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New Brewery, Atlas Brew Works, Coming to Ivy City in NE DC

by Prince Of Petworth December 10, 2012 at 11:30 am 22 Comments

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Atlas Brew Works will join three other DC breweries – 3 Stars, Chocolate City and DC Brau. We judged our favorites here.

From a press release:

Experienced homebrewer Justin Cox is teaming up with longtime friend and accomplished commercial brewer Will Durgin to bring the District of Columbia fresh craft beer from Northeast DC. Atlas Brew Works plans to install its 20 barrel brew house at 2052 West Virginia Ave NE and begin producing unique local brews in the first quarter of 2013.

Atlas Brew Works’ beer portfolio will include American style craft ales and lagers along with an extensive sour and barrel aging program. The beers will be crafted with careful consideration to food pairings and a flare for experimentation. Cox and Durgin became friends while attending Vanderbilt University as engineering students. While there, they developed a taste for the full flavor and complexity of American craft beer, and dreamed of one day opening a brewery of their own.

Continues after the jump.

Cox began homebrewing a few years later and was immediately hooked by the joy of the creative process and opportunity for experimentation his home brewery offered. Cox has created over twenty beer recipes during his eight years of homebrewing experience. His Schwarzbier Black Lager recipe took first place at the 2010 DC State Fair homebrew competition. He also took home the second place and Fan Favorite accolades at the 2011 DC Hombrewers Association Contest for his Rowdy Ale. He is now Founder & CEO of Atlas Brew Works after completing a Presidential ManagementFellowship with the Federal government.

Durgin began professionally brewing beer immediately upon leaving college. In 2008, he graduated from the Master Brewers Program and the Professional Brewers Certificate Program at the University of California, Davis, one of the country’s premiere brewing institutions. He joined Telegraph Brewing Company in Santa Barbara, CA as a brewer and quickly rose to become Head Brewer in 2009 – making him the youngest Head Brewer in the State of California at the time. In 2010 Durgin began brewing on a larger scale at Pyramid Breweries in Portland, Oregon. As Head Brewer for Atlas Brew Works he will use his small and large scale brewing experience to oversee all aspects of production for the brewery.

While Durgin was Head Brewer at Telegraph, its California Ale and Stock Porter both earned an A- from beer critics Beer Advocate. Telegraph’s White Ale was named one of the “Top 25 Beers of 2010” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. While at Pyramid, Mactarnahan’s Amber Ale earned a Silver Medal in the English Style Pale Ale category at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival. He also co-created the recipe for Telegraph’s Rhinoceros Rye Wine that took Bronze at the 2012 World Beer Cup in the Other Belgian Style Ale category.

Atlas Brew Works will take over 9,200 square feet at 2052 West Virginia Ave NE later this month. ABW plans to invite the public for tours, tastings, and the opportunity to purchase fresh beer in growlers directly from the facility while learning about the art and science of brewing. “We live and now work in this neighborhood, and really want to integrate the business to be a good neighbor and to provide our community with a source of high quality local beer. We hope people will drop by to fill up a growler on their way home from work or while out and about. Freshness really makes a huge difference in a beer’s taste, and a growler straight from our tanks is about as fresh as you can get!”

  • Anonymous

    so excited about this! ivy city is becoming the hot new neighborhood, with all of its dispensaries, strip clubs, and breweries

    • Anonymous

      Now that the Navy Yard is under transformation, it’s just about the last place in town where you can find a warehouse to rent.

  • Pretty impressive backgrounds with these guys. Can’t wait to try their beer.

  • Anonymous

    Does Gordon Biersch no longer make beer on site? Or do they just sell what they make in the restaurant, therefore they are not a brewery? I’m curious the distinction.

    • They sell what they make on site and are classified as a brewpub. They do not package and distribute at all (a la breweries).

    • I think Gordon Biersch, Capital City, and District Chophouse are technically brewpubs, rather than breweries.

      I know that Right Proper in Shaw will be a brewpub, and not sure how the Bardo property on Bladensburg will be classified.

      Either way, I’m happy for more local beer options!

  • Johnny

    Happy to have some more local variety coming down the pipe. DC has long been a craft beer consuming town. Now we are fast becoming a craft beer producing town. Plenty of demand to go around. Can’t wait.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone know if there’s a specific reason (e.g., change in regulations) that’s responsible for the recent blooming of the DC beer brewing scene? Between DC Brau, Chocolate City, 3 star, and now this, it’s really taking off. And Green Hat too!

    • Anonymous

      http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2012/09/washington-dc-local-breweries-dc-brau-3-stars-chocolate-city.html slightly touches on why the resurgence of beer in DC. But it is a question that doesn’t have one specific answer.

    • dave b

      People hadnt opened a brewery (as opposed to brew pub) in dc in like 50 years and there werent any around anymore. Either nobody knew what the rules were or they were archaic. DC Brau I think cracked that nut and now everybody else knows how to do it.

      This craft beer thing just keeps growing somehow. Wonder where it will end. What other industry has gone from a few large players to many smaller and smaller ones? I buy a different six pack every time I’m at the store and a lot of stuff tastes similar. Will the hope of discovering something new keep me and others trying new things constantly for ten more years or will we just start buying the cheapest good pale ale or porter and call it a day. Are these small breweries going to consolidate and take advantage of economies of scale?

      There are a lot of people out there who dont vary from Bud, etc. I think they’ll eventually come around and some people just arent exposed to good beer.

      • BigCountry

        In 1870 there were almost 3,300 breweries operating in the good ole US of A. In 1915 that number dropped to about 1,300. The idea of drinking locally made beers from small independent breweries is nothing new. It was only after prohibition that the huge breweries completely took over the market.

  • As a fellow VUSE grad, I’m super excited to try these guys’ beer!

  • That Man A


  • Trinidaddy

    I’ve had Justin’s beer and it’s fantastic. Really looking forward to this and very excited!

  • Anonymous

    So what kind of beers are we going to get out of Atlas?

  • Great to have another brewery in Ward 5. Looks like Ward 5 is solidifying its position as the brewing center of DC.

  • Kerry

    Very cool. Went on the DC Brau tour a few weekends ago and it was great. High hopes for this place!


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