Distillery City: An Update on DC’s Liquor Scene


Inside One Eight Distillery

DC sometimes has a ‘little engine that could’ complex about it. We’ve been through a lot: hardcore drug habits, mean streets, comically corrupt politicians—all while dealing with overbearing conservative parents (Congress) who pull our purse strings like we’re shitty teenagers. Yet, every time I turn my head, we’re making more of ourselves. We cleaned up 14th Street, elected a female mayor and we legalized weed. We have an actual restaurant scene, and a real baseball team! And, like any self-respecting city, we now make our own brew and hooch.

It’s been nearly a year since I last wrote about DC’s burgeoning liquor-making scene. Much has happened. Here’s an update on our local liquors.

One Eight Distilling – Now Open

One Eight Distilling finished construction on their massive Ivy City property in January to become the second DC-based distillery, behind New Columbia Distillers. The property consists of a 7,500 square foot production space, a large tasting room and bar, and a small shop. One Eight Distilling makes three spirits: District Made Vodka, Rock Creek Whiskey and Ivy City Gin.


You can taste them at one of One Eight’s new tours, on Saturdays, every half hour between 1:00 and 4:00 pm (first come, first served). Admission is free, and advance registration is not required. You won’t have to swig on an empty stomach either: One Eight has partnered with a number of food trucks and pop-up shops like SUNdevich, DC Slices and Sloppy Mama’s BBQ. The food is not free, but it’s there.

Click here for more information on tours and tastings. Visit One Eight Distilling online here.

Joseph A. Magnus & Co. – Coming Soon

Joseph A. Magnus was bourbon tycoon who launched his business in the late 1800s (that’s pre-Prohibition money). More than a century later, his name is re-entering the market in the form of a DC distillery founded by some the top names in the business—including Magnus’ own great grandson, Jimmy Turner.


Joseph A. Magnus, looking like a boss.

The distillery will be located above Ivy City’s Atlas Brew Works. For a family that has ties to Ohio, Missouri, Georgia and Florida, DC may seem a strange choice to open up shop. So what drew them here? Apparently our brewing and distilling scene is making a splash that liquor lovers want to be a part of. To be honest, I’m flattered.

Naturally, bourbon will be on the production line, but the Magnus team is mum on additional details at the moment. If you want to keep up with the distillery’s plans, visit their website and subscribe to be on the pre-launch list. 

District Distillery – Coming Soon-ish

District Distillery is a whiskey distillery, distributer and restaurant slated for the southwest corner of 14th and U Streets. Their website isn’t very hope-inspiring: they’re still advertising “COMING SOON – 2013.” But I have faith in the Washington Business Journal, who reported in September that the distillery is in fact on the horizon.

My fingers are crossed—that place is right on my bus route.


Stay tuned, folks. It seems DC has a lot more imbibing in our future.

One response to “Distillery City: An Update on DC’s Liquor Scene

  1. What about New Columbia, guys? The makers of Green Hat gin not only were the first to open in the District after Prohibition, but also named their product after a DC icon. Sure, you mentioned it in your 2014 article, but we have an attention of about a half a minute, so let’s keep giving credit where due.
    Or Republic Restoratives, the women-run whiskey distillery in the works?
    This has got to be a fun topic to research, right? So maybe you could go have a little more fun?

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