Local Beer News – 3 Stars create house beer for Daikaya and DC Brau win Two Gold Medals at the US Open Beer Championship

Far right is Mike McGarvey (CEO & Head Brewer), Katsuya Fukushima in the middle, and Chef Michael Turner with the brew paddle, courtesy 3 Stars

From a press release:

“3 STARS works with katsuya fukushima to create house beer For Daikaya [705 6th Street, NW]
Local craftsmen combine talents to brew unique craftbeer, the Sansho Panza!

What happens when you take one of the brightest stars in the DC culinary scene and pair him up with DC’s cutting edge craft brewery? You end up with the very unique opportunity to discover a new interpretation of some classic Japanese ingredients reimagined as a delightful seasonal saison. Executive Chef Katsuya Fukushima is the man behind the amazing Daikaya, with partners Yama Jewayni and Daisuke Utagawa, and when he decided to pursue a brew to match his unique creations, he simply looked for the local standout crafting their own innovations and cutting edge beers. Brewed to be the perfect sidekick to the seasonal offerings at Daikaya, The Sansho Panza, is brewed with fresh yuzu and sansho pepper, both of which lend a nice bright citrus character to the light earthy saison.

The Sansho Panza will be priced at $9 per beer debuting at Daikaya on July 10th, in the Izakaya at 705 6th St. NW in Chinatown, and will be celebrated alongside other craft offerings from the brewery, as well as some special menu items to enhance the release. This will be an ongoing collaboration between Daikaya and 3 Stars where they will continue to use seasonally appropriate ingredients to create new house selections for both the Ramen Shop and the upstairs Izakaya.”

Photo tweeted by @mayorvincegray on DC Brau’s three year anniversary

Congrats to the boys from DC Brau bringing home two gold medals from the US Open Beer Championship:

“American Pale Ale
GOLD – The Public – DC Brau Brewing – Washington DC
SILVER – Cardinal Pale Ale – Nebraska Brewing – Nebraska
BRONZE – 8-Bit Pale Ale – Tallgrass Brewing – Kansas

Belgian Pale Ale
GOLD – The Citizen – DC Brau Brewing – Washington DC
SILVER – Criterion – Valiant Brewing – California
BRONZE – White Hatter – New Holland Brewing – Michigan”

30 Comment

  • My DC breweries rank:
    1. 3 Stars
    2. Bluejacket
    3. Atlas
    4. DC Brau
    5. Chocolate City

    • justinbc

      I would flip 1 and 2 and agree on the rest.

      • justinbc

        Actually I would add in Right Proper as #2, with 3 Stars #3.

        • OP here, not my comment above. I like Bluejacket, though they are inconsistent. Credit for trying the unconventional. They have a couple new IPAs, which were lacking before. Likewise, has RIght Proper improved since opening? I was not impressed a few months ago, found several brews flavor- and bodyless.

          • justinbc

            The couple ultra-low ABV beers I had at Right Proper were pretty bad, I would have rather had water, but I think their good is better than the rest of the field below them. Everyone drinks for a different reason, to be sure. If I were judging based solely on consistently good, yet not so adventurous beers, 3 Stars would probably get my #1 slot. I’ve been drinking craft beers for so long now though that I really want my palette challenged, and Blue Jacket and Right Proper are the only ones in DC currently doing that for me.

          • leftcoastsouthpaw

            As much as I want to like Right Proper, I was really disappointed by their beers. I didn’t try all of them, but the couple I did were pretty bland.

            My rankings:
            2)3 Stars
            3)Chocolate City
            4)Blue Jacket
            5)DC Brau
            6)Right Proper

      • Bluejacket at #1!? That brewery should not even be in the top 5! Bluejacket could have been good if they did not force Megan Parisi out and if they narrowed their 20-something beers down to 5 regular and 5 rotating. Seriously, less is more when it comes to a new brewery…look how well that motto is working for DC Brau. They have PERFECTED The Citizen and The Public and it looks like it has paid off. Plus Bluejacket is owned by Neighborhood Restaurant Group [Mafia], why support them?! I’ll stick with 3 stars, DC Brau, Atlas, Right Proper and my killer homebrews.

        • justinbc

          I’m going to ignore the obvious agenda part of your post and just focus on your claim that DC Brau has “perfected” Citizen and Public. Both of those beers were actually pretty good when they were first released, and now taste like a shell of their original form. If anything they’ve gotten worse.

          • I agree completely. I only order DC Brau these days if it’s significantly cheaper than other beer I’d rather enjoy. The beers they make these days are highly mediocre at best.

          • Justin, I was responding to your post suggesting that Bluejacket is #1. Ignoring my “agenda” is simply ignoring the point, Bluejacket does not produce good beer. PERIOD. I have only resided in DC for 3 years so I cannot comment on the “original” form of DC Brau. What I drink today and what the judges drank at the US Open Beer Championships must taste pretty darn great. I am suggesting that Bluejacket can easily up the quality of some of their beers if they dial back the number of overall beers they produce. Just look at all the top West Coast Breweries (Russian River, Green Flash, Stone, Ale Works) all have a regular 5-8 beers and then rotate seasonally. They did not break ground producing 20 beers plus collaboration brews.

