Northern Virginia Craft Beer Sensation Solace Brewery opens the taps at its planned Navy Yard location tonight, giving DC a scenic spot to sample its beloved IPAs, beertails and half-smoks from a respected Georgetown butcher.
The dizzying industrial-style addition to the Dock 79 waterfront development offers front-row views of the newly completed Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge (71 Potomac Ave SE). The sun-drenched bar, dubbed Solace Outpost, begins pouring its star product on Friday, January 21 at 6 p.m.
Comfort debuted in brewery-saturated Sterling, Va. in 2017, where its 20-barrel brewery produces best-selling hits like Sun’s Out Hops Out (session IPA), Lucy Juicy (double IPA), Partly Cloudy (New England IPA ) and Fou Pils. Solace expanded to Falls Church in 2020, taking over the former Mad Fox Brewery space with hotel brothers Ian and Eric Hilton.
However, there’s no brewing in DC’s Solace outpost, where the Hiltons are also partners. To give its Virginia super fans a reason to head to DC, Solace will be crafting unique beers exclusive to the Navy Yard location.
“They can’t get these drafts at the main brewery or at Falls Church,” Solace general manager DJ Suan told Eater.
The core of the operation at Navy Yard is a huge central bar, which serves 12 of its Virginia-made beers to start. Solace, who also likes to play with experimental IPAs, kettle sours and smaller batches, will list her rotating range on a chalkboard wall above the taps.
Georgetown’s ten year old Stachowski Market provides a half-smoked, bratwurst, and beef hot dog section to go along with an in-house food program the team calls the “elevated ball park” fare. This includes burgers with ground beef patties; buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches; salads; toddlers; crispy chicken thighs; and soft pretzels with beer (Crazy Pils) queso.
“Beer is obviously our heart and soul, so we try to reflect that through food and drink,” says Suan.
A take-out area near the entrance features a fridge stocked with colorful Solace cans and a Solace apparel section reminiscent of DC sports team logos and colors.
Following a soft opening this weekend, daily hours are: Monday to Thursday, 3 p.m. to midnight; Friday, 3 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Saturday from noon to 1 a.m.; and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. A happy hour will include $5 pints and specials.
An opening list of six beertails ($12) includes “Holiday in the Tropics,” which is an ode to the original hurricane served at Pat O’Brien’s in New Orleans. The key ingredient behind its authenticity is fassionola syrup – a proprietary blend of tropical fruits that dates back to the tiki movement of the 1930s. Solace’s Hurricane beer tail also includes Crazy Pils, Lime and Angostura bitters.
“It’s super crushable. I’ve never seen a beer version of a Hurricane and I’ve been in the cocktail game for a long time,” says Suan, who brews drinks at Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, King Street Oyster Bar and Green Zone, to name a few.
Bar manager Greg Robinson is also a recognizable mixologist in town and has previously worked at Pub & The People and The Eleanor.
The Solace version of a beer margarita is a divided base of tequila blanco and mezcal, jazzed up with Lucy Juicy IPA syrup, lime and Crazy Pils. His Old Fashioned blends bourbon and rye whiskeys with syrup used to make Solace’s Stouty McStout Face.
“We try to stay true to the cocktail game technique while allowing ourselves to not be set in stone,” he says.
A huge wraparound patio will likely wait to go live until mid-March, or thereabouts when the Washington Nationals kick off their 2022 season just around the corner.