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DC’s Fourth Local Brewery, Atlas Brew Works, Will Start Distribution of 3 Beers this Summer

by Prince Of Petworth April 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm 37 Comments

Atlas Brew Works
Photo via Atlas Brew Works Facebook page.

Atlas Brew Works will join three other DC breweries – 3 Stars, Chocolate City and DC Brau.

From a press release:

Atlas Brew Works, the District’s newest production craft brewery, today announced the signing of a distribution deal with Premium Distributors of Washington DC, the leader in beer distribution within the District.

“Premium’s track record in craft beer speaks for itself,” said Atlas CEO Justin Cox, “They have the
infrastructure, resources, and professionalism to best represent Atlas in the District.” Atlas Brew Works, founded by Cox and award winning professional brewer Will Durgin, is on track to open this summer with three beers: Rowdy, a hop-forward American-style ale, accented by peppery rye notes, District Common, a California Common featuring Czech Saaz hops, and a third beer which will remain a surprise.

“We are thrilled to be working with a local DC brewery,” commented John Zeltner, President of Premium
Distributors of Washington DC, “Atlas will fill a void in our craft portfolio by offering a DC local and enhance our great selection of beers. Justin and Will are passionate brewers with a commitment to brew high quality beer; we look forward to partnering with them for many years to come.”
The collaborative efforts of Atlas and Premium will guarantee beer drinkers within the District can enjoy a pint of fresh, locally crafted beer wherever fine beverages are served.

  • Hope that the suprise third beer doesn’t have toxic levels of hops.

    • Anonymous

      I was hoping for some high-alpha Yakima Valley stuff myself.

  • Eric

    This is great news. I’m excited for another option in locally made beer.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure how I feel about this distribution agreement. To the other DC brewers, Premium is the Evil Empire. They’re likely to lose taps to these guys, regardless of the quality of their product.

    • Anonymous

      I think that may be old news. The level of their craft portfolio has only continued to improve…Firestone, Boulevard, Allagash, Ommegang, Sierra still makes great beers…Kellerwise anyone? (By the way NOT hoppy)

      I think nobody can dispute they are the largest house and they seem to only be acquiring better and better brands. Maybe they have realized craft is only going to continue to grow….but perceptions are hard to change when you have a bad taste left in your mouth.

  • I’m excited to try these. More competition = better beer.

  • Does this mean we will finally be bale to drink some local beer inside Nats Park?!? I believe Premium controls what is sold there…

    • *able

    • Anonymous

      God, I hope so. Both the quality of the concessions and the availability of decent craft beers has gone WAY downhill this season.

      • Really? Pretty sure there are more options than ever before (raising from almost none to slim). Stop in to the Red Porch bar (under the Red Loft). At the game last week I saw them pouring Flying Dog Underdog, DFH 60 Minute, DFH Indian Brown and a Starr Hill brew. Plus there are some other craft options in the line of Shake Shack restaurants, Baseline Brews concessions and the Sam Adams bar by Sec 111.

        • Anonymous
        • They have great stuff in there, but you need to be seated in the Center Field Lounge to gain access, I believe – otherwise I would buy all my beer there. They do indeed have great choices.

          The Ballpark Brews stands used to at least offer some Starr Hill and other things, but this season those are gone. Sam Adams seems to be about as good as it gets, although the Ballpark Brews near CF gate (by the Hard Times and Shawafel) was selling Sierra Nevada. The nice woman there let me buy two and put them in one large cup for me.

          • jes

            You don’t need to be sitting in CF to get into Red Porch. Just tell the host at the stand that you’re going to the bar and aren’t getting a table; they usually just let us walk right through, and we get our beer and then leave. They also have a big water station with a tank of ice water that’s free so you can hydrate while you get your alcohol!

        • Anonymous

          The few good options are mostly concentrated at the Red Porch and Red Loft bars. Elsewhere, even a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is really hard to find.

          And the food continues to be massively disappointing, unless you have two innings to wait in line at Shake Shack.

  • I look forward to filling my bathtub with your beer and then drinking my way out of it.

  • Ronald

    Do local breweries know that “craft” does not have to mean “IPA”? Port City is my favorite local brewery, primarily because they have lots of different beers. I swear DC Brau must mix up their cans once in a while, because sometimes I can’t tell the difference between Corruption and Public (then sometimes Publics don’t taste the same, and Citizen usually tastes like it’s made with broccoli water.) But do I drink them? Yes. Sometimes. Because “local.”

    Hops:Beer::Ketchup:Fries. A quart of Heinz doesn’t mean that limp spud is any good.

