softly above acidulated pale malts.

On to the dark ales. Roasted nuttiness and soy-sauced brown rice combined for They Both Met Dark Lager, letting cola, walnut and Brazil nut illusions flutter before getting soapy.

Bittersweet chocolate and dark caramel received tobacco-roasted earthen mossing for Chimbley Sweep, a viable schwarzbier.

Soft-toned Eton Rifle Brown Porter had a nitrogenated smoothness as its coffee-dried nut char encountered desolate dried fruiting.

Mexican chocolate, cassia bark, vanilla beans and cacao nibs informed Mexican Radio Sweet Stout, bringing mild ancho chili heat to its molasses oats spine.

Brown chocolate-y milk-sugared coffee guided Sugar Snow Imperial Stout, gaining maple molasses, hazelnut paste, cinnamon bark and gingerbread niceties.



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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.


Lost Generation Brewing Co. Opens! | DC Beer


Opened October 29, 2022, District of Columbia’s LOST GENERATION BREWING COMPANY celebrates novelist poet Gertrude Stein’s ‘you are all a lost generation’ slogan as its painted on the left side rear wall. Residing at the Capitol’s northeast Eckington neighborhood, this olden-styled tavern showcases antique sewing machines, rusty horns, mechanical typewriters and aged books as well as a fine array of stylistically popular beers.

Entrepreneurial head brewer, Jared Pulliam, began his journey at DC’s Chocolate City before leaving for the West Coast to work at Lagunitas then returning back east to start Lost Generation. Inside a century-old blue grey-bricked former Nabisco factory, this niftily re-created Speakeasy features a primordial Douglas fir bar with caged lights, barreled and wood tables, picnic benches, butcher block table, rustic pipe-exposed high ceiling, black studio lighting and a left walled animation cartoon painting. The red brick interior walls recall the pre-Prohibition Era. 16 central draught taps carried beers and seltzers.

I enjoyed seven rangy elixirs on my March ’23 nighttime journey.

Lost Generation Brewing Company Opens in DC

Orange-peeled banana and clove sweetness picked up light vanilla creaming to contrast Mandarina Bavaria-hopped green grape esters and tart lemon-drop souring for Listen To The Wind Hefeweizen.

Fizzy golden clear moderation, Shift Crisp Lager, plied herbal lemon zesting and lightly vinous white-wined Hallertau Blanc hops to dry pilsner malts.

Signature dark lager, Grave Shift, combined dark toffee, roasted coffee, dark chocolate and cola nuttiness in a mossy setting.

Zestful limey yellow grapefruit bittering settled mildly alongside sedate mandarin orange, salted pineapple, mango and ‘blueberry marmalade tanginess for hazy IPA, Dismantle The Sun, nearly hiding its mild vanilla creaming.

Creamy vanilla-sugared sour SmoothieCherry Pie A La Mode, let its cherry pie tartness get sweetened by brown-sugared Graham Cracker honeying as tertiary candied orange, sour tangerine and pineapple lollipop wisps wavered.

Black peppered chicory coffee roast met creamy lactose milk sugaring for A Hopeless Gesture, an impressive Imperial Stout with cocoa-beaned Vietnam coffee finish.

Decadent lactose pastry stout, Oreo Cookie, married milk chocolate fudginess to creme-filled vanilla sugaring over its cookie dough bottom, hiding black cherry and red grape nips.


City-State Brewing Coming to Edgewood / Brookland Border – Barred in DC


Down a walking path across the freight rail depot in an old industrial warehouse half a mile north of Lost Generation Brewing at the Edgewood section of Northeast DC, CITY-STATE BREWERY opened up in this rustic art venue space during June ’21. Doing a splendid job crafting a rounded selection of familiar styled beers, the raw community pub resides close to quaint family-oriented row-housed neighborhood. Former congressional aide, James Warner, along with experienced head brewer, Vincent Falcone, create amiably consistent fare never too far beyond stylish parameters.

Celebrating local cultural landmarks, the white back wall sports red, yellow and green framed collages of all 48 DC neighborhoods and a purple side wall (across the rear brew tanks) dons a black and white-painted City-State insignia.

Two overhead doors lead to the cement-floored, wood-columned interior featuring a twelve-seat left side serving station (with strung Edison lights), several orange community tables and two wood beer stands near the arcade games (across the room from the Skeeball table).

