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City-State Announces Good News: Permitting, Employment Search, Spring Opening

City-State Brewing Company, the only physical brewery opening in DC in 2021, announced today that they’ve been granted building permitting for their new brewery, located at 705 Edgewood St., NE. They are hiring and plan to have beer for sale no later than April.

From their hiring announcement for a Head Brewer, they intend to use time-intensive brewing techniques like step mashing and decoction. Step mashing is a process used to raise mash temperatures by completing a series of rests after which the mash temperature increases, allowing for greater manipulation of wort, pre-fermented grains and water. The end product of step mashing is often more complex, having extracted more proteins and fermentables from the grain, than beers that do not go through this process. Decoction is the process of pulling a portion of the mash, removing it so it is boiled in a separate kettle, and then returned, raising the temperature of the main mash. It is a crucial component to lagers like Pilsner Urquell. A triple decoction is used in the mashing of the original pilsner, which adds more than four hours to Pilsner Urquell’s brew day. These techniques show City-State’s commitment to processes and brewing expertise that are not always explicitly stated in other breweries’ listings.

City-State begins its employment search as many wonder what the future of brewing in DC will look like. According to the Brewers Association’s impact survey, over 80% of craft breweries received Paycheck Protection Program assistance over the summer.

According to a press release this summer, Owner James Warner also announced the launch of an Opportunity Zone Fund to welcome additional investors. The fund, City-State Opportunity LLC, will leverage the investments to create an array of jobs and apprenticeships at the brewery. City State’s hiring announcement states that Cicerone training is not required or considered and returned citizens are welcome.

“City-State is a celebration of the history and culture of the district,” said Warner, a public-servant-turned brewer. “Not just the monuments but the city behind them.”

From 8 Wards Independent Pale Ale to a Lost Laws Pilsner, the City-State brew lineup features names that pay homage to the District.”

Warner is no stranger to the sale of beers in the district. Previously working at ChurchKey, Warner became familiar with the interests of beer nerds. He most recently worked for Legend Distributors, Montgomery County, leaving in February, so he’s seen the beer world from two of the three tiers – retailer, distributor, and now production. His most recent foray goes from behind the bar, out of distribution, and into manufacturing.

The US beer world has seen a tremendous shift with business models. Production breweries that sold beer on draft have moved to packaging in bottles and cans. Given the increasing difficulty the pandemic has posed to selling draft beer, we wait anxiously to see what the future holds for smaller breweries. City State will operate 5 and 20 barrel brewhouses, which may give them a competitive edge when it comes to allotment.

Want to be City-State’s neighbor? There are additional spaces available for lease in the building.

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