On Wednesday, February 15, Pentagon City’s Nighthawk Brewery & Pizza will be releasing their first batch of cans. Nighthawk is something of a sister brewery to Aslin, with brewer Payton Brown moving from the Alexandria brewery to Nighthawk. “Personally, coming from Aslin for three years, I’ve had the great experience of brewing many double-dry hopped IPAs, fruited sours, and dessert stouts, which we also love at Nighthawk, but also my personal favorite, crispy lagers and Kolschs which I’m really proud of,” says Brown. “We have creative freedom to brew the beers we think are cool, name them what we want, and build our brand independently,” notes Nighthawk General Manager Brandon Porter. The Arlington brewery and pizza restaurant is part of a “strategic partnership” with Aslin, whose co-founders Andrew Kelly and Kai Leszkowicz “are active in quality control and provide valuable advice,” per Porter. 

Andrew Kelly (R) and Kai Leszkowicz (L) of Aslin, with Payton Brown of Nighthawk
Andrew Kelly (R) and Kai Leszkowicz (L) of Aslin, with Payton Brown of Nighthawk

In keeping with Nighthawk’s ethos, three of the five beers being canned are under 5% alcohol by volume, including a Mexican-style lager, a hefeweizen, and a Kolsch-style ale with Scilian lemon. Hop heads, worry not, because the other two cans are a hazy IPA and a double IPA. 

“I get to work with Kai and Andrew’s help and great knowledge of beer. I also get the pleasure of working with partner of Nighthawk Chef Johnny Spero of DC’s Reverie to create culinary inspired beers as well. Experimentation and curiosity is what we all have in common so we like to see what we can do with different ingredients. I like to look at beer like I look at food, all great beer starts with great ingredients,” adds Brown. 

Initial canning runs are done with Iron Heart’s mobile canning line, though there’s talk of a permanent one on-site. These beers “will go into distribution but not right away, we want to make sure we can keep beer on the shelves here before committing to distro,” says Porter. “Our draft will be available in Virginia through Allied later this month.”


You might have picked up on a common thread that links these cans, the halcyon days of the mid-to-late-1980s and early 1990s, which coincides with the childhood of Mike Van Hall, known for his artwork with Aslin and Stillwater. “Mike created our label art in collaboration with our team. We’re incredibly grateful to be working with him, and these cans very accurately represent our culture and atmosphere,” says Porter. 

“Babe is my favorite, definitely gonna be crushing a few of these out on the patio,” adds Brown. Pizza to go, check. And now non-crowler beer to go as well, all available in 4-packs.