In early March ’23 on a Sunday at noon, my wife and youngest son play arcade while I suck down seven dewy delights before heading back to Jersey.

City-State Brewing Co.

Tranquil light-bodied clear straw German pilsner, Lost Laws, placed floral yellow fruiting atop honeyed cereal graining.

A tad lighter, floral lemon spicing gently sufficed for Equal Marriage Blonde, leaving a mild herbal respite on the dry pale malt bottom.

Dewy chocolate wheat malting gained bittersweet cocoa powdering for Equal Marriage Dark Wheat, soaking up dank wood resin.

Piney hop fruiting bedecked 8 Wards IPA, a West Coast variety with red-yellow-orange fruiting slightly embittered by juniper herbage above raw-honeyed pale malts.

Vibrant Spoonbill Hazy IPA secured its tangy tangerine adjunct with mild lemon-pitted orange peel and yellow grapefruit bittering given dry wood resin and crisp mineral graining as well as ancillary yogurt-milked peach, mango, guava and green grape tartness

Candi-sugared Monk’s Cavern Dubbel, allowed spicy dried fruiting to pick up mild dewy fungi over toasted amber grains – moderating its rum raisin, date and fig regalia.

Creamy milk-sugared coffee and sugary chocolate nougats guided Kingman Extra Stout, picking up a molasses-smoked hazelnut and pecan glaze, dark cherry tartness and lightly embittered dark-roast hop char.   


Hellbender Secures Brewery Space in Riggs Park | DC Beer


Inside a large gray brick warehouse at the northernmost Lamond Riggs section of Washington DC, HELLBENDER BREWING COMPANY began operations way back in 2014. Founded by home brewing aficionados Patrick Mullane (a congerssional aide) and Ben Evan (a microbiological neuroscientist), Hellbender’s ‘born of love, perfected by science’ slogan gets reinforced by the sustainable mash press filter brewing system which reduces water, grain, and energy use.

Surviving bankruptcy reorganization in 2016, the cafe-styled gray-walled office suite features a green-walled monster salamander mascot, wooden community benches, tile floor, twelve draught serving station and two TV’s.

On my one-hour stopover during March ’23, I consumed nearly all draughts available.

Hellbender Brewing Company

Hellbender’s premier beer, Bare Bones Kolsch, retained spritzy lemon perfuming, dry champagne sparkle, grassy hop astringency and mild mineral graining.

In its cucumber pureed variant, Kuhl As A Cucumber Kolsch, the lemon zesting receives earthen vegetal fungi above its tidy pilsner malt base.

Dry-hopped Special Lager Friend brought tropical guava-pureed passionfruit souring and tangy pineapple lemonade zesting to cologne-perfumed spicing.

Year round India Pale Ale, Ignite, a dark amber moderation with Citra-Centennial-Nugget hop conflux possessed laid-back grapefruit, orange and pineapple bittering as well as ancillary tangerine, clementine and peach tanginess seeping into its dank pine resin above sugared pale malts.

Hazy IPA, Panda Strike Force, let dank wood tones saturate its yellow grapefruit and orange rind bittering and gingery lemongrass herbage over lightly creamed oated wheat.

Perky New England IPA, Unidentified Hazy Object, stayed dry as spritzy grapefruit, orange and pineapple zesting settled alongside Savignon Blanc-derived green grape, guava nd passionfruit sourness.

Ambitious golden ale variant, Love You Honey Bunny Imperial Honey Ale, let oak-toasted vanilla tannins trickle into wildflower honeyed sweetness, lemony gin snips and smooth vodka licks.

Another year-rounder, Southern Torrent Saison, stayed effervescent as floral lemony orange tanginess reached grassy-hopped astringency and wispy peppered herbage.

Breakfast pastry-like fruited sour, Blueberry Flapjacks, a pinkish magenta-hued elixir, knocked off a cinnamon-dusted blueberry pancake embellished by lemon-juiced orange peel zesting above floury vanilla-sugared batter.


Seeking out 3 Stars Brewing Company – Julia Eats


Inside a large red brick warehouse at Washington DC’s northeast corridor, 3 STARS BREWING COMPANY began setting up shop at this former auto body shop, August 2012. Two miles south of Silver Springs’ popular Denizens Brewing, 3 Stars has crafted over 200 beers since inception, “pushing the envelope” stylistically while featuring four durable flagships conceived by entrepreneurial pals Mike Mc Garvey and Dave Coleman.

