Most improved regional brewery?

The DC crew briefly talked about this at our tasting on Saturday, where I said I’d start a thread. It’s kind of funny how this works out, the Fans of Virginia Craft Beer just posted the same thread yesterday.

So I’ll throw out a question - what Mid-Atlantic breweries would you consider the “most improved”, be it that they were either not good when they first opened and now make decent or great beer or that they’ve simply gone from good to great? Are there any breweries that you dismissed at some point, but have since come around to later on?

This thread is intended as a counterbalance to the “Jumped the shark” thread that asks a question roughly the opposite to this one.

I make no apologies that most of the breweries discussed will probably be within a 90 minutes drive from DC. It’s been a good 5 or 6 years since users from other cities scattered around the Mid-Atlantic were active here or on the old forum.

I’ll start:

  • Crooked Run: It started as one of the smallest breweries I’ve ever been in. Cramped, tiny, and usually only 4, usually average beers on tap. When I first had them the were average and sometimes inconsistent - a beer I liked one time wouldn’t be nearly as good the next time, and so on. Now they have a second location and they’re pumping out some of the better beer in this region.

I’m sure I’ll have more when I think about it…

Agree with Crooked Run, visited their Leesburg taproom years ago with DCLawyer and was amazed after they opened their Sterling taproom and blew up. First impression wasn’t great but they’ve really improved.

Same with Triple Crossing for me, checked out their original taproom a few years ago with Travlr and the beers were good enough but nothing amazing compared to what they’re churning out now.

Maybe an honorable mention to Aslin? Seemed like they were a hidden secret among the RateBeer crew and locals for awhile until word slowly got out and they started doing crowlers. Fantastic beers out of the gate but wouldn’t have predicted they’d be pulling the lines they do these days.

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Easy; Crooked Run.

I actually agree a bit with Donnie too. The very first Aslin batches were DREADFUL. Now look at them.

And yes, @DCLawyer, that’s a backhanded Aslin compliment.

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Honorable mention might go to Basic City. It was never bad, but what they’ve been putting out lately is quite good, and quite an improvement on some of the early stuff I tried.