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Thoughts on the Premier of Atlas Brew Works

By DCBeer Contributor Josh Perry. Find more of his stylings on Twitter at @justjptweet.

Atlas Brew Works (Twitter: @AtlasBrewWorks), based in a warehouse in Ivy City, is the fourth production brewery in the District and is debuting all week long at events in neighborhoods across the city. DCBeer.com was able to sample our first offerings with our friends at a well packed Meridian Pint. Joined by many in the brewing and hospitality industry, we were able to try the Rowdy Rye an APA and the District Common, a DC take on the California Common style. Much of the feedback regarding these beers was quite consistent and overwhelmingly positive. Even mayoral candidate Tommy Wells proclaimed “the District Common could easily become the #tw2014 beer.” Here are some earlyy thoughts on both beers. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

The Rowdy Rye: The crowd favorite of the day is a wonderfully spiced burnt sienna American Pale Ale. A faint white lacey head with aromatic hints of citrus and pine, on first sip a bold spice from the rye washes over the palate. The beer finishes with delicate hop bitterness. It is apparent that the grain bill and hop schedule had some real thought put into them by allowing the rye be the main character of this showing. A solid hop presence, without being overly hoppy, allowed the faint caramel sweetness from the supportive grains to come though. The hops also enhanced the spice of the rye. The conscious hopping of this beer was a refreshing alternative to the extreme hopping that most breweries go for these days. The body of this beer was quite substantive and a bit filling. I would look to the yeast that is causing the bready robustness of this beer; that robustness does not detract from the flavor or overall profile, but it allowed me to only have one full pint. If this was just a touch lighter in body, I would dare to say it would be my favorite rye to date. I look forward to the evolution of this brew.

District Common:  A true to style California Common. A light tawny hue, gentle lacing and respectable carbonation, allowed the yeast and hops to shine through this well-balanced ale. Solid malt backbone, some caramel, and an unidentifiable fruity quality allowed for a typically “common” beer style . A delicate hop aroma allowed the nose of this beer to become quite quaffable, and the refreshing lightness of the body and subdued crispness allowed for a smooth finish. All of this was quite inviting after the walk from Columbia Heights metro to Meridian Pint in 88 degree weather. Overall, I think this is quite nice for anyone looking to approach a well-crafted beer that may not have been previously exposed to craft or a fuller flavored beer. Given the warm weather due up in the next few weeks, I wouldn't be surprised to see this beer going fast.

You can find these two well-crafted brews throughout the District all week at their premier launch locations, and you canearn an Untappd badge by checking into them. The release of Atlas's third as-yet-unknown brew, NSFW, is scheduled to happen Friday at ChurchKey. While there has been a lot of speculation, the brewery has been tight-lipped about what it will be or what to expect. One would hope that with a name like NSFW, they would put out a bold option to round out the rest of their portfolio. Best thing to do is to follow Atlas on Twitter and visit the debut locations.

  • Tonight  (Tuesday, September 3): Pizzeria Paradiso (GeorgeTown)
  • Wednesday, September 4: The Big Hunt with Jerkface Jerky pairing with new flavor "Pastrami On Rowdy"!
  • Thursday, September 5: Iron Horse Tap Room
  • Friday, September 6: ChurchKey
  • Saturday, September 7: Smith Commons
  • Sunday, September 8: The Black Squirrel and Libertine

Atlas Brew Works is located at 2052 West Virginia Ave Suite 102 Washington, DC 20002

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