A bulb-lit 3 Stars insignia above the blackboard beer list captures patrons’ attention nearly as much as the onsite brews. Antique chandeliers and exposed pipes hang from the wood ceiling and a large red and white stars and stripes banner occupies a side wall. A kiosk-like country-styled Urban Farmhouse gets utilized mainly for private parties.

At the rustic cement-floored pub, a compact wood-topped serving station supplies twelve colorfully tap-handled draughts. The right side large-barreled brewroom nears a technicolor walled lantern display while barreled tables and plastic furnishings fill out the room. A community-tabled covered deck with barrel barriers offers outdoor picnic space.


I downed the four flagships before delving further into 3 Star’s likable lineup. Check the Beer Index for reviews on canned Low Hanging Fruit: Cherry & Lime, Birds Of A Feather Fruited Sour, Velvet Zombie Imperial Porter and Zombie Date Night (2022)

Piquantly soft-toned farmhouse offshoot, Peppercorn Saison, let mild currant-dried white and pink peppercorn rusticity influence its wispy limey sage herbage contrasted by delicate candi-sugared lemon meringue, orange marmalade and fried plantain sweetness.

Zesty grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering (from Citra hops) and dry Amarillo-Simcoe hop pining stayed mild against the gentle pale malt-spiced peach, tangerine and mango tanginess of Ghost IPA (not to be confused with witbier-influenced Ghost White IPA).

Briskly clean double dry-hopped hazy pale ale, Diamonds Are Forever, brought lemony grapefruit-peeled orange juicing and limey guava, passionfruit and gooseberry souring (of a tropical NEIPA) to mild resinous floral herbage above thin saltine cracker base.

Toasted pecans subtly sway Southern Belle Imperial Brown Ale, leaving sweet chestnut and hazelnut snips to contrast the ashen walnut bittering atop its brown breaded molasses base.


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In a modern Industrial red brick building at DC’s Ivy City neighborhood, OTHER HALF BREWING opened September 2020, six years after its original Brooklyn, New York business commenced. A 22,000 square foot brewing facility and taproom (formerly a tomato can factory), Other Half’s multifaceted facility includes an outdoor deck, covered pavilion and roof deck.

Inside, the immaculate pub features an elongated tile-sided 12-plus draught bar servicing the cement floored benches and barrel top tables. A rooftop deck (with full bar) allows for more seating.

The first-floored overhead doors lead to the outside deck where my wife and I (with dog, Roscoe) down eight enjoyable tapped offerings (including three lagers, three Imperial IPA’s, an oated cream IPA and a barrel-aged stout) on a rainy Friday evening, May ’22.

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Easygoing helles lager, Box Car, plied mild herbal hop astringency to light lemon spicing over white-breaded pilsner malts.

Spritzy lemon musk and herbal hop astringency paced Ivy City Lager, a dry Eastern European-styled moderation with biscuity toasted grain bottom.

Musty perfumed ricing saddled Japanese-styled rice lager, Poetry Snaps, a pilsner-malted light body with floral-herbed Saaz hops scouring spicily sour lemon musk.

Zesty floral-spiced grapefruit and pineapple brining led golden-hazed Imperial IPA, Blue Crab, picking up Chardonnay-buttered guava, mango and passionfruit snips.

Salty lemon-limed grapefruit bittering, mellow orange peel sweetness and mild pineapple-guava souring guided fellow Imperial IPA, Quonset Hut, to its pine lacquered grassy hop stead.

Meanwhile, New Zealand-styled double dry-hopped Imperial IPA, Riwaka + Motueka, brought limey yogurt-soured guava, gooseberry and pineapple fruiting to soft herbal pungency contrasting mild vanilla creaming of unassumingly 8% ABV medium body.

Lactose-aided Imperial Oat Cream India Pale Ale, Tremendous Cream (a ‘bigger’ 10% ABV version of Dollar And A Dream) tucked away its zestful lemon-limed grapefruit and orange tanginess plus tertiary pineapple, guava and mango onrush for mild grassy hop musk, light herbal snips and dank earthen grains.

Peanut butter-candied chocolate caramel nougat creaminess deepened the bourbon vanilla sweetness of barrel-aged Deep Orbit Cygnus, a decadent Imperial Stout with mild espresso, cappuccino and caffe mocha illusions topping a honeyed Graham Cracker base.


