3 Stars Brewing Company, one of D.C.’s newly formed local breweries, will be releasing a beer in late May. Instead of an offering from their forthcoming line up, this first effort is a collaboration beer brewed not here in D.C. but in Delaware (cue Wayne and Garth) with the help of Evolution Craft Brewing Company.
The release, a group effort appropriately called Syndicate Saison, will flood District bars at the same time a host of brewers and beer enthusiasts are in town for Savor, the annual craft beer and food event on June 3 and 4 at the National Building Museum.
Syndicate Saison is a light, spicy farmhouse ale brewed with red, white, and black peppercorns. 3 Stars founders Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey, who tend to make beers on the intense side, thought about D.C. weather in choosing this 6 percent alcohol-by-volume brew. “We didn’t want to do a big, hoppy IPA or imperial porter. It could be 105 degrees in D.C. in June, so we decided to go with something very drinkable, very quenching. We wanted something nice and crisp that would make a great summer beer,” says Coleman.
Last month, Coleman and McGarvey met with Evolution brewmaster Geoff DeBisschop and assistant brewer Joseph Lemnah to plan the project and then returned to Delaware last week to brew. The D.C. duo also spent time with Evolution founder Tom Knorr, who offered a wealth of advice to the entrepreneurs. “They are some of the nicest people that we’ve met in craft beer. You wouldn’t think that a brewery would give another start-up so much help, but they were a total open book—the spirit of craft beer personified,” Coleman says of the Evolution crew.
Knorr founded Evolution with his brother just over two years ago, but the small batch brewery already has a strong reputation for producing quality craft beer. Evolution’s Lot No. 3 India Pale Ale, Lot No. 6 Double IPA, and Rise Up Stout are solid brews widely available in D.C., the last of which recently received top honors in The Washington Post’s Beer Madness competition.
Fifteen kegs of Syndicate Saison will be placed at craft beer bars throughout D.C. by the end of the month. 3 Stars and Evolution are tentatively planning a May 31 release during Savor Beer Week, and the collaboration will be featured during Evolution’s tap takeover on Saturday, June 4, at The Big Hunt where Coleman oversees the beer program.
As for when 3 Stars will be producing beer in their own digs, Coleman and McGarvey are currently working out final details for the lease on their space up in Takoma. They plan to move in and start purchasing equipment over the next several months, in time to begin helping quench the District’s thirst for local beer by November.
Photograph by Darrow Montgomery