Part of the fun of 3 Stars Brewing Company is that you don’t just want to drink the beer. You want to drink beer WITH the co-founders of the Chillum Place brewery—Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey. The jolly, burly duo had a big year. They doubled their production to 5,000 barrels annually, announced they’d be expanding into an adjacent property, gaining 7,000 square feet for additional fermentation and a restaurant, and they hired head brewer Brandon Millhouse, who brings years of experience to a place where creativity is king.
On trend as always, 3 Stars was an early adopter of the sour beer craze. “In 2016, we started releasing beers out of the funkerdome,” Coleman says. “We built it in 2015 and started squirreling beers in there with different bacteria, but they take a while to age.” Those brews include the Rickey Rose that’s barrel-fermented with blackberries and Two-Headed Unicorn, made in collaboration with Charm City Meadworks.
But 3 Stars has more than sours. The ever-thirsty IPA crowd, for example, can rejoice because every two weeks the brewery rolls out a different double IPA in 16.5-ounce cans like Pounding Trees and #Ultrafresh. Finally, dark beer fans have Courting the Squall to turn to. The roasty, toasty oatmeal stout is only 5.5 percent ABV, making it more slammable than other stouts.
Though the brewery now distributes to Virginia, Maryland, and New York, it still screams “made in D.C.” From the “Urban Farmhouse” tasting room that’s a great place to spend a Saturday (or get married!) to the one-off collaborations the brewery does with area restaurants, 3 Stars epitomizes what it means to be local.