    When make beer at home, I cram as many hops as I can into the wort to make up for the fact that I don’t really know how to use a hydrometer. If the hops are strong enough to punch my friends in the nose and the brown is sweet enough, they won’t notice that my beer really isn’t that good. “Mega-Hoppy” or whatever is just the euphemism for “low effort, but drinkable”.

    This place looks like more of the same. IPAs are great. I can get drunker on fewer of them but still look like I’m still a big spender. but I hope that surprise beer is a porter, or shwartzbier, or pilsner, or mare’s milk kumis. Or something. I bet it’s the White House Ale, or something. Probably still lame.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah. Every time I hear about a new IPA I think “Another Sierra Nevada clone!” I love Sierra Nevada but I like variety.

    • The standard replies here would be:

      a. lagered beers are harder and more expensive for start-ups to make out of the gate. That’s why they are doing a Cali Common, which does not require a coolship. Do you like Anchor Steam?

      b. for every craft beer consumer complaining about hops, there are 9 others craving them.

      c. DC Brau makes a nice porter (now canned). So does 3 Stars.

      • 3 Stars is off to a good start. Pandemic Porter isn’t the best porter out there, but it’s pretty good. I just wish the growler fills weren’t so expensive.

    • Anonymous

      I dunno guys – I love the various flavors of hops. I agree with another poster in that I only really drink Brau (sometimes) because they’re local, but I’m all for more hop varieties.

    • If you don’t like local beers, don’t drink them. Only by sales sipping will brewers like DC Brau make changes (which are needed, in my opinion). The fetish for local beer is promoting mediocrity. Drink other beers you like until local beer is what you like.

      • “Sales dipping” not “sales sipping.”

      • I wouldn’t turn your personal dislike for DC Brau into a meta-narrative (“The fetish for local beer is promoting mediocrity”). They are well respected in the local and national beer scenes, with a diverse range of beers. You just happen to not like them.

        • Is DC Brau as “nationally and internationally renowned” as Toki Underground? The exaggeration of the merits of PoPville favorites is becoming comical. And trust me, I’m not alone in my assessment that DC Brau makes generally mediocre beer (The Corruption – which is a decent beer – excepted).

          • Well GABF voters and well respected people that get paid to judge and opine on beer think very differently. I tend to agree with them.

            That being said, it is no doubt very hoppy stuff but that is what sells. It’s not for everyone, but that does not mean it’s mediocre in any way.

          • Anonymous

            what said “international”? or was just an exaggeration?

        • Exactly. Just because you don’t like high IBU beers does not mean they are mediocre in any way. Your tastes do not dictate a universal quality scale.

  • Anonymous

    I agree that too many brewers use hops as a crutch. I assumed that this was a beef I had with the IPA style in general (with several significant exceptions) until I went to the Pacific Northwest and had myself some REAL craft IPAs: Super-hoppy but not in a sweet-and-sticky way – unfathomably flavorful but still crisp and drinkable in all the right ways.

    Anyways here’s hoping to a good DC brewery. I agree that Port City’s the best in the immediate vicinity. DC Brau and Chocolate City are thoroughly unremarkable if not bad, and don’t get me started on Three Stars – everything terrible about American microbrew culture distilled into a small package.

    • Anonymous

      Disagree on all counts. But that’s why people like different things. Even Beer Advocate Bros rated DC Brau pretty highly (and again, not that their opinion matters more necessarily, I’d just equate them with Sietsema or Kliman rating a restaurant).

    • Totally agree on DC Brau and Chocolate City. I think 3 Stars has potential, though. If you want to try good local beers, check out Union & Stillwater up in Baltimore.

  • BigCountry

    I don’t know what all the fuss is about, DC Brau makes a hefeweizen, porter, belgian inspired beers and hoppy beers, so does 3 Stars, Port City, etc.

    • Me either. If you don’t like hops, there are plenty of local non-hoppy beers, including all of the DC breweries and Port City in Alexandria (who makes an outstanding Porter, and I’m someone who isn’t generally a porter fan).

      I also disagree that hops can be used a crutch. A beer where the hops are not carefully used, and perhaps more important, thoughtfully used, is readily apparent and separates thoughtfully crafted beers from average or lousy beers. Hops can’t overcome poor craftsmanship.

  • beerguy

    Premium is really not the leader in beer distribution in DC..Hop & Wine,Legends & even Capital Eagle have a more varied selection and are much more flexible with regards to minimum orders/delivery days

  • I agree with the sentiment that “craft beer” often means ridiculous flavors that are great to taste but less fun to consume.

    Let me state clearly that I’m totally biased as an investor and friend of Justin’s.

    That said, I’ve had Justin’s homebrew (including the rye) many times over the years. They were always well balanced and drinkable (I certainly didn’t invest just because we are friends).

    • Anonymous

      Well said. I think Will might just have some chops too….going to be fun to see what they put out soon!


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