Urban Garden Brewing turns one and they are celebrating their anniversary with a special beer, Solar Return. Brewed at City-State Brewing Company, this sorrel saison is 5.8% alcohol by volume. When I spoke with Eamoni Collier, CEO and Co-founder of UGB and James Warner, Founder and CEO of City-State, they had just finished canning 100 cases of 12 oz cans into 6-packs.

Warner notes that Solar Return has a deep red color due to 66 pounds of hibiscus in the 20 barrel batch, with “a real juicy, tart, raspberry quality and light spice from the pink peppercorns,” which were used as an homage to the late 3 Stars Peppercorn Saison. The beer also features 25 lbs of black tea and was fermented with a saison yeast strain from Jasper Yeast. Sorrel is a traditional Caribbean and Jamaican drink. “It’s something we have for family gatherings, during thanksgiving and the fall, perfect for the non beer drinker,” Collier adds.

Pic via Greg Parnas

The family-friendly release party for Solar Return takes place tonight at City-State from 5-8 PM, featuring music from DJ Bri Mafia and DJ E the Dizzle. An Indivisible Art Collective and Black Brew Movement will also be there, as will vendors, food trucks, and games. Six packs cost $20 at the brewery. The Solar Return can art was designed by Art and Ale.

We asked Erika Goedrich, owner of the Craft Beer Cellar on H Street NE, for some thoughts on Urban Garden Brewing, in honor of their 1 year anniversary. She wrote:


Has it only been a year? I remember the first time I met Eamoni [Collier] and Stephon [Green]. It seems that I’ve known them for much longer than a year. They are such a pleasure to not only work with, but to talk to and engage with. There’s a vibrancy to their movement and it’s infectious. Based on some insider information Eamoni has shared with me, I’m very excited about some of their upcoming projects and I think you will be too.

Black Brew Movement have partnered with UGB, featuring the brewery at their events, and they’ll be at the Solar Return release tonight. We asked one of the owners of BBM, Courtney Rominyi, to share their take on UGB’s birthday.

Happy 1 year to UGB. It’s been a pleasure to watch them grow in beer and business. I remember their first release exactly a year ago at Art All Night and they were so enthusiastic and excited and that same enthusiasm is still there a year later even with all of the strides they’ve made and business growth. It has been a pleasure working with them and having them as one of our main beer partners.

We at DCBeer are incredibly proud of the work Urban Garden is doing and the seeds they’ve planted into the soil of our scene. As we watch the young brewery grow, we notice tilling the earth and growing plants that will flourish to make our scene as robust as it can be for years to come.

Look for Solar Return in bars and restaurants, as UGB and City-State are selling the beer together, distributed via the brewery’s network. You might even see it at a certain, well-known beer festival, but Warner and Collier were tight lipped so the best place to find it is at City-State.