Atlas Brew Works | Washington, DC | Beers | BeerAdvocate Atlas Brew Works Virtual Tasting - 5/14/2021 | Brewbound.com


Just up the street from the Washington Nationals baseball stadium in the industrial Ivy City section, ATLAS BREW WORKS had the unfortunate problem of dealing with Covid lockdowns during its March 2020 opening. But entrepreneurial guiding light, Justin Cox, a Vanderbilt grad with a serious jones for brewing, navigated thru the restrictive guidelines and Atlas quickly became a local staple in the Capitol’s Navy Yard.

Glass-windowed overhead doors and an Anthem banner greet patrons to the first 100% solar powered craft brewery in District of Columbia. Set up like a sportsbar, its mid-sized U-shaped central bar sits between three ceiling-to-floor baseball card-laden columns and multiple TV’s are strewn across the bar, plastic-furnished and right side dining area. An open kitchen serves and the brew tanks are stage left.

We sat on the outdoor deck in the light rain sampling a few Atlas suds while the bustling street fair took place, May ’22.

Atlas Brew Works | Venue, Washington | Get your price estimate

One of two light-bodied year-round ‘core’ beers, brisk lemon fizzing picked up floral earthen grassiness atop delicate pilsner malt graining for popular Bohemian-styled Bullpen Pilsner.

The other easygoing flagship, District Common Draught, placed sharply zestful lemon licks across Saaz hop herbage and vegetal corn astringency over salty pretzel-like doughing.

Sweet Vienna-malted toffee nuttiness secured French bread-crusted Opening Day Vienna Lager, placing herbal hops towards the back end with navel orange snips.

Kulmbacher-styled Czech dark ale, Tmave, plied peaty dark roast grain musk to cocoa-dried date, fig and fennel above mild pumpernickel breading.

Pink Himalayan salting sprinkled the tart blood orange adjunct and mildly acidic lemon limey trail of Blood Orange Gose, a white wheat-based moderation.

Dry white wine esters and mild lemon limed salinity provided light acidity for sour saison, Existential Dread, leaving hay-like barnyard leathering in its wake.

Muddily black malted dark ale, Silent Neighbor Stout, combined dark chocolate, black coffee, espresso, Blackstrap molasses and ashen walnut bittering with wood-seared hop charring.


Right Proper Shaw Brewpub & Kitchen - Event Venue Rental - Washington -  Tagvenue.com


At the trendy Shaw quadrant of Northwest DC, RIGHT PROPER BREWING COMPANY (with a second location, Brookland Production House & Tasting Room, in the nearby Northeast corridor), began as a small neighborhood brewpub during 2013. Known also as the Shaw Brewpub & Kitchen, Right Proper is situated right next to the historic Howard Theatre.

Colorful abstract chalked paintings cover the lacquered cement interior of this rustic wood and metal furnished art deco Industrial site. One abstract mural painting adorns the semi-private red brick right walled Duke Ellington Room.

Classic American pub fare leads the food menu and a gourmet cheese counter located ahead of the two separate 10-seat bars down the narrow hall serves the finest charcuterie delights. Complex, sometimes offbeat, brews, crowd the draught menu. During a rainy Saturday evening, May ’22, discovered six rangy elixirs with son, Christopher (who downed a previously tried Haxan Porter).


The three mainstays for Right Proper include a light lager, souped-up pale ale and kindly witbier.

Classic pre-prohibition styled light lager, Senate Beer, placed buttery corn flaked cereal graining across lemon-licked Fuggle hop earthiness updating an old Heurich Brewing recipe.

Spirited dry-hopped pale ale, Raised By Wolves, brought floral IPA-like grapefruit-peeled navel orange Citra hop effervescence to piney Simcoe hop astringency and mild grassiness above spicy pale malting.

Stylish coriander-spiced orange peel sweetness picked up slight juniper bite and Tettnang/Perle hop herbage over oats-dried torrified wheat for Lil Wit, a well-balanced moderation.

Mimosa-like orange champagne entry guided eccentric blonde ale, Magic Of Music, pushing cara cara orange tanginess thru lemony grapefruit, pineapple and gooseberry fruiting.

