Gordon Biersch opens a second brewery-restaurant in Washington, D.C., on Monday, 1 April, near to the Navy Yard and Nationals Ballpark.
Like its sister brewpubs in nearby downtown D.C., Tysons Corner, Virginia, and Rockville, Maryland —and all Gordon Biersch locations nationwide— the brewpub will primarily produce lagers (and some ales) for sale at the restaurant. And that's a good thing. The 'craft' beer world needs more flavorful lagers.
Brewer Travis Tedrow got his 'chops' at Capitol City Brewing Company, in Shirlington, Virginia. Having first met him there, I can attest that he brews good beer.
Here's the press release:
WASHINGTON, DC (19 March 2013) – Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant’s April 1 opening at the Navy Yard (100 M Street, SE), will bring together a talented management trio set to firmly establish the new restaurant as a neighborhood beacon, a unique modern-day brewery and restaurant offering a sophisticated yet casual setting. Gordon Biersch veterans, General Manager Brian Beauregard and Executive Chef Tony Blais are joined by Head Brewer Travis Tedrow.
Follow Tedrow on Twitter at: @GBNavyYardBrew
Head Brewer Travis Tedrow has vivid childhood memories of his parents and neighbors home-brewing in the foothills of his native western North Carolina – well before home brewing and craft beers rocketed in popularity. “I remember the sweet malt aroma, the spice of the hops, and the adults having a wonderful time,” he says. Since entering the commercial brewing industry, Tedrow has found a similar camaraderie and friendship among fellow brewers and craft beer fans, an element he looks forward to sharing at the newest Gordon Biersch.
After graduation from the University of Alabama, Tedrow held jobs as diverse as tending bar on Alabama’s Gulf Coast and working as a research assistant for the Senate Banking Committee. However, brewing remained a strong interest, ultimately leading him to the Siebel Institute of Brewing Technology in Chicago, IL. There he underwent a rigorous apprenticeship program at Laurelwood Brewery in Portland, before landing a position at Capitol City Brewing Company in 2007. He continued to hone his craft, creating flavorful, consistent beers while regularly studying the art and science of brewing. Incredibly enthusiastic about joining the Gordon Biersch team at Navy Yard, he looks forward to making their signature German-style lagers.
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants is known for its handcrafted lagers and fresh, inspired recipes made from quality ingredients – the domain of Executive Chef Tony Blais. Like so many chefs, the New Hampshire native launched his culinary career inauspiciously as a dishwasher in a Portsmouth restaurant at age 14. He advanced through various industry positions before leaving town for the bright lights of Las Vegas six years later. Along the way, having found true passion in the culinary arts, he set his sights on becoming a chef. Vegas fortune smiled upon him as he landed a job as a grill cook at the Gordon Biersch on Paradise Road before eventually moving to the real home of paradise at Gordon Biersch Hawaii, where he earned a promotion to Sous Chef and ultimately met his wife. From there, Blais moved to Arizona to serve as part of the opening culinary team for new Gordon Biersch San Tan location in Gilbert, where he was later promoted to Executive Chef in 2010. He, his wife and three young sons have now relocated to the Washington area.
General Manager Brian Beauregard launched his career in a professional bakery outside his hometown of Pittsburgh before attaining his Bachelor’s in Restaurant Management from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He later earned a Master of Science at Florida International University in Miami, and in 2003 he began his management career with CraftWorks in Jacksonville.
Beauregard moved to Denver and then later relocated to New Orleans where he worked as part of the Gordon Biersch opening management team in 2004. He was promoted to General Manager of the Miami location in 2006 and made an immediate impact on the store – and on Linda – now his wife. With most of his family living in the Northeast, the prospect of managing the Navy Yard Gordon Biersch was an ideal opportunity. Beauregard and his family now reside in Alexandria, Virginia.
With a seating capacity of 226, the 8,290-square-foot Navy Yard Gordon Biersch features a stylish dining room, an outdoor beer garden that seats 88 and a glass-enclosed brewing room. The spacious bar area will offer plenty of seating as well as numerous high-definition televisions and daily drink and food specials. The restaurant will offer five freshly brewed Signature Gordon Biersch lagers on tap (Golden Export, Hefeweizen, Czech Lager, Märzen and Schwarzbier) and one seasonal option.
The new Southeast location marks the company’s fourth in the Washington, DC metro area - downtown DC (900 F Street, NW), Tysons Corner Center (McLean, VA) and Rockville Town Square (Rockville, MD).
The Navy Yard Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant will be open seven days a week, offering lunch, dinner and bar dining, from 11am until 10pm Sunday and Monday, with the bar open until 2am; Tuesday through Thursday, 11am until 11pm, with the bar open until midnight; Friday and Saturday, 11am until midnight, with the bar open until 2am. Happy Hour and Late Night will feature both food and beverage specials. Happy Hour will be hosted Monday through Friday from 3pm until 6:30pm. Late Night hours are Sunday through Thursday from 10pm until close. Reservations and private parties will be accepted and encouraged. For reservations or further information, call 202-484-2739.
UPDATE: I attended the pre-opening 'VIP' event on Saturday, 30 March 2013. Tedrow showed me around the brewery. It's a Specific Mechanical system, with a 15-barrel brewhouse (kettle/mashtun combination, lauter tun). There are five 30-barrel closed, conical fermentation tanks, four 30-barrel dish-bottom 'bright'/serving tanks, and six horizontal 15-barrel lagering/serving tanks. A plate-and-frame filter was purchased at the Craft Brewers Conference, the preceding week. Gordon-Biersch is known for its 'craft' lagers. Tedrow will decoct his beers where appropriate and time permits: he specifically mentioned maibock. Decoction is a time-intensive traditonal German method, which builds extra toasted and caramelized malt character.
Due to a licensing snafu with the Washington, D.C. government, brewing has not yet begun on-site. For the pre-opening event, and once open, until the brewpub is up and brewing, beer was, and will be, shipped in from the Gordon-Biersch pub in Columbus, Ohio. The voyage had not seemed to hurt the beer. The Pilsner was crisp, firm, and aromatically spicy. In a decision I applaud, the pub will have eight guest taps (including taps dedicated to local beers), even after brewing commences. Tedrow is anxious to brew but sanguine: he expects the city inspectors' imprimatur without too much more delay.
The pub opens to the public on Monday, 1 April 2013. That's Opening Day for the Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team; not coincidentally, Nationals Park is but a block from this new Gordon-Biersch.
Saturday's soiree was invitee-only (and a charity fundraiser). The restaurant was filled. Despite that, service was excellent. See photos: here.