Last week, The Public Option opened at 1601 Rhode Island Avenue NE. It isn't fully featured yet, operating with limited hours and, at the moment, without a food menu, but it does offer local beer options as well as its own house-brewed beers. Operating on a very small scale (they'll be "settled in" making 1 BBL batches soon), they nonetheless represent a further expansion of the craft beer growth we've been seeing for the past half decade.
The brewpub is operated by husband and wife team Bill Perry and Cathy Huben. Other media outlets have focused on the fact that The Public Option will not allow tipping and instead pay its employees a living wage during a full 40 hour work week. For now, Perry and Huben are the only two employees, but their payroll will need to expand when their hours of operation do. The Public Option is currently open Friday 3-7 PM, Saturday 12-9 PM, and Sunday from 12-7 PM.
We recently had a chance to discuss the brewpub's beer philosophy and operations, among other topics, with Bill Perry via email. A lightly edited transcript of that conversation follows here.