DC Beer’s Richard is joined by Mari Rodela of DC Brau and Paul Dean of the DC Brewers’ Guild (DCBG) to recap the Guild’s 2019 activities and to preview what’s in store for 2020. 

New Faces to the DC Beer Scene

DCBG is a nonprofit advocacy organization that represents the interests of DC breweries and taprooms. The DCBG family grew by two members in 2019, with Red Bear Brewing Company and Valor Brewpub both opening their doors last year. Mari and Paul noted that several great breweries also began operations in the region (but outside of DC-proper).

The turn of the decade is also bringing about leadership changes in DCBG. Mari is stepping down as President, a role she has held since the group’s inception seven years ago. She is handing over the presidency to Leah Cheston of Right Proper. Joining Leah on DCBG’s leadership team are Justin Cox of Atlas (Treasurer and Vice President) and Barrett Lauer of District ChopHouse (Secretary).

Updates on DCBG’s Legislative Advocacy


DCBG had one major legislative “win” in 2019. A DC government bill passed in 2018 cast doubt upon DC brewpubs’ ability to sell beer in all types of sealed containers (such as cans, bottles, kegs, growlers, and crowlers). Last year, however, DCBG was able to work with the DC City Council to clarify that DC brewpubs are still able to continue selling all forms of sealed beers.

DCBG seeks to continue to advance some legislative priorities in 2020. It is advocating for the DC City Council to allow brewpubs to self-distribute its beers. Mari and Paul anticipate that this legislation will pass before the end of the 2020 session. In addition, DCBG also supports the Manufacturer’s Satellite Taverns Amendments Act, which would allow DC breweries to establish up to two satellite taprooms in DC (an allowance that only outside breweries currently enjoy). 

DCBG’s Ever-Growing Flagship Events: HopFest and DC Beer Week 

DCBG holds two annual flagship events to help fund its operations: HopFest and DC Beer Week. Both events were highly successful in 2019 with record turnouts, expanded offerings, and even participation from some DC City Councilors.

Mari and Paul announced that HopFest 2020 will occur on March 14 (Pi Day!) at DC Brau. They are anticipating building upon last year’s turnout of over 700 guests, 40 breweries, and outside vendors (including DCBeer.com). Buy your tickets here! 

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