What’s it like opening Machine House Brewery’s new Central District neighborhood pub as your home nation’s team is playing its biggest World Cup game in more than a decade?
“It’s extremely stressful,” UK-born Bill Arnott tells CHS. “We had a health inspection a half an hour before the last game — and then that went to penalties.”
We think Arnott is talking about England’s Round of 16 victory over Colombia on Tuesday — but maybe the health department does things differently when it comes to tap houses serving English-style cask conditioned ale.
Machine House Central District debuted with Friday’s set of semifinal World Cup matches and hit the ground running again Saturday for the big tilt between England and Sweden.
CHS found a partisan crowd at Cafe Presse for France’s match on Friday. Let’s just say there were not a lot of nice things said about IKEA Saturday at Machine House.
But there was toast. More pub fare is coming but, in the meantime, Machine House made sure there was plenty of bread and butter to accompany their pours for the morning matches inside the “cozy pub” vibe of the new 1,000-square-foot space.
CHS first reported on the E Jefferson tap room project in January as Machine House co-founder Arnott and co-founder Alex Brenner announced plans for a pub of their own to extend Machine House’s presence beyond Georgetown and to ensure the brewery’s prized creations are receiving the pours they deserve.
Part of that is the hardware — the pub features the beer engines necessary to properly tap cask ale. Rotating guest taps of lagers and pilsners will round out the offerings. But the other part of getting things right on E Jefferson is bringing a little bit of the homeland to the Central District — Georgetown, though, not London.
“We tried to transplant some of the general vibe from down there but of course this is a completely different neighborhood, in a completely different building,” Arnott said. “Being in essentially a brand new building, we’re trying to bring some character in.”
With toast, a good crowd, and some exciting quality play — “What a save!” was shouted more than once by English fans during the game — Machine House Central District seems like a winning proposition.
Machine House Central District is located at 1315 E Jefferson and open Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 11 PM and 7 AM to 11 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. You can learn more at machinehousebrewery.com.
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