Sharp orange-peeled grapefruit bittering and sour white grape esters paced mixed cultured New England IPA, Fear No Art, utilizing leathery brettanomyces yeast to funk up the mildly acidic citric-dried finish.

Lovely Scottish wee heavy nightcap, Go On Wee Man!, coalesced bourbon vanilla spicing, toffee-candied chocolate sweetness, caramelized dried fruiting, milk-sugared coffee tones and cherry cordial snips atop maple molasses-sapped flaked oats.


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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.


District ChopHouse


Right along the historical downtown Washington DC area next to the Verizon Center in Penn Quarters, DISTRICT CHOPHOUSE opened May ’95 and grew to have affiliate brewpub-restaurants in Denver, Boulder and Cleveland. Though my wife and I only stopped in for a few mid-afternoon beers on our March ’12 Maryland-Virginia three-day journey, this upscale chain takes great pride in its seafood, steaks and sandwiches.

Since Bruce Springsteen’s in town tonight, parking’s at a minimum. But we find a free spot along the National Gallery of Art. Within minutes we’re at District Chophouse, a capacious 7th Street beer hall sporting a maroon awning, historic marble columns, exquisite mahogany interior, and basement banquet room. A right side dining area (with moonlit chandeliers), lofty mezzanine area and open kitchen (with hearth) complete the score.

We sit at a table next to the left side bar watching the Penguins and Flyers fight throughout a late-season hockey game while consuming some of the finest mid-Atlantic suds I’d come across. Brewer Barrett Lauer’s wide-ranging ales, crafted at the mezzanine brew kettles and listed on two blackboards, are all on the mark and usually one step beyond stylistic design.

Though the astringent Light Lager’s strictly for amateurs, its corn-oiled popcorn pungency and dried citrus snip bettered Bud-Coors-Miller ‘lite’ beer. And even if Amber Ale suited lighter thirsts, its bolder stylistic approach allowed styptic wood-toned Cascade-hopped spicing to deepen caramelized apple, lemony peach and marmalade undertones.

As smooth as its name, Velvet, defined as a ‘slow pour nut brown,’ pleated wispy charred nuttiness with dainty dark chocolate. Better was the similarly styled Nut Brown, a mildly creamed medium body receiving a sweet toffee, caramel, and chocolate boost above peanut-shelled hazelnut vestiges.

Moderate juniper hop bittering saddled lacquer-fruited IPA, leaving tangy pineapple, mango, peach, pear and apple notions all over its dried fig backend.

Breaking stylistic confines, Oatmeal Stout grazed its expectant milky dark chocolate repertoire with abrupt wood-burnt molasses flickers.

Saving the most exceptional fare for a mesmerized closing trifecta, I drifted off into three ‘big beers.’ Cherry Blossom Fest, an adventurous wheat ale boasting dark sweet cherries tucked candied stone fruits, tart cranberry and leafy dry hops inside whiskey-soaked malts.

Reaching complete euphoria, I sipped remarkable Belgian-styled pale ale hybrid, Brewers Marker, where aromatic French-roast coffee grounds seep into mild wood-singed dried fruits and contrast candied yeast spicing.

Best bet: Bourbon Stout aged in Woodford Reserve Barrels. This resolute oatmeal stout gained luscious bourbon tonicity above dark chocolate frothing, oaken vanilla mellowness and roasted caramel creaminess, finishing with a soothingly warm feel.



Best Washington DC Brewpub | Capitol City Brewing Company | Capitol City  Brews


In town for surprise birthday party to celebrate my Uncle Ed’s 60th birthday May ‘02, found godsend Total Wine & More in Springfield. The store’s wide selection forced me to fill up trunk with much-needed Weeping Radish, Blue Ridge, and De Groen’s brews (all brewed in Maryland), Dominion Octoberfest and Octoberfest Special (Virginia) along with North Carolina middleweights from Rock Creek and Wild Goose.

The only D.C. bottled beer I scored was Olde Heurich Maerzen, though JOHN HARVARD’S BREWHOUSE on Pennsylvania Avenue (closed since ’07) and CAPITOL CITY BREWPUB on Massachusetts Avenue were worth the trip for pints of stout and draft samplers. In July ’07, had Fortunato family reunion at Uncle Ed’s new Fredericksburg estate, buying Williamsburg Washington’s Porter, Legend King James Ale, Speakeasy Old Godfather Barleywine, and five Blue & Gray beers at local Total Wines.