Last spring DC’s smallest brewpub went on hiatus; owner Bill Perry shuttered The Public Option on Rhode Island Avenue NE and decided to wait out the pandemic. On Friday, June 25th, 2021, after 14 months, it’s reopening, with a few notable changes.
Perry owns the building, which made the decision to close and reopen a bit easier than other establishments that had to negotiate with landlords. His 1 BBL system is again up and running, with pre-pandemic brewer Molly Hoeg on board. “Our most popular beers have been the Cream Ale style and the IPA 7, so I plan to keep those in the rotation for the first several brews,” says Hoeg, who also expresses an interest in brewing a non-alcoholic version of the cream ale. If she can pull it off, it would be the first NA beer in DC’s modern brewing history. “I love brewing beers that set us apart from the average brewery and I know that N/A beers are rising in popularity, yet difficult to find in DC. Hopefully we will be able to fill that niche,” writes Hoeg.
Perry called upon a familiar face to manage the brewpub: Tony Tomelden of The Pug, Brookland’s Finest, and Union Trust is now Managing Partner. “Tony will be expanding the operation in every way, including the beer selection,” says Perry. “Since we won’t be able to keep up with the juggernaut that he’ll be running over here, we plan to offer a selection of DC and national beers in addition to our own.” You can find out what those are tonight when The Public Option reopens.
It wouldn’t be a brewpub without food, and Press notes that Tomelden will help with that as well; a full menu is on the way. In the meantime, be on the lookout for pop-ups with area chefs, including Black-owned businesses in partnership with The Sandlot. As of now we’re unsure on what the food options will be this weekend, but the patio is open until 1am and the main inside space until 2. Welcome back!
Cream Ale (5.6%)
A pale American classic. Ours includes a corn adjunct that imparts body and a hint of sweetness. Carapils malt reinforces the body. And a restrained addition of Northern Brewer hops balances the beer’s flavor and finish.
IPA #7 (5.0%)
The malt bill includes a nod to this style’s origins with judicious additions of Marris Otter and a medium dark British crystal. But the hops are a salute to our friends in the Pacific northwest: Chinook, Cascade, Amarillo and Citra. Hoppy, but not bitter.