Experienced homebrewer Justin Cox is teaming up with longtime friend and accomplished commercial brewer Will Durgin to bring the District of Columbia fresh craft beer from Northeast DC. Atlas Brew Works plans to install its 20 barrel brew house at 2052 West Virginia Ave NE and begin producing unique local brews in the first quarter of 2013.
Atlas Brew Works’ beer portfolio will include American style craft ales and lagers along with an extensive sour and barrel aging program. The beers will be crafted with careful consideration to food pairings and a flare for experimentation.
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. His Schwarzbier Black Lager recipe took first place at the 2010 DC State Fair homebrew competition. He also took home the second place and Fan Favorite accolades at the 2011 DC Hombrewers Association Contest for his Rowdy Ale. He is now Founder & CEO of Atlas Brew Works after completing a Presidential Management Fellowship with the Federal government.
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. As Head Brewer for Atlas Brew Works he will use his small and large scale brewing experience to oversee all aspects of production for the brewery.
While Durgin was Head Brewer at Telegraph, its California Ale and Stock Porter both earned an A- from beer critics Beer Advocate. Telegraph’s White Ale was named one of the “Top 25 Beers of 2010” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. While at Pyramid, Mactarnahan’s Amber Ale earned a Silver Medal in the English Style Pale Ale category at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival. He also co-created the recipe for Telegraph’s Rhinoceros Rye Wine that took Bronze at the 2012 World Beer Cup in the Other Belgian Style Ale category.
Atlas Brew Works will take over 9,200 square feet at 2052 West Virginia Ave NE later this month. ABW plans to invite the public for tours, tastings, and the opportunity to purchase fresh beer in growlers directly from the facility while learning about the art and science of brewing. “We live and now work in this neighborhood, and really want to integrate the business to be a good neighbor and to provide our community with a source of high quality local beer. We hope people will drop by to fill up a growler on their way home from work or while out and about. Freshness really makes a huge difference in a beer’s taste, and a growler straight from our tanks is about as fresh as you can get!” said CEO Justin Cox.