Washington DC pub crawl 2017

Thursday May 11, 2017

After work on a rainy day I visited six DC-area breweries. Since I'd never been to most of them, I got driving directions from Google and printed them out. Yeah, I know that tech-savvy people use a smart phone or a GPS, but I'm not tech-savvy. I feel more comfortable with printed directions because a piece of paper isn't subject to glare and doesn't depend on a power source.

First stop: Franklin's. The only non-DC brewery of the day, and the only one I'd been to before. My friends Kevin and Arlene met me there. I don't see them very often and it was nice catching up with them. We chatted with brewer Mike Roy for a while. I tried three sour beers and a non-sour:

Me and Kevin.

In addition to a brewery (left 2 photos) and restaurant, the place also has a general store (right photo) that sells all sorts of games and novelties. The photo shows only a small part of the store.

I said good-bye to my friends and headed to 3 Stars, where another friend, Milhouse, has been head brewer since 2016 after being an assistant brewer at Duclaw for several years. DC Brau opened in 2012. The tap room is called the Urban Farmhouse. There is also a homebrew shop and a lab.

Homebrew shop.

Milhouse gave me a pint of Sour Baltic, a Baltic porter aged in funky barrels. It was sour and great. He then gave me a 10-cent tour...

...before leading me into the Funkerdome, where the funky beers are made. At the time it had more than 120 barrels.


As he left he gave me a bottle of Funkyard Dog to take home with me. Then I went to the Urban Farmhouse and sampled:

Next stop: Hellbender, which was founded in 2014. I did this crawl on a Thursday because Hellbender was the only place on my itinerary that wasn't open on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. It's a good thing I did my research because there's no way I would have found this place without explicit directions and the address. Here is the front door. Where is the Hellbender sign?

In case you missed it, it's in the window to the left, behind the prison bars. I asked the bartender about this and he said something about DC ordinances on sign sizes. The researcher in me was curious so I searched and found the DC sign regulations in a Word document here. You can read the size limits starting at §714. Anyway, I sampled the following in tasting glasses that were shaped like cans:


I fought the worsening traffic and made my way to DC Brau, where I took note of the signs.

Another sign in prison.

I sampled:

There was a sign on the restroom mirror that I had seen a month or two earlier at Oliver Brewing:

My server told me that Right Proper had a location nearby. I had already been to their Shaw Brewpub a few times but was not aware of this other location. So I deviated from my planned itinerary and used my iPhone map app to navigate to Right Proper's Brookland Production House. Guess I'm not so tech-illiterate after all.

The tasting room was dark, cozy, and classier than most (not that absence of class is a bad thing). Many of the patrons were playing trivia. I sampled:

I wasn't allowed to walk through the brewery but they let me step in and take a few photos from the corner.

There was a piano in the restroom, I suppose so people could crap in D minor. Maybe that's what Beethoven's movements were all about.

Then it was off to my last stop: Atlas Brew Works. I had to use my phone again since the directions I'd printed were from DC Brau, not Right Proper. Atlas was somewhat pricier than all the other places. I sampled:

Just like the previous two places, Atlas had something interesting in the restroom:

What a great way to spend a rainy afternoon/evening. There's something about visiting breweries that makes the beer-drinking experience even better.