A Brewery Grows in Wheaton
There are several things that make the newly opened Dry City Brew Works such a revelation. First of all is the sheer unlikelihood of finding a brewery—a place that BREWS BEER—in leafy suburban Wheaton. You know Wheaton, the western suburb where alcohol was verboten from 1887 all the way to relatively present day 1985. Even with the influx of breweries in the area, the odds of Wheaton having one seemed to be remote. But here it is!
Or rather, “it’s here somewhere.”
That’s the next thing you should know about Dry City. It’s not exactly easy to find. You hear a lot these days about places that have a “speakeasy” vibe. Those are the places with no sign out front, but a huge bouncer checking the IDs of a long line of patrons—not exactly discreetly hidden. Dry City isn’t on a street. It’s not even down an alley. It’s in a parking lot BEHIND an alley. Yet, people have been finding it since it opened a few weeks ago.
Which brings us to the next reason Dry City is such a treat, the beer. It’s delicious. There are four taps with one selection usually rotating out. The first night I was there, I sampled Patient Zero, a pale amber which has already made it’s way out of the rotation but hopefully will be back at some point. The second selection was Providence, a superb coffee milk stout, which was also due to rotate out but held due to popular demand. It’s that good. Homophonic is an American wheat which I also enjoyed, and finally, their flagship beer, I Saved the King, one of the better Scotch ales I’ve had recently. A subsequent visit found Ryejacked, a Pacific Northwest Rye IPA on tap, replacing Patient Zero. I miss Patient Zero, but this is a pretty solid replacement. Each beer is $6 (credit cards only) and well worth the price.
The brewpub itself is small—ten chairs (plus additional standing room)—and really funky. I used to spend a lot of time there years ago when it was a hip little coffeehouse called Bean Wilde (spelling potentially completely wrong), and it’s great to see the space being used again as a gathering place. It’s a great room.
The family owners of Dry City are well-versed in beer, both their own and the industry in general. I’ve popped in a few times for what I planned to be one beer and got caught up in some great conversations with them as well as their customers (as well as a couple more beers). It’s a great place to hang out, taste some great beer and marvel at what’s happening in Wheaton these days.