Is that place really a brewery??

The staff of the American Public House Review took a field trip a few weeks ago to our nation’s capitol.  After a few hours of driving, I was ready for a drink.  Our plan was to head straight to the Dubliner, but as we drove past Washington D.C.’s Union Station that plan expanded quite a bit.

Capitol City Brewing Company

Not being from the Capitol, none of us knew what this giant and gorgeous building was next door, but we all were more than a little surprised to find signs that read Capitol City Brewing Company hanging outside.  This building looked like a museum or federal building, anything but a brewery.  So after a jaunt to the Dubliner, we meandered up the street to see if this really was a brewery.

Capitol City Brewery entrance

What we found was a unique and wonderful place, full of friendly people, incredible visuals, and fine brew.  The building in question is the old Federal City Post Office which now houses, along with the brewpub, the National Postal Museum.  I can’t imagine anywhere else in the world where you will find a brewery sharing space with a museum inside a building that looks like something that stood next to the Parthenon.

Prohibition Porter from Capitol City Brewing Company

We had a chance to talk for a while with Head Brewer Ryan Curley, a man who truly knows his stuff.  The fact is that this place does it right.  Besides the incredible surroundings, Ryan and his staff knows what really brings in the crowds…good beer.  And that, along with an indescribable urge to get on the bar and declare opposition to the latest bill in the senate, is exactly what you will find at the Capitol City Brewing Company.

Posted by: David McBride

Warming up at Washington D.C.’s Dubliner

This week, in continued celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day, the American Public House Review heads to our nation’s capitol to visit perhaps Washington D.C.’s most famous public house, the Dubliner.  If you are looking to hobnob with the politicos, this is the place to be.

dubliner-entrance

An Irish Tavern that keeps true to its heritage with great atmosphere and live Celtic music, the Dubliner has become the place for the D.C. recognizables to come and unwind with a pint.  In the days leading up to the Inauguration, MSNBC chose this pub as almost its home base of operations.  I was proud to see the network recognize what we here at the APHR have always know, if you want to find the soul of a town you must start your search in the tavern.

So click here for the story and to join Chris Poh as he seeks shelter from the snow and ice of an Atlantic winter in Washington D.C. with a happy and warm ending at the Dubliner, the capitol city’s most renowned Irish tavern.

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Published in: Uncategorized on March 20, 2009 at 6:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!

In Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day is considered a holy day.  The celebration marking the death of their country’s patron saint, the man credited with bringing Catholicism to Ireland, is a family and church day.  But here in America, where the world’s first Saint Patrick’s Day Parade was held in 1762 by Irish soldiers serving in the English army, it is one big party.

flag-sign-at-mcsorleys

In the United States, the Irish pub has come to be ground zero for St. Patty’s Day celebrations.  Those marching in the many grand parades like the one in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, or just attending them, often start and end their day at the pub.  For those of Irish heritage, and those who wish they were, the Irish pub remains a special place all year long.  But on the 17th of March, people are willing to wait in long lines for hours just to belly up to one of these great bars.

And we here at the American Public House Review are no exception.  We seem to find ourselves spending time in many of America’s great Irish taverns.  So if you are sitting home today, or at the office, and you are curious about the influence Erin’s Isle has had on our country, you needn’t look any further than the archives of APHR for some great examples.

the-old-triangle-mollys-nyc

Of course few are more famous the Manhattan’s McSorley’s Ale House on the lower eastside, or P.J. Clarke’s found uptown.  Molly’s Shebeen, also downtown, ranks right there with those two in the annals of great turn of the century Irish taverns.  They are testaments to the lasting power of a great Irish pub. 

shanacie-stained-glass

But a great tavern doesn’t need to be old to be great.  The Dubliner in Washington D.C. and the Dublin Pub in Morristown both opened in the early 1970’s, but feel as though they were transported here from Ireland’s largest city centuries ago.  For great music, try Mitchell’s Café along the Delaware River in New Jersey.  Or maybe you will be lucky enough to hear Gerry Timlin play at the Shanacie Pub in Ambler, Pa, where he is at once the entertainer, resident storyteller, and owner.

Needless to say, I love a good Irish pub.  I can literally say I was raised in them.  They are what brought me to my love of great taverns.  Yes, today may be the toughest day to get into one, and rightly so, but it is worth it.  I’ll be leaving for mine in just a couple of hours.

dublin-pub-morristown-exterior-painting

So from all of us here at the American Public House Review, to our readers of Irish and wishful-Irish heritage, we raise a glass and say “Thirst is a shameless disease, so here’s to a shameful cure”, and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.

Posted by: David McBride

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