Tastes of the District

Back in 2017, Matthew had the opportunity to complete a summer internship for his master’s degree in Washington, D.C.. While he was there he had the opportunity to explore what he likes to call “Distillery Row”. This area is the home to several distilleries that are all within walking distance.

  • Cotton & Reed
    Address: 1330 5th St. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
    Hours: Sunday 12 pm to 12 am; Monday CLOSED; Tuesday – Thursday 4 pm – 12 am; Friday 4 pm – 2 am; Saturday 12 pm – 12 am
    Phone: (202) 544 – 2805

    Cotton & Reed focuses primarily on rum. There space is open for tastings, tours, and private events. They pride themselves on the complexity of their rums and how all of the flavors of the ingredients come together to create the cocktail experience. The core spirits that are always available are a white, gold, and dry-spiced rum and an allspice dram. They also tend to release one limited rum per year.
  • Jos. A. Magnus & Co.
    Address: 2052 West Virginia Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
    Hours: Call for hours
    Phone: (202) 459 – 3518

    Jos. A Magnus & Co. became a reality as a result of an unopened bottle of whiskey that was dated back to 1892. The Magnus family used this bottle as the vision for the whiskey they wanted to once again produce. Currently, there are 3 whiskeys and one navy strength gin being produced by Jos. A Magnus & Co.
  • New Columbia Distillers/Green Hat Gin
    Address: 1832 Fenwick St NE, Washington, DC 20002
    Hours: Sunday CLOSED; Monday – Friday 8 am – 5 pm; Saturday 1 pm – 4 pm
    Phone: (202) 733 – 1710

    If you’re interested in history you will love the backstory of Green Hat Gin, but if you enjoy gin, New Columbia Distillers/Green Hat Gin needs to be on your list of places to visit during your next trip to the district. As made clear by the name, New Columbia Distillers/Green Hat Gin primarily focuses on gin. They produce a seasonal gin, navy strength gin, and year-round gin. Not only do they have gin, but they also have Capitoline Vermouth at the tasting room. If you’re not a big gin or vermouth fan, you still should check out the tasting room for their other spirits.
  • One Eight Distilling
    Address: 1135 Okie St NE, Washington, DC 20002
    Hours: Saturday 1 – 10 pm; Sunday 1 – 7 pm
    Phone: (202) 636 – 6638

    One Eight Distilling produces rye, bourbon, gin, and vodka from locally-sourced ingredients. Their pride for using local ingredients is why all of their spirits begin with “District Made”.
  • Republic Restoratives Distillery and Craft Cocktail Bar
    Address: 1369 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
    Hours: Sunday 12 pm – 5 pm; Thursday 5 pm – 11 pm, Friday 6:30 pm – 11 pm; Saturday 12 – 4 pm
    Phone: (202) 733 – 3996

    Republic Restoratives is a female-founded distillery that “stands for community, authenticity and most of all friendship” and their spirits lean towards a focus on whiskey. Republic Restoratives produces a rye, bourbon, vodka, and apple brandy.

All of the distilleries offer tours and tastings on the weekends. In addition, all of the distilleries also have cocktails available for purchase.

When Matthew first visited, all of the distilleries were selling sourced whiskey while their own whiskeys aged so the only spirits that were true to the distillery were the gins and vodkas. It’s great to see the updated websites for all of these distilleries and to see how much they have all grown.

Thanks for reading! Cheers friends!

Meet Andrew and Matthew

Hello! My brother and I want to start off our blog with a bit of an introduction for who we are and what we hope to accomplish with this blog.

To start off, here are some things about us. We are not classically trained in the food or beverage industry in the sense that we have never received any formal training bartending, winemaking, sommelier, or cooking. However, at one point or another one or both of us have discussed an interest in becoming a bartender or sommelier. We are high enthusiasts that love to explore and find new wineries, breweries, bars, distilleries, and restaurants. We love planning trips to wine country and breweries and meeting new friends along the journey.

We know that wine and wine culture can be confusing and intimidating for a lot of people. I know when we both started we were a little reserved and intimidated when it came to talking about wine with other people. As we learned more about it, we became more comfortable having discussions about wine with other people. Talking about wine and our experiences with other people has opened doors, created friendships, and benefited our relationship. Our goal is to help provide people with the information to make them feel more confident with their own wine experiences. But also we want to empower people to try new places and explore all of the different options that we have to eat and drink.

Our Approach to Wine

Our approach to wine is pretty simple. We will taste EVERYTHING. We know that may seem like a strange concept because some of you out there. We know that there are people that only drink reds, only whites, or only certain varietals…which is completely fine if that’s what works for you. Part of you may be thinking to yourself that we are crazy for trying everything which is also fine. And if you don’t think we are crazy just for trying everything, you will probably think we are definitely crazy after reading the next sentence. In addition to trying everything, we are also the weird ones that will not stick to the classic order of going from whites to reds and then from reds to dessert wines. We believe that if you break out of the mold a little, you open yourself up to a whole new world of experiences that may present themselves.

How Food and Wine has Benefited our Relationship

Our food journey started a few days before Christmas one year when my brother and I were sitting at Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney. Up to that point, we had very rarely ever done a sit-down dinner with just the two of us. Both of us had been in college, and as many of you know, college budgets usually keep food experiences limited to most fast food chains. But also, as anyone with siblings will attest, our relationship had more rocky moments than moments filled with brotherly love.

We decided that we were going to, for just one night, forget about the cost and just enjoy ourselves. That dinner became an opportunity to reconnect and rebuild our relationship as brothers. This dinner also instilled for us the value of family meals. And by family we mean meals with those people in your life that you value and cherish time with whether that is family or close friends (what we like to call our extended family).

But at this dinner, we decided to make a new tradition. Around Christmas each year we find a time to go to a sit-down restaurant. We made this decision because then at least once a year we would be able to sit-down just the two of us and talk about what was going on in our lives.

How Wine Expanded our Interests

Our interest in wine sparked an interest in cooking in Matthew and rejuvenated the interest for Andrew. The more we learned about wine, the more we became interested in pairing wine with food. The interest in food and wine pairings combined with our love of film led us to attempting to pair a dining and film experience. We wanted to pair a Chef’s Tasting Menu with the film Burnt, starring Bradley Cooper. This led us to Michael’s on Naples in Long Beach, CA. This interest was furthered our interests in other areas of the food and beverage industry such as beer and cocktails.

Our Approach to Drinking Alcohol

We believe that alcohol has the chance to enrich our lives. Mostly this enrichment comes when we find the perfect pairing for a particular wine, beer, or cocktail. However, it can enrich our lives by providing as an icebreaker which can lead to making new connections and friendships. However, alcohol can have devastating effects on life if it is abused as a way to mask emotions or if we do not respect the way it influences our bodies and therefore please drink responsibly.

Thanks for reading! Cheers friends!