Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Foggy Bottom Guide – Brews embody taste of Foggy Bottom

While watching the blue and white distribution trucks of Foggy Bottom Ale rolling through the neighborhood, it would be easy to believe that this local microbrew has been a Foggy Bottom tradition for ages.

By Foggy Bottom standards, however, Foggy Bottom Ale is a newborn. The beer, one of the best-selling microbrews in the area, has only been around since 1995.

Nonetheless, Foggy Bottom Ale has made a name for itself locally.

We sell a lot of it; it’s very popular, said Jason Feldman, a bartender at Lindy’s Red Lion. It’s a good local brew that has a similar finish to Sam Adams.

Foggy Bottom Ale is not without its share of history in the District. It is the flagship beer of the Olde Heurich Brewing Company, which began brewing beer in Dupont Circle in 1873. Christian Heurich moved the brewery to its Foggy Bottom location, taking up two blocks on 25th, 26th and D Streets by the Potomac River.

Heurich ran the brewery until his death in 1945 at the age of 102, making him the oldest brewer in American history. His son ran the brewery until it closed its doors in the 1960s.

Gary F. Heurich, the grandson of Christian Heurich, re-started the brewery in 1986 with the debut of Foggy Bottom Ale. Currently, Foggy Bottom Ale is brewed in Utica, N.Y., until a brewery in D.C. can be built. According to the brewery’s Web site, this project should be completed in two or three years.

The brewery produces six types of beer. The style and taste of the beer varies with the seasons.

Their flagship beer, which is produced year-round, Foggy Bottom Ale, is a pale ale that the brewery calls a Celebration of Hops. Like all true pale ales, its hoppy character makes it spicy and aromatic.

Foggy Bottom Lager is the only other beer that the Olde Heurich Brewing Company produces all year. This dark lager doesn’t have the harsh, bitter taste expected of Maerzen-style dark beers. It is smooth and creamy, but still offers some bite.

SpringFogg is available from February through May. It is a bock-style beer, which translates loosely in German to goat. Bocks are generally medium-bodied beers with loads of flavor. SpringFogg is sweet with a dark amber color.

Next in the rotation is SummerFogg, a wheat ale. Wheat ales originated in Germany when brewers decided that beer made with barley malts were too heavy for the hot summer weather. SummerFogg is made with 30 percent wheat malt, which gives it a light taste and coloring.

AutumnFogg is a maerzen-style beer that is stronger, both in taste and alcohol content, than the other seasonal brews because of its longer fermentation period. It has a gentle and warming taste to it, without any additional flavorings. AutumnFogg is available from August to November.

WinterFogg is the only beer made by the Olde Heurich Brewing Company that is not brewed using traditional German brewing techniques. Winter brews are an American microbrew phenomenon in which breweries add holiday spices and flavorings such as nutmeg and cinnamon. This reddish-brown porter is made with chocolate and caramel malts and hints of other holiday spices. WinterFogg is available from November to February.

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