Brewery Name: 3 Stars Brewing Company
Type of Brewery: Retail Brewery
Location: 6400 Chillum Pl NW, Washington, DC 20011. The brewery is located in northeast DC, tucked away close to the Maryland border.
Facebook: 3 Stars Brewing Company
Background: While living in DC, I admittedly took the emergence of places like 3 Stars for granted. I even lived pretty close to this venue and never made it over to the brewery [EDITOR'S NOTE: 3 Stars opened up pretty much the exact moment I moved out of the neighborhood and up to New Hampshire. Never been so upset in my life]. I'm embarrassed for that, but it proved the opportunity to get really pumped about this visit! 3 Stars was one of my favorite breweries of our trip, both for the venue and the beer.
In one of our early beer exchanges, Pete sent us the Ghost White IPA and we were unanimously high on it. Since then, I have been able to try a few others, all equally as impressive. The DC beer game seems to get better and better everytime I'm in the area, so 3 Stars was an absolute must-visit, and wow did it deliver!
Growlers: Most definitely! The growler fills are available for everything on tap and they also have plenty of four-packs and a few specialty bottles to offer.
The Beers: We got to try ten brews at 3 Stars, plus a bottle of their sour beer that we took with us. The Ghost IPA was again one of our favorites (check out our original review of that one for the specifics). I was really excited to try Two to the Dome, their double IPA, but we just missed it this time around. Here are a few of the highlights from our visit:
Vibe: Tucked away in northeast D.C., 3 Stars figured out a way to give patrons three distinct experiences all in one building. In addition to seating in and viewing of their production brewery section, they also have a homebrew shop and their tasting/growler room in what they call the "Urban Farmhouse." A building inside a building sounds a bit odd, but the execution here is PERFECT.
You walk in through the brewery and take in that unmistakable craft beer smell, but once you're ready to taste some beers, the urban farmhouse offers an isolated area where you can still see the brewery but don't need to experience it with quite so many senses at once. The tasting room is full of bottles, growlers, swag, art, games, and, of course, a nice large taplist with tasters and pints aplenty.
The art that 3 Stars uses is phenomenal. It's not just the can art, either. They have massive paintings on several walls of the brewery and keep the theme rolling with stickers, shirts, bottles, etc. I'm admittedly a sucker for good can art and 3 Stars hits it out of the park in my book.
Shane's Thoughts: I'll just chime in for a second--as I noted above, I actually used to live right around the corner from 3 Stars, in the Chillum neighborhood of northeast D.C. Unfortunately, I moved back north to New Hampshire JUST before the brewery opened its doors. When I finally got my hands on the Ghost White IPA, I almost didn't want it to be good--I didn't want to feel like I had really missed out on something great! Of course, Ghost White is phenomenal, and I immediately began kicking myself for moving away just as maybe the best brewery in the city opened up a five minute walk from my front door. Finally having the opportunity to visit 3 Stars was really cool, and the space (and beer) fully lived up to my already high expectations. I look forward to visiting again next time I'm in the city!
Price ($ to $$$$$): $$ - A full pour runs you about $5 or $6, and tasters are available for a buck or two. Growlers are priced on the lower end of what I've seen in the area at between $11 and $16 for what's on tap. Bottles of specialty brews like their Funkyard Dog run in the mid teens.
Food: Just some small snack food options here, though I suspect food truck partnerships might be something that either goes on or is in the works [EDITOR'S NOTE: That is correct].
Final Thoughts: Absolutely loved this place. It was a highlight of our trip, and a really great representation of how good the DC beer game has gotten. Definitely a brewery we'll keep tabs on, and we certainly recommend everyone else do the same. Distribution seems to be expanding: 3 Stars is available at more and more bars and restaurants these days, so keep an eye out and try anything and everything they've got to offer!
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