For Tim and Joanne, Scion is a “restaurant first,” which makes it all the more distinguishable from other places nearby and great place for beer-and-food events. Scion’s 20+ bottles and 6 taps complement their modern American comfort food offerings with some Asian elements as well.
Just over a year ago, Scion was probably off the radar for many in the DC craft beer scene. Now? The restaurant at 2100 P Street has carved out a more-than-respectable niche in nightlife- and craft beer-heavy Dupont Circle, excelling in food and – most importantly to us – craft beer offerings and events. Thank Tim Liu, Scion’s bar manager, for much of this success. With its upcoming events and the launch of two table-side taps, Scion will soon become – if it’s not already – a staple among Dupont’s craft beer havens. DC Beer sat down with Tim and two of our closest friends (Grimbergen Double and Oliver’s Hot Monkey Love) to talk about Scion’s quick rise within the scene and where they are going next.
Scion’s leap into the world of craft beer started when Brad Phillips, Sierra Nevada’s local representative, stopped by Scion on a whim. Phillips found Scion in the predicament of being under contract with mass-distributed beers that were selling poorly but also offering a few more creative craft brews that were selling better. As Brad flipped through Sierra’s offerings, the Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head collaboration Life and Limb caught Tim’s eye. Tim persistently and successfully persuaded Brad that the little-known Scion was the right place to release one of the cherished kegs of this one-off beer (this was the last keg in DC at the time) to celebrate the six month anniversary of Scion’s opening. On January 10, 2010, a 45 person line filled with craft beer fans from DC, Baltimore, and Richmond collectively wondered, “Scion? Who’s that? Car dealership or restaurant?” while waiting for their taste of Life and Limb. The event was a huge success and set the stage for further events over the next year like a Brooklyn Brewery beer dinner featuring Black Ops and – ahem – DC Beer’s first ever Bootlegger’s Beer Dinner.
Tim’s appreciation for craft beer started with the Hitachino Nest White Ale. He wanted to carry those kinds of non-standard beers. He has improved his knowledge of the craft beer industry and the brews themselves. Scion’s able and engaging staff has jumped into the fray as well and got to meet many craft beer fans while Scion served as one of the host bars for the inaugural District Beer Hunt. The new customers Scion has gained through its craft beer events have joined the restaurant’s regulars, who value its neighborhood feel. Tim and his two cousins (co-founders Julie and Joanne) want to create an atmosphere where the beer is creative and “pleasurable for DC’s beer geeks,” but still “approachable” to the average customer. You won’t find sours or wild ales at Scion, but you will find a balanced list with local, national, and import brews of different varieties and alcohol contents.
Scion is a 4-iron (non-golfers, look it up…it’s not a huge distance) from three of the major craft beer bars on or within a half-block of P Street: Bier Baron (formerly The Brickskeller), Pizzeria Paradiso, and The Big Hunt – with Churchkey just off P Street further east. (Dare we say P Street is DC’s Beer Street? Someone, quick! Trademark that! Check out our sweet map and you tell us.) For Tim and Joanne, Scion is a “restaurant, first,” which distinguishes it a bit from other places nearby and also makes it a great place for beer and food events. Scion’s 20+ bottles and 6 taps complement their modern American comfort food offerings with some Asian elements as well.
What’s next for Scion? The restaurant just opened two table-side tap lines on hi-top tables indoors and outdoors. Scion also plans to “support our own” by featuring an all-local table-side tap with Port City and DC Brau beers. Also, drumroll please…tomorrow DC Beer will exclusively announce Scion’s planned 3 EVENTS IN 15 DAYS, filled with brewery owners, beer tastings, and limited release beers. If you need a teaser, check out our previous post on the first event, Sierra Nevada’s Beer Dinner and SAVOR ticket giveaway.
DCBeer-iverse, who else do you want DC Beer to Have a Beer With? Any places off of our radar that shouldn’t be?