Name: Capitol City Brewing Company

Location: Washington, DC / Shirlington, VA

Type: Brewpub

Available in DC Market?: Yes

What you need to know: Founded back in 1992 as DC’s first brewpub since the end of that “Prohibition” thing, Capitol City Brewing company has been churning out pretty decent beers for as long as I’ve been in and around the District.  Sure, they’ve had their missteps, but their beers of late have taken a turn for the creative and delicious.  Once upon a time, Capitol City had a location inside of the beautiful, and over 100 year old, Postal Square building on Mass Ave; however, that location has since closed.  I only mention that because, in my younger and more vulnerable years (ahem), I used to walk past it and think “Capitol City could really produce some amazing beers if they wanted to.”  Thankfully, their doing a whole lot more of that now.  The beers that this local pub will be presenting at SAVOR are some of their tastier and more unique offerings to date  (and I like the names, so there’s that).


Beer #1: Bourbon Barrel Fuel (Stout / 10% ABV)

Notes: Do you like coffee?  Are you the kind of person who would maybe like a bit of bourbon in your coffee?  Don’t lie to me.  I can see right through it, you lush.  In all seriousness, Fuel is a big, coffee-laden, roasty beer on its own (it has 10 pounds of Sumatran coffee per batch).  With the addition of bourbon barrel aging, I can only see it getting better.  Expect many of the traditional imperial stout characteristics – pitch black, roasty malt notes, deep coffee-like flavors – along with a dose of vanilla and bourbon flavors to set it off.  This one should put some hair on your chest (or whatever the equivalent phrase is for women, as I hope it doesn’t have to do with putting hair on one’s chest…though as a rule I don’t judge).
BeerAdvocate Grade: 87 (10 reviews)
Ratebeer Grade: 97 overall  /51 style

Beer #2: Tripel Double (Imperial IPA/Belgian Triple / 8.5% ABV)

Notes: Tripel Double is an exercise in style Frankenstein-ing.  Capitol City has essentially brewed a beer with the malt backbone of a Belgian Tripel, but substituted aggressive American hops in place of more subtle European varietals.  What results is a style mashup that would give Danger Mouse a run for his money.  Expect a sweeter overall body of the beer, but accented with a brighter finish and aroma.  The creamy initial feeling  of a Tripel will start the party, but expect a dry conclusion.  From the brewery: “We’ve gone and done it again, the brewers were itching to do something different, so they brought a new Belgian-style beer to the East Coast. The Belgian Tripel/Double Ipa is a hybrid style that has been brewed by only a couple of Belgian breweries. We brewed a medium bodied Tripel, but instead of using boring European hops, we used American hops more toward the end of the boil to create more citrus and floral hop flavor and aroma as opposed to bitterness.”

BeerAdvocate Grade: N/A
Ratebeer Grade: N/A

Summary: The beers that Capitol City is bringing along are not to be trifled with.  These are big, unique, bold beers that should leave you feeling like you got what you paid for when you signed up for SAVOR.  As with all beers, they may not be to your particular liking; however, their ABVs will certainly get you where you need to go.  Plus, if there’s any burgeoning creativity in the DC brewing scene, be it production or brewpub or homebrew, you’d be doing a disservice to the area not supporting it.

This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2012 SAVOR participants.

Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.