Pursuit of Hoppiness: Other Half Brewing Company

By Connor Carlson, Program Manager

I had the opportunity to tour Other Half Brewing Company’s brewing facility and taproom in Ivy City. A special thank you to Taproom Manager Matt Splain for showing me around the facility and teaching me the history of the location and Other Half as a whole. Other Half Brewing first opened in New York in 2014 under founders Sam Richardson, Matt Monahan, and Andrew Burman. Since opening that first taproom in Brooklyn, Other Half has grown to have more locations in New York and Pennsylvania, and in 2020 they opened up their largest production facility in Washington, DC.

Other Half DC moved into an old tomato canning factory on Okie Street, a location that Matt explained gave them the space to build out the production house exactly as they wanted to, with all of the equipment they could need for brewing organized in a way to make the process as efficient as possible. As Matt walked me through the facility, he pointed out that as we went through the stages of the brewing process, we never had to double back, we were always moving forward. I was really impressed with the equipment they have, especially the pneumatic tubes that bring grain from their silos to the production house, and bring the spent grain back out to be loaded onto trucks and sent to local farms.

After going through the entire brewing and canning process, Matt brought me into their storage area underneath the facility. Here they kept not just supplies and a large number of canned products, but also the barrels for Other Half’s barrel aged beers. A whole wall was dedicated to storing these barrels brewed in collaboration with different breweries/distilleries, giving these beers truly unique notes.

I was truly impressed with the scale of operations Other Half was able to set up in this facility. It is clear that they took the time to construct this facility to best meet the needs of their brewers and keep up with the demand for their beer across the East Coast.

Of course, this visit wasn’t all just talking about beer, I also had the opportunity to taste them as well. I started with a glass of their Boxcar, named for the boxcar sitting just outside their taproom, a refreshing lager perfect for a spring or summer day. After the tour, we moved onto tasting some of their famous IPAs. I particularly enjoyed Green City, their flagship IPA from New York. It’s a well balanced hazy IPA with nice tropical notes from the hops. I also got the chance to try one of my favorites from Other Half, Vapor Ringz. This IPA is strong at 8.4% but the addition of milk sugar and oats gives it a unique taste and smoothness that I haven’t seen in many other IPAs. The fun didn’t end there either as they sent me home with samples of All Citra Everything, Broccoli, Cheddar Bits (a collab with WeldWerks Brewing), and another can of Vapor Ringz.

I had a great time touring the facility and tasting some of the many beers Other Half has available at their taproom and to-go cans. I look forward to going back on weekends for a drink with their local food truck partners and on Wednesdays for trivia night!

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