Virginia’s Aslin Beer Company will make its D.C. debut this fall with a prominent Logan Circle location to sip its popular lineup of IPAs, lagers, and pilsners out of its colorful cans, bottles, and over 20 draft lines, Eater has exclusively learned.
The new beer garden for 14th Street NW, slated to replace a vacant lot next to Chicken and Whiskey, stretches across S Street NW and along the back alley. Along with New England-style IPAs, Aslin comes up with dozens of recipes a year covering categories like dessert-tasting sours, spiked seltzers, and pastry-styled stouts.
Founded in 2015, Aslin maintains a pair of Virginia taprooms and beer gardens in downtown Herndon and an industrial area of Alexandria, where its cavernous brewery is splashed with edgy artwork inspired by its psychedelic can designs.
Instead of a kitchen, a local (and TBA) food truck partner parked on-site will feed guests and add a to-go option for the neighborhood — much like Swizzler’s permanent burger pad at NoMa’s Wundergarten.
“We’ll occasionally bring in some of our friend breweries and wineries on a one-off basis,” adds Aslin co-founder Andrew Kelley.
The creative corner setup — dubbed Aslin Filling Station — updates the site’s existing 1950s-era gas station with a sleek and “Scandinavian minimalist look,” //3877 co-founder David Shove-Brown tells Eater. The in-demand local design group behind Succotash, The Grill, and Cranes plans to “keep the service station intact as much as possible,” he says. Accessed from a 14th Street NW entrance, Aslin Filling Station will be lined with picnic tables, corn hole games, Adirondack-style chairs, and grasses and gravel atop its parking surface.
The interior will be modified with a bar in the existing service bays, plus additional bathrooms and a small sales section for merchandise and to-go beers. A pergola constructed at the south side will feature string lights and fabric shading elements.
This isn’t the first time a beer garden tried to scoop up the same site. Met with neighborhood pushback for noise concerns, Shaw drinking spot Dacha Beer Garden revised what was originally pitched to the public as an open-air drinking haven for 600 with a pricey plan to add professional soundproofing and more enclosed areas in 2017. Dacha opted for a sprawling beer garden next to Nationals Park instead.
The area of fencing that faces homes along S Street will be predominantly closed to mitigate sound as much as possible, Aslin’s team tells Eater. To further appease nearby residents and silence noise complaints, Aslin’s 300-person beer garden won’t do any live music, festivals and big events, or late last calls. Closing time is scheduled for 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 9 p.m. on Sunday, and 10 p.m. during the week.
“Alexandria and Herndon have a low-key vibe — it’s not raging party or meant to be,” Kelley tells Eater.
The approvals process is especially tedious because the site falls under the purview of three Advisory Neighborhood Commissions — U Street, Dupont Circle, and Logan Circle — which all need to sign off for Aslin to secure the necessary liquor license.
“It’s an interesting site at the corner where three ANCs come together — that’s always fun,” says Shove-Brown.
The team is meeting with ANC reps and local community members to hear all questions, concerns, and design suggestions. Aslin’s drawings are expected to be submitted this week to District Department of Transportation (DDOT), with a review on Public Space’s July docket.
If all goes well, the team is shooting for an opening by Oktoberfest. Logan Circle stalwart Garden District operates an outdoor barbecue beer garden across the street from Aslin’s incoming project.