It’s hard to believe that Erika Goedrich left her job managing software projects just 15 months ago, committing full time to opening Craft Beer Cellar DC.
“I knew I wanted to make a change,” she said. “Beer has been a passion of mine for a long time, and CBC just seemed to be the right fit.”
Erika knew CBC co-founders Kate Baker and Suzanne Schalow through mutual friends in the Boston area. She began conversations, which led to signing her franchise agreement and ultimately opening her doors on August 4, 2016, at 301 H Street in Northeast Washington DC, an up-and-coming neighborhood just a few blocks from Union Station and a few more from Capitol Hill.
Erika has had a remarkable first year. Right off the bat, she successfully advocated changing a District law that forbade customers from mixing their own six packs – a cornerstone of Craft Beer Cellar’s educational focus.
“I want to offer our customers the best beer adventure, and one component of that is for them to be able to try new beers with minimal commitment,” Erika said. “If I hadn’t been successful, I don’t know that I could have opened my store.”
Since that first legal victory, Erika and team have seen a presidential inauguration, the Women’s March, and a Craft Brewers Conference happen all around her. They have also brought in several special beer releases, like a mixed selection of Toppling Goliath, a pallet of Sip of Sunshine, and great German-style beers from Urban Chestnut.
Needless to say, the CBC DC team has been working hard and it’s been worth it.
With their first anniversary just around the corner, Erika and her team of Beer Geeks have created a smorgasbord of celebrations for your beery pleasure.
Saturday, August 5 is the main celebration with a schedule of shiny new releases in the store. First and foremost, this is the official East Coast debut of Texas’s Lone Pint Brewery, with a special delivery of their Yellow Rose IPA. Erika is a Texas native and if you’ve ever seen her store, you know from the large photos on the wall that beer is about memories, people, and experiences. She has special memories of drinking Yellow Rose with her family, so this one is personal in the best way.
Throughout the day, the DC team will be putting out limited release beers from Allagash, Grimm, and Fantome. There’s even a rumor of some Belgian lambic that starts with the letter “C.” Stay tuned to social media or just hang out in the store for a few hours. You’re guaranteed to go home with something a little out of the ordinary.
Also on Saturday, a Westvleteren 12 raffle: You’ll get one ticket for each $10 you spend. Hold on to them, because there will be 15 lucky winners who will each get the opportunity to buy a bottle of the mythical Westy 12, the most sought-after Trappist beer in the world! This Belgian dark strong ale is a former #1 Beer in the World on BeerAdvocate and rarely appears outside of Belgium.
The winning raffle numbers will be posted Monday, August 7 on Twitter. Any bottles remaining on Tuesday, August 15 will be redrawn.
Vermont’s highly regarded 14th Star Brewery will make its CBC DC debut. This veteran-owned brewery is known for its community involvement and hop-forward IPAs. Like you’d expect anything else from a small Vermont brewery? Cans will be hitting the shelves as soon as they arrive in the store, so stay tuned to social media for when it lands.
– Two brewery tastings will be held during the anniversary week:
Allagash Brewing from 4:30 to 7:30 on Friday, August 4
Local favorite Oliver Brewing will be in on Saturday, August 5 from 1 to 4
We’re very proud of the work CBC DC has done in its first year. If that’s any indication of what lies ahead for the store, the nation’s capital will be swimming in #MadLuv for many years. Everyone here at headquarters would like to thank Erika and her team of hard-working Beer Geeks – celebrate in style, y’all!