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Northeast D.C. Brewery Inspired By Lost Generation Writers

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The works of Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein are some of history’s most influential pieces of writing. Known as the Lost Generation, they are a group of artists who felt alienated by the jazz age and materialism of the 1920s. Though criticized at the time, these works are considered masterpieces. One Washington, D.C., brewery wanted to instill those writers’ feelings in a pint glass. 

Lost Generation Brewing Company opened in late 2022 in Northeast Washington, D.C. Husband and wife duo Jared Pulliam and Anne Choe are the proprietors of this hip place. It’s located away from the hustle of the central city-downtown area, in an area home to some of the most popular watering holes in the nation’s capital. Lost Generation is part of a growing network of breweries in this section. 

Pulliam and Choe have a connection to the area. Pulliam was a teacher in the Montgomery County, MD, school system. He worked night shifts at Chocolate City Brewing before it shut down. This experience inspired Pulliam to leave teaching and pursue beer-making full-time. 

“I’m a local boy, born and bred. My grandma actually used to work at the Safeway factory that [is] just two blocks up from where the brewery is. My family and I live here, pretty much two blocks away, for the last five years,” Pulliam told the Business Download.

“We’re familiar with the area and haven’t had any issues. We’ve really loved our community, and they’ve come out and embraced us.”  

Choe has plenty of experience in the hospitality industry, too. She worked at high-end restaurants like The Girl & The Fig in Sonoma, CA, and Iron Gate in D.C. Pulliam also worked at ChurchKey in D.C. The work here motivated them to open their brewery. With Pulliam having a love for the Lost Generation writers, he decided to name the space after them. 

Photo Courtesy Lost Generation Brewing Company

The brewery is designed like a 1920s speakeasy. The bar is made from 120-year-old Douglas fir wood from the original Nabisco factory that occupied the structure. The brewing operations are visible from the taproom.

Unlike other D.C.-based breweries, Lost Generation isn’t focused on distribution. The owners want to build a more community-focused watering hole. Food trucks often line the street near the storefront, where patrons can grab a bite while enjoying the 16 offerings on tap. Local artists have painted murals inside, and local art is on the beer labels. 

“I think the difference is that we are very taproom-focused,” Choe told Washingtonian Magazine. “In order to do that, we made sure that we had the experience, and we brought a team on with a lot of experience — and not just in brewing, but in hospitality.”

Lost Generation has implemented some sustainability work, but Pulliam explained that’s difficult to do with a smaller brewery. He said the best initiative they can do at the moment is to donate the spent grain to local farmers in eastern Maryland as animal feed.

“Smaller guys like myself are priced out of a lot of the technology,” he said. However, that hasn’t stopped the business from getting involved in the community. Pulliam said they’re working with many charitable organizations in D.C.

“We did a charity collab with 826, which is a local organization that helps kids, and raised almost $3,000 for them with a charity beer,” Pulliam said.

“We just did a release called Tiger Spirit for Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate, and we’re on track to raise over $4,000 with them. Next month, we have a charity collab with Capital Pride. We’re stoked for that.”

A nifty feature of Lost Generation is its proximity to one of D.C.’s longest bike paths. The Metropolitan Branch Trail was once the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Today, it’s a bustling recreation spot connecting Northeast D.C. You can walk from the NoMA area to Ivy City while having access to public transportation and some restaurants and bars. The main path is about four miles long; however, plans are underway to extend it to an eight-mile trail to Silver Spring, MD.

Photo Courtesy Metropolitan Branch Path

You could bike from Union Station to Fort Totten and stop for a beer at Lost Generation, all without using a car to get there. Lost Generation joins Red Bear Brewing and City-State Brewing as some breweries accessible straight off the trail.

Not a beer person? No problem! Lost Generation carries a line of hard seltzers and non-alcoholic Wild Bay Kombucha, if that’s your thing. A patio area is in the works, but there is some outdoor seating at the moment.

Don’t be afraid to bring your dogs; they are most welcome at the brewery. Local vendors like Jerkface Jerky sell their products only a few steps from the storefront if you need a snack. Outside food is also welcome. Lost Generation wants to foster a community at its brewpub where everyone feels welcome and part of the experience.

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