Red Bear Brewing Company is Washington D.C.’s newest brewery and it’s D.C.’s only 100% gay owned brewery!
Co-founders Simon Bee, Cameron Raspet, and Bryan Van Den Oever came together through their passion for craft beer and wanting to create a community space. “We’re proud of who we are and that we are doing something unique in the brewery industry. There are very few gay owned breweries… anywhere,” says Bryan Van Den Oever.
They explained to us: “Simon brings the know how to our beer as the brewer, as he has been home brewing for many years and worked commercially in the recent past. He was a high-rise maintenance manager before he started this venture. Cameron brings the technical knowledge to our team with his flight test directing background from Boeing. He worked in this field for 13 years before he came on board with this new adventure. Bryan has a love for customer service, a skill he acquired while working as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist at a major hospital. He also worked part-time in a brewery to learn as much as he could about craft beer”
Q40: So tell me guys where is the amazing new Brewery going to be?
Red Bear Brewing: Red Bear is located in the historic Uline Arena building in the heart of the North Massachusetts (NoMa) neighborhood. The building has a long history, from being Washington D.C.’s hockey arena in 1941, to hosting the Beatles in 1964, their first concert in the USA, and now becoming the home for Red Bear Brewing!
The taproom can seat over 140 people with a max capacity of 300. Folks are able to enjoy their beer and view the brewing equipment that made the beer. The gigantic U shaped bar houses 60 draft lines that split off to three different locations along the U, this provides optimal beer acquisition and will cut down on having to wait for that next round of craft beer. The kitchen is equipped to create food that is inspired by our beer and also complements it.
Lastly, in the spirit and history of our building, we have added a stage for live performances such as live music and Drag Queen Bingo!
Q40: Why Red Bear Brewing?
RBB: This is one of the more common questions we get asked. We chose Red Bear Brewing because it fits who the three of us are and what we want to bring to the community. A sense of adventure and outdoorsy theme is a central focus. Also, for those in the bear community, the more subtle connection may be a bit more obvious, but not everyone is in know. Co-Founders Simon and Bryan are gingers and arguably, considered Bears in our community, with Cameron being among the bear community and also an admirer of said men. It’s a perfect fit for our brewery.
Q40: What are the next steps?
RBB: Our immediate goal is to introduceourselves to the gay community at large as well as the local community in surrounding neighborhoods in Washington D.C., and invite them intoour space once we open our doors. We’ve made this space a special one, and we’ve enlisted the help from those in and around the community as well as our friends and family, by launching a Kickstarter, to raise funds to add as much character to our brewery as we can. We are on track to open in February 2019 too, so keep an eye out for the opening night info.
This is going to be an amazing addition to the DC landscape, and if this project appeals to you, consider backing these amazing guys, and their vision for Red Bear Brewing! The Kickstarter is located here: Red Bear Brewing Kickstarter