The New Columbia Distilling Company (located at 1832 Fenwick St NE Washington, DC), are the producers of Green Hat Gin and they will happily let you visit the distillery when you come by between the hours of 9am and 5pm Monday through Friday. If you come by on Saturdays between 1pm and 4pm, they offer gin tasting to go with your tour. Unlike the last time I visited an alcoholic beverage producer, I managed to show up when they were actually open. I was able to sample the new spring gin – it’s excellent.
Getting to the distillery was a little bit harder for me because I’m not as familiar with the streets in Northeast DC. Additionally, there are parts of northeast where the grid isn’t quite so… grid-like. Anyhow, I found a route composed of relatively quite roads, that should get you there easily. I will mention that there are a good number of small hills along this ride, so give your brakes a quick test before you head out. (Note: you should always do this).
I started the ride at 14th and Harvard street (NW). Heading eastbound on Harvard, I continued along until I reached Michigan Ave, south of the hospital. I continued on Michigan, until I reached Franklin Avenue, where I made a right to pick up Franklin. Franklin is pretty easy to ride on, but there are some of those rolling hills that I mentioned earlier. You’ll continue on Franklin all the way until you reach 14th street NE, which will be a right turn.
Continues after the jump.
As you cross Rhode Island Avenue, 14th street changes names to Montana Avenue. It’s fairly seamless, because you are simply continuing in what feels like a straight line. It was so easy, I did not notice the name change until I checked the map before writing this post. Montana Avenue hits a round-about which is pretty easy to navigate to West Virginia Avenue. The best way to be safe in a DC roundabout is to follow the lights (or traffic) and wait your turn. Once you are on West Virginia you should keep your eyes peeled for Fenwick Street – it will be a right turn. The distillery is up a little hill on your left hand side.
This ride is pretty short, starting where I did it took about 30 min or so, traveling just under four miles total. In my route planning, I realized that there is another intuitive approach, which I did not put on the map. If you wanted to, you could come up West Virginia avenue from the south, via K street. That seems like it would work well if you were starting in a different place than me. Any route to keep you off New York Avenue, because that would be a bad time.
I would recommend bringing a friend on this ride, the gin tours and tastings are really cool. When I was there, they let me taste some of the raw ingredients, which was definitely interesting. It’s also possible to be a part of the community bottling effort, which looks like it would be a lot of fun to try out. You can sign up on their website (greenhatgin.com), or in person. Have fun, and be safe – keep the rubber side down.