A former Senate staffer and Peace Corps volunteer is bringing his brewing ambitions to life with a new craft brewery near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station in Northeast D.C.
City-State Brewing Company has been in the planning and fundraising stage for three years, and founder James Warner has now signed a lease for 13,000 square feet at 705 Edgewood St. NE.
City-State will be unusual; it will actually be two connected brew houses: One is a 20-barrel system for larger batches; the other is a five-barrel brew house for more experimental beers with a large, on-site taproom.
The brewery and taproom will also be able to host live music and performances and serve as a wedding venue with a catering kitchen. Warner said he is working with local food industry partners to provide food at the brewery.
City-State will also incorporate D.C. history in its brewpub and beers, with a D.C. Wall of Fame celebrating a rotating cast of local legends and beers with D.C.-centric names, such as 8 Wards Independent Pale Ale and a saison called The Brookland.
“We’re opening in a historically diverse area, and we want to help it stay that way,” Warner said. “I am a Brookland resident and City-State will be part of the hardworking, creating and welcoming character of our neighborhood.”
He added, “The whole idea behind the brewery is to celebrate the history and culture of the District — the city behind the monuments.”
Warner has prepared for his craft brewing career by working as a brewing apprentice, server and craft beer salesman. City-State cans will be available on-site for purchase and self-distributed across D.C. and Montgomery County, with limited initial distribution in Virginia.
Warner is working with local restaurateur Nick Freshman’s Mothersauce Partners, whose restaurants include The Eleanor and Takoma Beverage Company, to line up more investors for City-State Brewing. Mothersauce Partners is also opening a new restaurant called The Freshman this year near Amazon’s HQ2 headquarters in Crystal City.
Warner hopes to open City-State Brewing this summer or fall.
There are more than two dozen craft brewers in the District now, many of them concentrated in Northeast D.C., where warehouse space is available and rents are more affordable.