Shaw brewpub Right Proper Brewing Company is poised for its first major expansion with the opening of a new production brewery and tasting room in Brookland sometime next month. The brewery is nearly ready to go except for approval from federal regulators.
The new space at 920 Girard St. NE is situated on the edge of Brookland between the Franklin Street overpass and a residential neighborhood. Co-owners Thor Cheston and Nathan Zeender converted the 6,300-square-foot building from an auto repair shop, but they say it originally housed an industrial bakery.
Inside, a 15-barrel brewhouse will support two separate brewing programs: four 30-barrel tanks for “clean” beer, and two 30-barrel tanks, as well as three 45-hectoliter wooden casks, for wild yeast and mixed fermentation brews. The French casks, called foudres, were a rare find—They were previously used for wine-making for only one season rather than several years.
The current equipment setup will allow Right Proper to grow from brewing 1,000 barrels a year at the brewpub to up to 15,000 barrels per year at the new brewery, with room to add more tanks to expand beyond that. Cheston predicts they'll make 3,500 barrels in the new brewery’s first year of operation. The expansion means you'll start seeing Right Proper's brews at restaurants and retailers around town.
The tasting room, adorned with rich cherry wood, will have 12 draft lines and two high-tech growler fillers that can pour beer from any of the 12 lines. The bar and tables seat about 45 and are made from wood sourced from a single fallen tree from co-owner John Snedden’s back yard.
Fans of the brewpub’s mural featuring robot animals attacking each other in D.C. can look forward to a similar piece by Patrick Owens that will wrap around the tasting room:
Another perk is a state-of-the-art sound system with a turntable. Oh, and there’s an upright piano in the bathroom:
The outside brick walls feature a mural and corner compass rose by Nico Amortegui, who is Cheston’s brother-in-law and also contributed artwork to the Shaw brewpub. His alley mural depicts the transformation from man to beast and incorporates images of Cheston’s two dogs, Rocket and Gogo.
A front lawn will soon feature a seasonal patio and garden with botanicals to be used in Zeender’s creations. Within the first six months, they plan to fill 750 mL and 375 mL bottles of Zeender’s mixed fermentation brews, and as soon as next summer, they plan to start canning.
Hours will be Thursday and Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 9 p.m.
Photos by Tammy Tuck