This is one of my favorite places to open since I’ve settled in DC. And that’s saying a lot, since DC saw a ton of new spots open in the later half of 2013, most of which are in a one block radius of Right Proper. I first came here on a cold, snowy night for a quick pint before I moved on to my next stop, but ended up spending the rest of the night nerding out over the food and beer menu. Maybe it was the snow or the wind that, somehow, always blew right into my face no matter which direction I headed that made me stay the night, or maybe it was the great wintery beer menu–porters, pale ales, a wee heavy (whatever that is, aside from delicious)–but I’ve clocked a lot of hours on those bar stools since then.
Always a fan of drinking with the seasons, there was no way I could resist all that dark beer. Avid Friday Happy Hour readers will note this as a serious “liar liar pants on fire” moment, considering how many Daiquiris I’ve had this winter, but there’s a first for everything, right? And this night all I wanted to drink was dark, strong beer. Oh what’s that, Right Proper? An English barley wine (clocking in at an impressive 11.5%), De Ranke Père Noël Belgian Strong Ale, Cuvée Van de Keizer Belgian Strong Dark Ale (my favorite style of beer!)? Yes, that’ll do. Bye bye, winter time blues. Hello, warm seat tucked away in the back, watching the snow fall into the alley behind Howard Theatre. I think I’ll make it through this cold snap after all.
The killer food menu certainly helps too. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t equally drawn in by the bacon fried kale (i.e. what I eat for breakfast every day), the house made Chick-Fil-A (fuck off, really??), and the–my favorite–”fried chicken parts” (so vague, so seductive, this is the food equivalent of “it’s sexier with the clothes on”). Yeah, a few small plates and several pours of rye saison later and I’m not going anywhere.
I’m ready to call the beer house thing quits and permanently claim Right Proper as my spot. I’m not surprised I was so easily hooked, considering Thor Cheston is running the place. He was the man behind the curtain at Brasserie Beck (another surprise, they have an awesome beer menu too) and now he’s the man behind the bar, brewing your beer at Right Proper. Oh yeah, they brew the beer in house. When they say “Made in Shaw,” they really mean it. You can even check out the brew works from the back bar. And Thor brews a mighty fine beer, so fine, he was knighted. That’s right, he’s a Knight of the Brewers Mash Staff, one of the oldest professional organizations in the world. They brew beer, drink beer, and have been doing it for a long, long time. And they’re knights, beer knights (I know, I hate my job title too now).
If you haven’t visited Right Proper Brewing Co. yet, 1. shame on you and 2. check out the well curated beer menu, stay for the decadent food, and *bonus* view the most amazing mural ever in the history of human artistic expression.