Believe it or not, there was a time in the not-too-distant past when bold, beautiful beers could not be found in every restaurant, bar and grocery store.
And the idea of a D.C. brew pub 20 years ago? Quite the revolution.
When Capitol City Brewing Company opened its doors at the corner of 11th and H in 1992, craft beer had yet to make its mark in the D.C. area.
|If you go|
|In June, check out the new Oak Aged Fuel at the downtown location on Tuesday from 7 to 10 p.m. and in Shirlington on Wednesday from 7 to 10 p.m. July will feature a Rye IPA and August the Summer Bock, dates to be determined. For more information, visit capcitybrew.com.|
"When we opened in 1992, we had so many people for about two or three years that we actually had to have doormen with theater ropes because people were in line regularly on Thursday and Friday nights for a half-hour wait just to get into the restaurant," said Cap City Founder and Owner David von Storch. "It was new, and it was intermediately well-received."
This summer, Cap City celebrates its two decades in business with new brews and monthly release parties at both its downtown and Shirlington locations.
"The first day was very exciting and nerve-wracking," von Storch said. "Since we were the first in a fairly large geographic area, there was a lot of curiosity. A lot of people were coming in just to look at it."
After two decades, von Storch said the restaurant's success came not just at the hand of tasty suds, but good food and skilled teams operating the locations.
Capitol City now offers four signature beers as well as a number of seasonal and special selections. According to Director of Brewing Operations Mike McCarthy, he produces 2,600 barrels a year.
"We definitely stay busy," said McCarthy, who joined Cap City 10 years ago and became director of brewing operations in 2005.
In addition to Cap City offerings, McCarthy also brews beer for von Storch's 901 Restaurant and the recently opened Penthouse Pool Club.
"The onus is on me to not be stale," McCarthy said. "Keep things new, keep moving with the industry. It's to offer customer styles that they really like.
"We're lucky to be in an area with a lot of people," McCarthy added. "We're just confident we make something people want."