Dave Colman and Mike McGarvey, two longtime friends, founded 3 Stars Brewing Company in 2012, hoping to make world-class beer for the district. To date, the brewing team has released over 200 beers and been named DC’s Best Local Brewery three times by the Washington City Paper.
The brewery is near the DC/Maryland border and requires a bit of a drive to reach the destination. The focus at 3 Star Brewing is definitely on making great beer, and not on making the most beautiful space. Set inside a cavernous warehouse, it’s a relatively no-frills atmosphere with the exception of the bar area, which is built upon barrels lit from underneath and features a cool “3 Stars” sign made out of lightbulbs.
Patrons love that the brewery offers free tastings of four beers (to the right upon entry). To the left is a tasting room where full pours can be purchased and flights are just $8. More seating and another bar to purchase beer are located further back near the brewing area. Kids are welcome at 3 Stars and a handful of games including corn hole are available to keep them occupied. Best-sellers at the brewery include 2019’s Peppercorn Saison, a sweet, fruity beer with undertones of coriander and a dry finish, and the Ghost IPA, a bright, light, citrusy IPA with lingering bitterness. Homebrewers flock to 3 Stars because they provide the only shops specializing in home-brew equipment in DC and occasionally the brewery hosts home brewer tap takeovers to feature the crafting of local undiscovered brewers. Visitors are free to check out the store while visiting the brewery. Three Stars Brewing is well-loved for its commitment to building community as seen in its participation in the city’s pay it furloughed program, which pays for federal employees’ beers through a collective fund when the government is shut down.
The brewery occasionally hosts food trucks but is okay with customers bringing in outside food. 3 Stars host a variety of events, including new beer releases, asana and ales, trivia, and live music. Tours are free and available every Saturday at 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm. Closed-toe shoes are required for brewery tours.
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