Microbreweries are expanding/exploding but now so is something else…microdistilleries. What is the world coming to? HEAVEN! In DC there is a gin distillery, Green Hat (they hope to make more than gin in the long run).
They have been around for a little over 3 years now and are located in NE (the North East quadrant if you’re not completely familiar with the area). It’s one of the less expensive areas so this is of course where a lot of the growing micro (alcohol) folks in DC are going because of the cost. It’s amazing, there is so much potential and it’s really helping these areas grow. It’s also where Union Market (drove near it since the street sign isn’t actually on noted off of NY Ave so took a couple extra turn and my GPS was taking me some extra places). Ok, anyway, back to in.
So to actually visit the distillery you can only go on Saturdays from 1-4pm. The rest of the week they are busy making this good gin for us. You go in and get to taste a couple gins and get a tour of the place. What was great on the tour is that you walk to the back of the distillery (maybe the width of a football field) and the guide said ‘ok, this is the whole size of the place, nothing more, are you disappointed that more of your tours are so much bigger?’ This ‘tour’ was very interesting because I’ve only done beer and wine tours so I learned the process of distilling gin. They have gone through a long process of who to work with for getting their product and are working with relatively local farmers in Virginia. Then we learned about everything from start to finish, from grains going in, to heating to the ‘flavor’ choice going in to bottles. The whole process can take about a month.
With the tour you of course get a taste. They consider a variety of spices when making the gin, from juniper berries to celery seeds, so have these out for you to smell why enjoying the gin.
The first gin we tasted was their tradition gin. This one was about 41% alcohol. They hand write the percentage and proof on each bottle in case anything changes and anybody comes in to inspect them.
The second tasting was the Navy Strength which was around 57% alcohol. WOW! I think I was shivering when I sipped that stuff.
Though we didn’t get to taste them, they received awards for two of their gins last year — Ginavit and Spring-Summer. Side note — I though we were tasting all 4 of the gins, so I was carefully sipping the first 2. Not that I needed to down them, but still, I wanted to taste the awards winners.
They are also working in whiskey. They hope to have this ready in about 3 years.
So, if you live in DC, head to NE on a Saturday afternoon and check this out. Go to Union Market after it and get some food, or there is a MOMs 3 blocks away. This area is growing and it’s great. Cheers.