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Startup Brewery City-State Breaks Ground on a New Brookland Facility

Eater logo Eater 1/13/2020 Tierney Plumb
a man holding a sign: Brookland resident James Warner will bring his neighborhood a new brewery this year. © City-State/official photo Brookland resident James Warner will bring his neighborhood a new brewery this year.

The booming Bloomingdale neighborhood will get a new D.C.-obsessed brewery this year.

Ambitious beer startup City-State Brewing Co. just broke ground on a 13,000-square-foot microbrewery and taproom at 705 Edgewood Street NE, with plans to start pouring by the fall. The brewery, almost three years in the making, comes from neighborhood resident and former congressional aide James Warner.

He bills his core beer list as “approachable and sophisticated,” adding “I love taking relatively simple ingredients, and making something complex.” The newly announced site, located next to the popular Metropolitan Branch Trail, sits walking distance of Metro’s Rhode Island and Brookland stops. Barred in DC and hyper-local blogger Brookland Bridge first reported the news over the weekend.

Here’s a snapshot of City-State’s opening liquid lineup:

  • Eight Wards Independent Pale Ale: expected to feature an ingredient representative of each part of the District
  • The Brookland: saison
  • Self-Determinator: German-style lager
© City-State/official photo
City-State’s colorful cans.

“Each beer will tell the story of D.C. in a different way,” Warner told Eater in 2017, of his portfolio.

Warner, who worked on climate change issues and energy policy on the Hill, first fell in love with craft beer during his college days at Scotland’s University of St. Andrews. Along with home brewing for years, his industry experience includes working as a server at Churchkey and handling sales for a major beer distributor.

Warner is working with Nick Freshman, the hospitality vet behind strategic consulting firm Mothersauce Partners, to source new investors for the project.

The tap room promises a “funky, modern” aesthetic that’ll include a themed wall splashed with images of “local legends,” per a release.

Production will occur across two interconnected brewhouses — a 20-barrel system for larger batches and a smaller five-barrel brewhouse devoted to experimental brews. Cans will be available on-site for purchase, with distribution spilled across areas of D.C., Montgomery County, and Virginia.

Plans originally called for a 30-barrel brewhouse, but a 25-barrel system is still an aggressive size for an inaugural brewery. By comparison, OG D.C. brewer DC Brau Brewing Company has made a name for itself using a 15-barrel system.

City-State will be outfitted with a catering kitchen and hopes to double as a popular events venue for weddings and live music. To-be-announced local restaurant partners will regularly fuel up beer fans inside.

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