During the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, I had the good fortune to sit down to beers with Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey at Wynkoop Brewing Company and talk about their upcoming brewing venture.

Dave, known to many as the welcoming guy behind the bar at The Big Hunt, and his business partner, Mike, were excited to let me in on their plans.

So what exactly is 3 Stars Brewing Company all about? As Dave tells it, “3 Stars is a DC-based production craft brewery focused on bringing quality, fresh, locally-brewed beers to the greater DC area. We intend to be a cornerstone for the continued growth of the District. 3 Stars is an innovative brewery looking to push the envelope on current and future brewing trends, designing new styles and expanding the conceptual visions of current ones. We are also a family-owned company, with great roots in our community, who care about DC and the direction in which it goes. We are not natives, we are transplants who have lived and succeeded here in the District, and are compelled to give back to the city that has given us so much.”

It’s definitely clear from talking to these two that they are passionate about cultivating a beer culture and building community in the District, but what about they beer? Well, they aren’t short on energy there, and they described their plans for brewing.

Mike, a longtime home brewer, explains, “We intend to have a flagship IPA at launch, which we will produce all year long. This will be a highly hopped, yet easy drinking IPA, hovering in the 7% range, with a strong hop nose, and a smooth back finish. We’ll also have a line of seasonals which will correspond throughout the year with the changing palette of the craft beer drinker, including stouts, saisons, porters and others. In addition, our specialty line will drive to further the innovation we have seen transforming traditional American brewing styles, these beers will be offered in limited release kegs and sixtels as well as 750’s with corks and cages.”


Dave is a familiar face to many beer lovers in DC, but I hadn’t met Mike before and was curious about their back story. The two seem to balance each other, and Dave explained how they met and eventually hatched this beertastic plan. “We met at the Big Hunt while I was behind the bar, and in turn, spent many nights enjoying the amazing beer selection. After countless nights trying and exploring different beers from great American breweries, none of which could be deemed ‘local’, we decided to take a shot at producing a great beer of our own. Through a process of learning, trial and error, we found success and began to develop our recipes. With the strong encouragement of our families and friends, we decided to up the game, and move beyond home brewing, to brewing as professionals, with the sole purpose of bringing great local American craft beer to a market that is thirsty for it.”

With their focus on making DC a great beer destination, they’ve been reaching out to other startup breweries to build a network. Through their friendships with Jeff Hancock and Brandon Skall (DC Brau), they hope to establish good relationships within the local brewing community and are looking forward to collaborating in the future on beers and charitable efforts.

While they are still working out the details of their production space, they anticipate being ready to open their doors in late spring or early summer of 2011. Dave and Mike are passionate about their new venture and what they can contribute to the city that has given so much to them individually. Through 3 Stars Brewing, they hope to build something great for DC. They feel that DC is a town thirsty for great local beer, and firmly believe that there is plenty of room in the market for everyone to carve out their niche.

Look for more information coming soon to their website. Cheers to a bright future, 3 Stars!