Young and Hungry

DC’s a Great Beer City, Chapter 2

Yesterdays' Chapter 1 post was the first jab in a multi-tome rebuttal to the simplistic argument that DC is a wine town, not a beer town. Washington residents' easy access to an ever-growing amount of great craft beer in neighborhood stores and bars was astutely pointed out. The Lagerheads are up. Here's Chapter 2.

  • There's More Beer in DC. Period. While the number of people who live in the Washington/NOVA/Maryland metro area double that of the Baltimore/Towson area, the actual populations of the cities of Balitmore and DC vary only slightly (640,000 to 590,000, respectively). One would think that the number of brewpubs, breweries, beer stores, and beer bars in each city would be commensurate with population. However, when one inspects the Beer Mapping Project's city maps and compares Washington to Baltimore, it is clear that DC has a lot more to offer overall, despite the slightly smaller "city proper" population. And places to get beer are spread throughout the DC metro area while Baltimore's watering holes and stations are primarily concentrated in downtown and Fell's Point.

  • Homebrewers: Where It's At. If you are going to argue that your city's beer scene kicks the cask out of another city's, you better familiarize yourself with the homebrewing community of that so-called "wine town." BURP (Brewers United for Real Potables), with over 300 members, has been going strong for almost 30 years. DC Homebrewers, a hipper, more urban homebrewing club that started only a year and a half ago, meets monthly and already has over 100 members–mainly from inside the District. And we've even found rogue homebrewers not tied to any network doing some really creative underground stuff. We may have to travel outside DC to get our supplies, but DC homebrewers are plentiful and productive. We're here, we brew beer, get used to it.
  • The Beer Buzz. We prefer the feel of paper and hate a wonk as much as the next guy, but what can you do in this day and age? If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. There are a lot of people in DC writing about beer and that writing usually manifests itself on the interwebs. The "Beerspotter" and yours truly keep it real (ale style) here at the City Paper. The Washington Post's Greg Kistock has a regular column. On Tap and Mid-Atlantic Brewing News cover beer in the region, and DC is strongly represented in both publications. The DCist has Eric Axelson and even the refined publication The Atlantic (Bruce's alma mater) has Clay Risen. And then there are the independent blogs. A couple favorites: Mike Dolan's dcbeer and Tom Cizauskus' YFGF.
  • miked

    Great series guys, thanks for the love.

  • Paul F

    I don't know, I'd think you'd need at least 4-5 indie brewpubs and at least a microbrewery (two would be better) to qualify as any kind of a beer town. Not saying Gordon Biersch or Chop House or Cap City aren't good, they just don't shout out "the District" in creation/inspiration/identification.

    Charleston SC seems more of a "beer town" than DC, to this outside observer...with a population of around 330K in the whole county.

    But I live in Denver, so I'm spoiled.

  • Jon

    Guerilla homebrewers unite! I'm trying a coffee bock for October, and a repeat of my pumpkin porter for the fall...

  • Garver

    Shame. Shame and Dismay. Dismay and Shame. And the scorn. May they all be heaped upon you for failing to give credit where it's due to myLHBS in Falls Church, notably located directly across from the DHF alehouse