          • justinbc

            @anon 1:31, OK, I’m just going to tell you that the way your post comes across is as someone who was friends with the original brewmaster and has some vendetta against NRG. They haven’t really changed the styles of beers they’re doing since her departure, so that detail is really somewhat negligible. And please don’t try to tell me that Stone keeps a low profile in brewing variety, they are quite possibly the most diverse of any craft brewery in the US. I wish DC had a brewing scene as vibrant as San Diego, or Denver, or Portland, but it doesn’t, and it won’t as long as people favor boring (DB Brau) over creative (Right Proper and BJ). Luckily both of those establishments stay packed pretty much daily, so those who don’t enjoy them for what they are really aren’t hurting the growth all that much. Also, let’s not equate a gold medal at one of the thousands of beer festivals held across the country with winning the World Cup or anything. It’s a nice honor, sure, but everyone of these things produces a different result, tasting the same beers.

        • I agree 100%. Bluejacket would not even crack my top 3 (3 Stars, Atlas and Chocolate City). It’s easy to crank out beer when you have millions of dollars backing you. Unfortunately for them, the quality of their production even isn’t that great to begin with. Sh!t in…sh!t out.

    • Accountering

      1. Bluejacket
      2. 3 Stars
      3. DC Brau
      4. Atlas
      5. Chocolate City

    • Has Bluejacket improved? I went there a few weeks after they opened, and it. Was. Awful. Probably the worst beer I’ve ever tried. IIRC they changed their brewmaster since.

      • justinbc

        They changed brewmaster in a sense (it’s now brewed by committee), but not much of a change in stylistic approach. A lot of their stuff isn’t for everyone, so if you didn’t like it then you probably won’t now. (Although it’s hard to tell from your post if you’re referring to a singular beer or multiple you tried.)

        • Thanks. Taste is obviously subjective, but I have a good amount of experience with craft beer and tried most of Bluejacket’s offerings. There were a few that were relatively inoffensive in a Miller Lite sort of way, but many I found others to be watered down or just completely lacking in complexity. Like the sour beers that tasted like lemonade without the sugar.

          • justinbc

            I think on some beers they definitely try too hard. Not everything needs to be infused with some special ingredient to be good. But ultimately I prefer a brewery that at least tries to push boundaries, even if they’re not always successful. I actually don’t care too much for the sour trend, so a lot of their stuff I recognize it as good or bad for what it is, but will only sample a bit. Their dark beers are unrivaled in DC though.

  • Chocolate city is horrible. They have such a cool space. I hope someone buys it and starts brewing non crap beer

    • +5 how is Chocolate City not at the bottom of everyone’s list?

      Also, seriously, DC Brau winning a medal? I agree with some of the comments above about how their beers are “OK” at best.

      On dcloafer’s sh*t-list: DC Brau, Chocolate City, Yes! Market

      • justinbc

        Almost every Chocolate City beer I’ve had has been borderline drinkable, at best. Not sure what’s up with that brewery, but I avoid their tap handles now unless someone is offering it for free.

  • Can we talk about how overpriced 3 Stars is? They brew great beer, true. I’ve loved everything they’ve put out, but goddamn are they highway robbers. $9 for the house beer? $10 & $11 for 12oz and pints? They must be charging an arm and a leg to bars, because those prices are reflected everywhere their beer is.

    Even though I love their beer, I almost never order it for that reason.

    • According to several bartenders/owners, they are indeed charging an arm and a leg. But, people keep paying the exorbitant prices, so I guess it’s working?

    • I doubt this pricing has anything to do with 3 stars. Everything at DC bars is overprices. Get up to 3 Stars on Saturdays for Growler Hours, good deal.

      • This just doesn’t seem true to my experience. Yes, DC is a pricey city, but 3 Stars is consistently 40% – 50% more expensive than other local beers on any menu I come across. My guess is that this is why some local breweries are expanding production and growing distribution, while 3 Stars still has a tiny staff and a small operation.

    • justinbc

      I’ve long had this complaint about pretty much every beer brewed here. The city needs to offer them similar tax incentives that are in place in other great brewing cities which help keep local beer costs down. Go to almost any bar (that isn’t a swanky cocktail place or steakhouse) in SD and order a Stone, Ballast Point, Alesmith, Lost Abbey, Mission, etc and you’ll almost never pay more than $6, and it’s usually somewhere closer to $5. If you pay more than $4 at the actual brewery it’s rare. Cost of living there is only moderately less than it is here, so that excuse doesn’t fly. It’s embarrassing how much more our own local stuff costs compared to significantly better beers from other regions on the same menu.

      • Yeah. I paid around $5 for a pint at Lagunitas last week and $5 for a 500ml bottle from Russian River for Pliny the Elder. Beer prices in DC make me sad.

    • Agreed. They have several good beers, and I’m always tempted by their saisons when I see them on tap, but in the end I can always get something better/just as good for less money.

  • To be fair, DC’s water is utter crap. Awful taste, lots of particulate matter, and a thick white chalky residue when you let it evaporate in a glass. We seriously have some of the worst water in the country.
    Like someone else said above: shit in, shit out.

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