While I love to get out of town and see new sights, I also live in an area with lots to offer! In the Discover DC series, I share some of the local gems where we “play tourist” and the places that have become favorites.
It’s time for a drink! Come along for a taste of Green Hat Gin, a craft Distillery right here in Washington, DC.
We visited Green Hat on an a Fall weekend with a gin-aficionado friend. As advertised on their site, the distillery is open for sales, free tours and tastings on weekends from noon-4pm. We spent about an hour max there and had the full experience. Supporting local business AND starting happy hour early? We were happy campers.
The place itself is in the warehouse district, and there isn’t much around. But the building itself has a great modern-industrial vibe going on, and you really can’t miss the florescent green sign. Street parking out front was plentiful, but you’re definitely going to need to drive elsewhere for more food and drinks afterward.
Green Hat Gin is made at New Columbia Distillers, and is their signature product. A few others are in development, including the short-release seasonal gins.
The first thing you see upon entry is the tasting table, set up with the signature beverage as well as displaying all of the botanicals that go into making it. The crew is happy to help you sample, and answer any question you might have. You will need to show a valid ID, and of course consume responsibly.
If there is a seasonal variety available, that’s available to taste too – they’re releasing the winter blend on November 15!
Tours are informal, but extremely informative. We learned where the Green Hat name came from and their roots in DC during Prohibition, and then followed the process from field to grain to still to bottle.
A tour may last between 20-30 minutes, depending on how many questions the group asks. There doesn’t seem to be a set departure time, so just join a group already in motion – or do a tasting while you wait for the next group to start.
The gorgeous copper still is really the centerpiece of the whole operation. All Green Hat Gin comes right from here (after triple distilling, of course!)
I also learned that this is a volunteer-supported local operation – they host bottling parties where friends of the Green Hat come by to help bottle, label and package the batch. I imagine a few G&T’s are sprinkled in to keep things flowing…
The whole time we were there the records were spinning. These guys definitely know how to have a good time, and want you to join the party!
Overall this was a fun little interlude for our day, informative but very laid back and fun. Plus, I’m all about supporting local family-owned businesses. Our gin aficionado friend was satisfied, and we were able to grab a bottle from the sales up front to stock up our bar. We’ll be back after November 15 for the elusive Winter blend!
Until then, 14 barrels of gin on the wall, 14 barrels of gin…