It’s already been a tough 2016 Bierdos! Rock star and celebrity deaths have become an alarmingly increasing weekly ritual on my Facebook newsfeed—enough to drive you to drink! Music has been a passion of mine for longer than my love of beer, so it was time to raise a cold one in DC for some fallen Bowie-esque “heroes” to celebrate all the great music that changed my life. It just so happened we were raising a glass of DC Brau’s Alpha Domina Mellis (an amazing new DIPA made with local honey and 100 IBU’s of experimental hops) last week for Lemmy of Motorhead with my DC Brau tasting room and concert buddy Jon Pacella, when I realized that a seven-minute drive northeast was the new Right Proper Brookland Production House (920 Girard St. DC; 202-526-5904; www.rightproperbrewing.com), and I had to absolutely check it out. As I entered the extravagant new tasting room, randomly enough, I was greeted by the sound of the rambunctious joyful singing of bar goers and the chiming keys of an old piano. “How ironic,” I thought (still reminiscing about all the music I had thought we had lost that week) as I followed the tunes to what ended up to be the bathroom, where to my surprise sat a full piano in the corner of the men’s room. “Now this was a place with character,” I thought out loud as I was invited to sing—and we hadn’t even gotten to the beers yet!
“I’ll say it again, truly, ‘The road goes on forever and the party never ends’.” –Robert Earl Keen
The Brookland Tasting Room & Production House is a beautiful, reclaimed cherrywood bar, adorned with growlers to fill and the wonderful old brickwork and artwork you’re accustomed to at their first location, Right Proper Shaw Brewpub & Kitchen (624 T Street, NW DC 202-607-2337), only the new facility is located on Girard Street NE near 10th Street NE in the residential neighborhood of Brookland—a lovely neighborhood retreat for young professionals and hipsters who don’t want the corporate setting of downtown DC, but who still want an element of class and design. It’s a cozy tasting nook with an amazing facility where you can view the rustic wooden foudres and spotless new brewing equipment from the tasting room window or take tours of on Saturdays, every hour from 1:30-6:30 p.m. Tasting room hours are Thursday through Friday 5-9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 1–9 p.m. There’s no food yet, but you can bring your own or hit up a food truck outside regularly. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever met a more welcoming staff, and we shared stories and laughed throughout the night. I don’t want to ruin the surprise element of how great this production tasting room really is visually, so just know it’s impressive enough for a date and the perfect spot for warming up this winter with friends in a classy beer environment. You will be in awe to say the very least! Here are some beers to toast the good times and to roast the bad times—truly a new beer oasis that I had to rub my eyes and see to believe. Great beer, music and merriment all wrapped up into one new refined location!
- Ornithology 3.9%: The standard here for a first-timer and a yeasty upgrade of their original Ornette offering I’ve enjoyed in Shaw for years, this light, bright, session-like wheat beer is more complex than you’d think, fermented with wild yeast in French oak foudres in the new tasting room. Rating: Foudres-tastic!
- Raised By Wolves 5%: An aromatic pale ale dry hopped for a dry but juicy and fruity citrus taste. My personal go to at Right Proper as a hop head in 2016. Rating: Raise the woof!
- Haxan 7%: If you’re looking for something more malty and sweet with a kick, try this Baltic leaning porter. Roasted Chocolate notes dominate this semi-booze bomb, as it’s definitely a more delicious and improved offering than the original recipe I had at Brew at the Zoo many years ago before they opened. Rating: They improved the un-improvable. Fantastic.
- Baron Corvo 7%: A slightly strong farmhouse ale fermented in those fantastic French oak foudres again, this yeast driven beauty is for the more refined beer drinker with a wine-like oaky profile that has hints of fruit and spice. The yeast dominates in very good way. Rating: Beast of the yeast!
Have a beer for the Bierdo to try? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: Nick Hardt