Favio Garcia and Travis Thompson, co-owners of Dynasty Brewing in Ashburn, VA.
by Phil Galewitz
There’s a new Dynasty brewing in Virginia – Dynasty Brewing Co., which opened in a new industrial park in Ashburn. Loudoun County’s 30-something new brewery has a close connection to the earlier breweries in the county from the late 1990s. Favio Garcia, a Dynasty co-owner, has been making beer in Loudoun since days of Old Dominion Brewing – the long defunct brewery that came and went well before the second wave craft beer craze that hit around 2011. Garcia later co-founded Lost Rhino Brewing in Ashburn, then worked at Beltway Brewing in nearby Sterling, in addition to consulting with several other area breweries. Garcia also brewed at Bardo in Washington DC in the 1990s and helped launch B Chord Brewing in western Loudoun County in 2017.
In other words, Garcia is the godfather if Loudoun County brewing. Garcia’s experience isn’t the only element of Dynasty that goes back decades. He’s brewing on a 22-year-old system he and co-owner Travis Thompson found in Seattle, and shipped across the country to Ashburn. The other co-owner is Michelle O’Brien. The brewery’s small taproom is inviting with the bar and tables made from reclaimed wood from Thompson’s family farm in West Virginia. The brewery is also dog friendly, allowing well-behaved pups inside.
Thomson was a regular at Old Dominion from its earliest days so got to know Garcia then. Garcia first came on as a consultant but Thompson was thrilled when he took an ownership stake. Dynasty is named after the Virginia dynasty of having four of the first five presidents come from the commonwealth. The exception of course was John Adams from Massachusetts. Their lineup of beers runs the gamut starting with Dynasty American Lager, a 4.7% crisp American lager; Perfect Robot Pale Ale, a 5.8% hazy pale ale with notes of passion fruit and fresh citrus and brewed with Cascade, Cyro and Azacca hops; and Paradox IPA, a 7.5% juicy ale with notes of orange and papaya. For dark beer fans, Dynasty has its Holliday Farm Caramel Corn Peanut Stout, dry popped with caramel peanut popcorn; and Imperial Maple Porter, a rich and creamy brew with maple sweetness.
So far, there’s no plans for canning or bottling though some kegs have begun to be distributed to bars and restaurants in DC area.
Lots going on at Washington D.C.’s oldest craft brewery, DC Brau which opened in 2011. DC Brau has added Joint Resolution, a new hazy IPA, to its full time flagship lineup, replacing The Citizen, a Belgian-style ale. Fear not, fans of the Citizen can still get the beer when it returns in Fall 2020 as a season.
“We’ve seen a significant shift in the palates of our consumer over the past eight years, and feel like it’s a good time to freshen up our core, year-round offerings with a Hazy IPA,” says CEO and Co-founder Brandon Skall. “The Citizen remains a favorite style of ours, and we look forward to bringing it back as a seasonal just in time for what will surely be an interesting election season.”
Joint Resolution is a Hazy India Pale Ale at a drinkable 5.5% and approachable level of bitterness incorporating Canadian Pale 2-row, White Wheat, Flaked Oats, Carafoam and Acidulated Malts, and a mix of hops including Michigan Copper and Chinook varieties among others.
According to DC Brau’s Co-founder and Brewmaster Jeff Hancock, “We’ve formulated a very quaffable hazy offering that will hit on all the notes hopheads are looking for. We’ve kept the ABV on the lower side so the hops can play more of a starring role in this aroma-forward IPA.”
DC Brau has just released its next packaged limited edition brew called Not My Department, an India Pale Lager made with mango & passion fruit. It will be available in 16-oz cans (4-pack) and on draft at the brewery and around the District. DC Brau is getting ready for its 5th annual HopFest on March 9 to support the DC Brewers Guild. Unlimited tasting of hoppy beers are $35. PURCHASE YOUR TIX HERE.
Starr Hill Brewery is opening its latest satellite location – Starr Hill Beer Hall & Rooftop in Richmond, VA. this summer. Starr Hill’s newest location will serve as a venue to showcase a broad selection of beer styles with a unique entertainment space in the Scott’s Addition Historic District.
Located at 3406 West Leigh St., the Beer Hall will feature a custom 10-bbl brewing system, in addition to five American white oak foeders, thus serving as the brewery’s first location dedicated to producing wild ales. Following the success of their Roanoke location, this pilot system will provide Starr Hill with increased flexibility for brewing upwards of 50 limited release batches of ales, lagers and wild beers each year
What goes better together than a movie and beers? A movie about beer and beers. On the evening of Feb. 15, Atlas Brew Works in Washington showed the documentary short, “American Craft: What Beer Can Teach Us About Well-Crafted Laws.” The Federalist Society and Pacific Legal Foundation hosted the event with Atlas.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, the king of unusually quaffed beers, is collaborating with Belgium brewery Rodenbach to make a special sour beer. It’s the first time Rodenbach has agreed to a collaboration brew in its nearly 200-year history. While still in its early stages, the beer is planned to be brewed and blended in the U.S. in 2019 and available for an early 2020 launch for American consumers to enjoy. Following this, the duo will explore a release of the beer in Belgium, where Rodenbach is widely sold.
“I have been a huge fan of Rodenbach beers since the early 2000’s when legendary beer writer Michael Jackson turned me on to them at the (long closed) Brickskeller in DC,” said Dogfish Header Founder and CEO Sam Calagione. “Rodenbach is the global pioneer in sour and wild beers production… So we have a lot to learn and explore together – I am confident we are going to make a beautiful, unique beer together,” he said.
Dogfish Head in April will release a new lo-calorie IPA called Slightly Mighty. It has only 95 calories and some tropical aromas Slightly Mighty, a 4% brew is light-bodied and offers a lingering balanced sweetness.
To celebrate its 8th year in business, Port City Brewing in Alexandra has released Colossal Eight, a classic German-style Doppelbock weighing in at 8%. The malt-forward, russet-colored lager with crimson highlights is slightly warming with a touch of sweetness, evoking baking bread and plums.
One of the top beer events in Washington D.C. area is the annual Brewers Ball. The 15th annual event to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is slated for March 2 at the National Building Museum. Over 30 breweries – mostly local – will be pouring including Port City, Mad Fox, Heavy Seas, Adroit Theory and Denizens. White Ford Bronco, a top DC area band playing 1990s hits, will be on hand. Get tickets here for the cocktail-attire event. https://www.dcbrewersball.org/event-details