2015 was a big year for beer in DC. Right Proper built a new production facility in Brookland, DC Brau started burst distributing in Massachusetts, and several new breweries opened their doors in the DMV including 7 Locks, Fair Winds and Ocelot. It was also a great year for delicious new brews and reimagined classics. Here are On Tap’s best ten local beers of 2015.
Ghost White IPA
3 Stars Brewing Company
Style: White IPA | ABV: 5.90% | IBU: N/A
In 2015, 3 Stars started offering some of their classic brews in cans, like the Ghost White IPA, now available in a 16-ounce tallboy. The well-carbonated white IPA pours a bright orange color with light citrus and earthy hop aromas. Mild grapefruit flavors mix with bright lemongrass notes to create a beautifully balanced and sessionable IPA.
3 Stars Brewing Company: 6400 Chillum Pl. NW, DC; www.3starsbrewing.com
Atlas Brew Works
Style: American IPA | ABV: 7.30% | IBU: 62
Last year Atlas Brew Works debuted their new American IPA hopped with cascade, Chinook and mandarina hops. Munich malt creates a medium body and highlights the light tropical fruit and grassy flavors. Ponzi is named after infamous con artist Charles Ponzi for its deceptively high alcohol content.
Atlas Brew Works: 2052 West Virginia Ave. #102 NE, DC; www.atlasbrewworks.com
Burley Oak Brewing Company
Style: Berliner Weisse | ABV: 4.4% | IBU: 4
2015 saw an increase in demand for quality sour beers and Burley Oak’s canned offering is no exception. Sorry Chicky is a tart Berliner Weisse with a funky peach and citrus aroma. Lightly carbonated and slightly sweet with a crisp finish, Chicky is the perfect session beer for sour enthusiasts.
Style: German Pilsner | ABV: 4.6% | IBU: 28
DC Brau added a classic German Pilsner to complement the brewery’s impressive arsenal of canned beers. The crisp lager style is light-bodied with spicy hop character from the German Hallertau hops. Brau Pils has a rich, bready start with a clean, malty finish and is perfect for camping, grilling, or tailgating.
DC Brau: B 3178 Bladensburg Rd. NE, DC; www.dcbrau.com
Fair Winds Brewing Company
Style: Farmhouse Saison | ABV: 7.2% | IBU: 32
One of Virginia’s newest breweries has already taken home a gold medal from the 2015 GABF for Siren’s Lure. This hop-forward saison is dry hopped with citra and German Blanc hops to compliment its wheat and Vienna malt body. Brewed with French farmhouse yeast, Siren’s Lure has a subtle funk and lemongrass flavor. It is not to be missed.
Fair Winds Brewing Company: Suite K and L, 7000 Newington Rd. Lorton, VA; www.fairwindsbrewing.com
Bourbon Barrel Gingerbread Stout 2015
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Style: Barrel-Aged Stout | ABV: 10.6% | IBU: 55
Hardywood’s 2015 version of their barrel-aged gingerbread stout is truly “Christmas in a bottle.” Brewed with vanilla beans, cinnamon, Casselmonte Farm baby ginger, and Bearer Farms wildflower honey and then matured for 12 months in Virginia bourbon barrels, it is both smooth and complex.
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery: 2408-2410 Ownby Ln. Richmond, VA; www.hardywood.com
Ocelot Brewing Company
Style: American IPA | ABV: 6.8% | IBU: 60
The brand new Ocelot Brewing Company draws inspiration from music; the brewery takes its name from a popular Phish song. Their American IPA, California Stars, is yellow in color with a subtle bitterness from grapefruit, tropical fruit, and grassy hop flavoring. It is reasonably boozy with a dry finish, making it a success among fans of higher-gravity hoppy beers.
Ocelot Brewing Company: 23600 Overland Dr. #180, Dulles, VA; www.ocelotbrewing.com
Port City Brewing Company
Style: California Common | ABV: 4.8% | IBU: 43
In summer 2012, the Derecho storm left millions of DC area residents without power, including Port City Brewing Company. The power outage made it difficult for the brewers to control the temperature of fermentation, which resulted in Derecho Common, a California steam beer. Slight hops and bready malt make this beer a delicious tribute to the notorious storm.
Port City Brewing Company: 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.portcitybrewing.com
RaR (Realalerevival) Brewing
Style: American Pale Ale | ABV: 4.4% | IBU: n/a
Located on the other side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, RaR Brewing is doing their part to make delicious American cask ales. Check Point is a session pale ale that pours a bright straw color. It has tropical fruit and light citrus hop flavors that taste wonderful in cask form. It is worth the short trip to the brewery since RaR beers are difficult to find in DC.
RaR (Realalerevival) Brewing: 504 Poplar St. Cambridge, MD; www.rarbrewing.com
Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne
Right Proper Brewing Company
Style: Berliner Weisse | ABV: 3.6% | IBU: n/a
Right Proper’s hugely popular Berliner Weisse is named after track one of the 1980 album “Suicide: Alan Vega and Martin Rev” by American electronic duo Suicide. The moderately sour beer aims to mimic champagne with a similar appearance and effervescence. Hints of lemon citrus in the nose combine with elderflower, grapefruit zest, and Hallertau Blanc hops to create a truly memorable brew.
Right Proper Brewing Company: 624 T St. NW, DC; www.rightproperbrewing.com