Atlas Brew Works opened in the District of Columbia in September 2013. The brewery is ocated about a mile from Union Market and just up the street from Gallaudet University on West Virginia Avenue NE. Atlas Brew Works is the product of DC homebrewer Justin Cox, who won the 2010 DC State Fair homebrew competition with a black lager, and Will Durgin, an accomplished professional brewer whose resume includes stints at Santa Barbara, CA’s sneaky-underrated Telegraph Brewing Company and Pyramid Breweries in Portland, OR.
Atlas premiered with three beers:
- Rowdy, a hop-forward American-style Rye ale, accented by the peppery notes of rye
- District Common, a California Common featuring Czech Saaz hops
- NSFW, a black IPA
The guys stress that they’re big on transparency – they plan to release brew and cellar logs on their site. Not only will homebrewers get to try their hand at cloning Rowdy or any other Atlas beer, the average beer drinker will be better informed about how the tasty beverage they’re enjoying came to be.
Cox and Durgin became friends while attending Vanderbilt University as engineering students. While there, they developed a taste for the full flavor and complexity of American craft beer, and dreamed of one day opening a brewery of their own. Cox began homebrewing a few years later and was immediately hooked by the joy of the creative process and opportunity for experimentation his home brewery offered. Cox has created over twenty beer recipes during his eight years of homebrewing experience.
Durgin began professionally brewing beer immediately upon leaving college. In 2008, he graduated from the Master Brewers Program and the Professional Brewers Certificate Program at the University of California, Davis, one of the country’s premiere brewing institutions. He joined Telegraph Brewing Company in Santa Barbara, CA as a brewer and quickly rose to become Head Brewer in 2009 – making him the youngest Head Brewer in the State of California at the time. In 2010 Durgin began brewing on a larger scale at Pyramid Breweries in Portland, Oregon.
Tastings, tours, and growler fills happen every Saturday from 1-4p.