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Gordon Biersch will close at 900 F St. NW on Sept. 30 after 17 years. The Courtyard by Marriott hotel it shares an address with will also go kaput, closing its doors about a month later.
The location is the second-oldest continuously operating brewery in D.C., bested only by District ChopHouse and Brewery. Gordon Biersch is celebrating its long run with a goodbye party set for Sept. 16th.
Brewing operations were most recently in the hands of brewer Scott Lasater, but others came before him, including Jason Oliver. Oliver went on to help launch Devils Backbone Brewing Company in 2008.
“It’s too bad it’s closing,” Oliver says. “It was the nicest Gordon Biersch I’ve ever seen. When I was there, we had a great management team and the Gordon Biersch brewers were tight as well. We still are friends. I really learned how to hone my process at Gordon Biersch.”
As for Lasater, this won’t be his last mash. The brewer has transitioned over to the Gordon Biersch brewpub in Navy Yard, slaying the thirsts of lager-hungry Nationals fans. While Gordon Biersch on 9th Street NW will soon be gone, the culture lives on in the yeast used to turn barley juice into the beautiful bubbly beverage imbibed before baseball.
District ChopHouse brewer Barrett Lauer says Lasater has been supplying him with lager yeast for years. It’s been a reciprocal relationship. “I’ve been helping him with controllers, solenoids, and pumps and motors,” Lauer says. “I’m really going to miss having another brewery two blocks away, but I’ll miss Scott even more. Having a few of his lagers on the patio was always a great way to unwind from a brew day. He’ll just be four Metro stops away, but it will feel a lot farther.”
Lasater isn’t the only Gordon Biersch employee who has a knack for cultivating or utilizing yeasts. Award-winning Gordon Biersch Navy Yard brewer Travis Tedrowwill leave his position to become a full time yeast-grower as the co-founder and production manager at Jasper Yeast. The company grows strains of yeast for breweries and ciders.
The company, comprised of Jasper Akerboom and Tedrow, recently provided yeast to this year’s Solidarity Pilsner, the first-ever canned 10th anniversary DC Beer Week collaboration brew.
No word on what will become of the building at 900 F St. NW, but Gordon Biersch says the employees from the location that’s closing will be offered positions elsewhere in the company.
Gordon Biersch, 900 F St. NW; (202) 783-5454; gordonbiersch.com