Founded in 2011, New Columbia Distillery is the first distillery in Washington, DC in a century.  It’s owned by Michael Lowe and his wife, Melissa Kroning, along with John Uselton and his wife, Elizabeth Lowe.  John has worked for years in various capacities in the restaurant business while Michael has spent time in the Navy, as well as in private DC law firms before becoming interested in distilling.  They did a brief apprenticeship before opening their distillery in a 90-year-old warehouse on New York Ave.  They soon created their signature Green Hat Gin, and the rest is history.

Green Hat Gin was named after George Cassiday, who returned from World War I and needed a job.  During this prohibition era, he started supplying clients on Capitol Hill with bootleg liquor.  He got away with his business for awhile, until his luck finally ran out and he was arrested wearing his signature green felt hat.  From that point on, Cassiday was known as “The Man in the Green Hat.”  Eventually, he exposed the hypocritical lawmakers who didn’t abide by their own rules and he helped initiate the repeal.  Now that you know the history, you should stop by and try some of New Columbia’s signature Green Hat Gin!



1832 Fenwick St NE

Washington, DC 20002


Phone Number:








Monday - Friday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Saturday: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm