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Beer: Fermentables in your future

Still another microbrewery is scheduled to land in D.C.

Dave Coleman, beer director for The Big Hunt in Dupont Circle, hopes to have his 3 Stars Brewing Co. (named after the emblem on the District flag) operational by late spring or early summer 2011.

His flagship beer will be “a well-rounded, highly hopped yet balanced American IPA with a strong malt bill and an aromatic hop character.” He also plans to produce four seasonals plus occasional higher-alcohol special releases, in kegs and 12-ounce bottles.

Coleman says he’s looking at warehouses in Columbia Heights to accommodate a 20-barrel brewing system.


Community relations are a cornerstone of Coleman’s business plan. One of his ideas is to use the spent grain from the mash tun to make loaves of bread, which could be donated to a worthy cause.

By the time Coleman opens, two other local microbreweries, both marketing an IPA and both incorporating imagery from the District flag into their logos, expect to have product in area bars. Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock of D.C. Brau were preparing to move into their new digs on Bladensburg Avenue NE this week, and were expecting the imminent arrival of a canning machine from Cask Brewing Systems in Alberta, Canada.

“If all goes well, we hope to brew our first batch on Christmas Eve and officially open our doors on January 1, 2011,” said Skall.

As for Chocolate City Brewing Co., the neighborhood blog Prince of Petworth reports that partners Jay Irizarry, Ben Matz and Brian Flanagan have acquired a building in Northeast D.C.’s Brookland neighborhood and hope to introduce kegs of Big Chair IPA (named after an Anacostia landmark) in late December.

Will Washington be overserved by so many breweries going online in such a short interval?

Coleman doesn’t think so: “The beer market in D.C. is thriving, and with the amount of great beer destinations blossoming, and volume of craft beers being brought in from other cities, we have no doubt that there is plenty of business to spread around and that we can become a locally brewed favorite. We have been in extensive talks with D.C. Brau, whom we call friends, and are very excited about the collaborations we will be doing as the foundation of D.C.'s brewing community.”

While bracing for this tsunami of local beer, Washingtonians might want to turn their attention to another fermented beverage: hard cider. About an hour’s drive away in Jefferson, Md., 10 miles west of Frederick, Distillery Lane Ciderworks held its grand opening on Saturday.

When I wrote about Distillery Lane last October, owner Rob Miller was selling apples and sweet cider. This summer, he and cidermaker Tim Rose received the necessary licensing to make the alcoholic variety.

His first offering is fermented from a blend of Saint Edmund’s Russet and Bulmer’s Norman apples. Miller says "it’s semi-dry with a nice body. I’d give it a pretty good grade for the first time out of here.” The cider measures 6 to 7 percent alcohol by volume, and will be available only at the cidery, priced at $10 for a 750-mililiter bottle.

Miller isn’t seeking consistency in his product. “Our cider will vary pretty much every month, depending on what apples we have.” (His orchard has more than 2,500 apple trees, representing 30 strains.) A few weeks from now, he expects to be selling a cider made from Sweet Coppin and Redfield (the latter a bittersharp variety, rich in acids and tannins). “They make a beautiful red cider,” he says

Distillery Lane is open on weekends from noon to 5 p.m. Check it out at CiderApples.com.

-- Greg Kitsock

By Greg Kitsock  |  September 7, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Beer  | Tags: Beer, Greg Kitsock  
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Comments

Fix the Prince of Petworth link, Greg. One period in the right place will do it.

Posted by: LNER4472 | September 7, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

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