3 Stars Brewing Company is a brewery delivering on the promise of bringing locally hand crafted ales to the DC beer community. The company was founded by Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey, two longtime friends who decided to seize the opportunity to build a brewery and produce high quality beer in the District of Columbia – hoping to make this world-class city a world-class craft beer destination.
Mike McGarvey got his start home-brewing, when his then fiancé, now wife, gifted him a home-brewing kit. McGarvey a regular at The Big Hunt, would take his brews to Dave Coleman who was the general manager at The Big Hunt in Washington, D.C. to get his feedback and input.
During his time at The Big Hunt, Coleman worked for years to elevate the level and quality of beer offered to customers. Not satisfied with the brews he did find, Coleman decided to join McGarvey in his home brewing projects. In 2007, the two began devoting countless hours to research and recipe development to create beers that met their own high standards but that also would have broad appeal.
They quickly realized their passion extended beyond home brewing, and in 2009 they began making plans for 3 Stars Brewing Company. But before the brewery ever became a brick-and-mortar, they began launching their beers by collaborating with more established breweries like Evolution Craft Brewing Company and Oliver Ales, which helped them to gain exposure and affect local palates.
It took them just about eight months to find their location and another eight months to negotiate the lease. After getting the keys to the property, —a former auto mechanic shop, that as in any mechanic shop, the place was covered in grease, gas, oil and paint—it took another 14 months to get the building into shape and ready for brewing.
Finally in 2012, 3 Stars Brewing Company officially opened their doors at 6400 Chillum Place re-purposing dairy equipment in the 15,000 sq.ft. brewhouse. In 2014, they celebrated 2-plus years of consistent growth, and had had raised the resources for a second expansion at the beginning of the year, it was ready to begin planning its sour program. With the addition of new fermentation vessels, 3 Stars was able to triple their brewing capacity.
3 Stars added several foeders and constructed its Funkerdome sour room, a structure within the brewery that’s dedicated to the fermentation and packaging of sour ales. They also bought a new brewhouse and a 60-barrel fermenter and added a canning line.
The most evident update at 3 Stars is the completion of their “urban farmhouse” a 1,100-square-foot tasting room area that is now separated from the brewhouse and boasts a rustic farmhouse look. Crafted from reclaimed wood and corrugated metal and draped in unfinished wooden shingles, the farmhouse is a playful juxtaposition against the otherwise industrial production space. There’s additional seating including picnic tables, high top tables with stools, and a unique wooden bar space at the windows of the farmhouse with bar stools both inside and outside the tasting room.
In 2018, McGarvey and Coleman signed a deal to take over the 5,000 square-foot vacant property adjacent to the brewery that previously served as South African tabernacle church, with the intention of building a German style beer hall with an urban feel.
In early in 2019 the new 5,000 square-foot space the German style beer hall opened. The urban feel comes from the decorated graffiti walls painted by local artists. The Beer hall opened initially with 20 taps, and by collaborating with Anxo Cidery they were able to have a gluten free cider tap option. Located in the rear of the Beer Hall is their sour beer-production facility that is stocked with about 150 barrels
This highly versatile, unique, year-round events space is equipped with high-top tables, a long wooden locally handcrafted bar, multiple TV’s, board games, giant Connect Four, giant Jenga, and Corn Hole.
The name comes from the three stars on the DC flag which copies in turn the Washington family coat of arms.
NOTE: Friday 8th July 2022, 3 Stars announced the would be closing this Sunday July 10th.
Be on the lookout as we continue to innovate and create outstanding beers that offer unparalleled drinking experiences.