The roots

Right Proper Brewing Company started out of a vision that centered around DC as a hometown, with each neighborhood defined by a different culture and not one that relied solely on museums and monuments (though we love those too).  It was a vision that you could go to your local pub, have a glass of beer that is fresh, brewed on premises, and without the DC price tag.  The beers would be defined by the yeasts used to ferment them as opposed to the hops that bittered them.  The bar would be a gathering place for the community, one that evoked conversation and lit by candles instead of TV screens. A projector would be available for viewing events that bring the community together. The staff would be happy and friendly, and of course, awesome. These are the things that would bring you in, but then you would be pleasantly surprised by the food. Good, real, food flavored food that costs less than 20 bucks.  So you could come back, night after night, because the beer list is always changing, the food is delicious and affordable and the staff couldn't wait to see you.

The vision belonged to Thor Cheston, a DC native who ditched medical school at Georgetown University to follow a passion for beer. After working in the beer industry in DC for 10 years, and after falling in love with someone with an equal passion for the industry (enter Leah then Dedmon now Cheston), Thor built up the courage to quit his job and follow the dream. He ate a lot of barbeque and met the owner of Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company, John Snedden. The two realized they had similar goals, so they set out to complete the vision. They opened a right proper brewpub.  

 

Shaw brewpub & kitchen 

The Right Proper Brewing Company Shaw Brewpub & Kitchen opened in December of 2013.  Thor and John picked a location that would be part of a community, where those who lived nearby could stop in to meet friends for a beer and a bite. Established on the spot where Frank Holiday’s Pool Room once stood -- next door to the Howard Theatre and where Duke Ellington learned how to play jazz as a teenager – Right Proper embraced the rich culture and history of the neighborhood. Inside, a mural on the only remaining brick wall from Frank Holiday's Pool Room, plays homage to Duke Ellington and the rich jazz history of the space. 

THE BEER.  Thor always knew he'd tap (pun intended) Nathan Zeender as Head Brewer. While Nathan's background was homebrewing and his day job was computers, his talent and knack for the craft was inescapable. The two shared the same ideology when it comes to brewing beer: yeast is key. Nathan and lead brewer, Bobby Bump, understand the age-old techniques and traditions of classic brewing – yet work with a sense of fun and whimsy.  Any lover of craft beer will recognize our standard brews: Beer made using mixed fermentation techniques as well as secondary and tertiary fermentation cycles. The result is rustic but elegant beers with a complex flavor profile that are generally lower in alcohol and often don't fit into a style category (so sometimes we make them up).  Over 85 recipes (and counting) have been created at the Shaw brewpub since opening in 2013. Some beers are beer-flavored beers, others have a bit more funk, some are more hop-focused and others more malt-focused, all are made with heart and soul.  

THE FOOD FITS. Right Proper’s kitchen turns out comfort food with a Southern accent. Led by Executive Chef Sarah Biglan, the kitchen crew focuses on the marriage of food and beer. Some dishes are made with beer; some dishes are made for beer; all are made to be tasty and not break the bank. The menu changes seasonally, with some year-round staples and nightly additions.  

 

The Brookland Production House & Tasting Room

We are fortunate that in our first year of opening the Shaw Brewpub & Kitchen, the 5-barrel brewing system allowed us to barely keep up with demand in the brewpub, but we wanted to share our beers with our favorite DC restaurants. We decided to embark on a second home away from home, a production brewery.  We picked another location where we knew we could become part of the community, only 2 miles northeast of the brewpub, in Brookland, DC.  The Brookland Production House and Tasting Room opened it's doors on December 3, 2015. 

The production house is equipped with a shiny new 15-barrel brewhouse, six 30-barrel stainless steel fermentation tanks and three 45-hectoliter French oak foudres.  The production house will initially focus on kegs only to distribute to other restaurants and bars, solely in the District of Colombia. With Nathan Zeender and Chris Percello still at the helm, the production house will maintain the two brewing programs: wild fermentation beers fermented in oak and controlled fermentation beers fermented in stainless. The Tasting Room, a cozy space filled with reclaimed cherry wood and a mural featuring animals taking over the world, offers the brewers' latest offerings in flights, half pours, full glasses or growlers to go.  

 

This buzzy new bar easily delivers on its three-pronged mission to offer fresh beer, comfortable neighborhood digs and reasonably priced American eats.
— Zagat, 2014
The Rustic Rock Star: Right Proper Brewing Company

Award-winning homebrewer Nathan Zeender entered the professional ranks with the December debut of Right Proper, an instant anchor in D.C.’s burgeoning Shaw neighborhood. The focus: rustic, farmhouse-inspired beers such as the bone-dry Ornette and BrotherFish, a Belgian-style tripel fermented with unruly Brettanomyces yeast.
— Bon Appetit: 10 New U.S. Breweries to Watch, May, 2014
Best Brewpub 2015
All you could want in beer, cheese and food.
— Washington City Paper Readers' Poll: Best of DC 2015
Right Proper is riding the jagged edge of a brewing niche.
— Beer Advocate, Issue 101