Wednesday, June 5, 2013

DC Brau Brewing Company

The Corruption IPA
Last month some friends and I began a slow summer tour of Washington, DC breweries. The District of Columbia has had its share of antiquated and downright Draconian laws, what with the struggle for statehood and the lack of basic political rights for its denizens. Happily, things are starting to change on the beer law front, thanks largely to DC Brau.

Founded by Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock in 2009, DC Brau Brewing Company was the first local brewery to exist in the District since the 1950s. DC Brau's motto is "Fermentation Without Representation"and they promote DC Statehood and going green. These beer champions have paved the way for things like tasting tours and growler sales. Clearly, DC Brau had to be the first stop on our tour.  
Strip mall that houses DC Brau's brewery 
Their small but rapidly expanding brewery, located at 3178-B Bladensburg Rd NE, is well-worth a visit. We took public transportation to the nondescript New Town Center. (The handy B2 bus from Stadium Armory Metro is a direct 20-minute ride and avoids Maryland). However other thirsty folks were arriving via bicycles and cars. The entrance to the brewery is around back of the strip mall. Look for a loading dock area and people with growlers.

The free tours happen on most Saturdays at 1, 2, and 3pm, during the brewery's 12pm - 4pm hours. When we visited co-founder Brandon Skall led the brief, informative tour himself. As is standard with brewery tours, Skall covered Brewing 101 topics and showed off their new walk-in refrigerator and the shiny and impressive canning system.

Canning system

My favorite part of the tour, besides the colorful murals throughout the brewery, was that Skall said DC Brau's beers are all vegan! The brewery doesn't use isinglass (fish bladders) or other animal based fining agents. He said that just didn't fit with their style of beer. Plus they didn't want to "give vegans a complex." (Please take note, Magic Hat and other unnecessarily "fishy" beers.)

As part of the visit, the brewery gives you four tasting tickets for their brews. We sampled the Penn Quarter Porter, The Corruption India Pale, The Public American Pale, and The Citizen Belgian Pale. The Corruption was my favorite as I enjoy hoppy, bold beers but all the beers were tasty and unique.
Free tastings held under US and DC flags
The brewery sells growlers and six-packs to-go. They also sell all sorts of cool merch, including stemware. DC Brau is currently brewing a beer for our local football team, DC United, which will be available at RFK Stadium. You can find their brau all over town--at restaurants and bars, at our art house movie theater, and in many a summer picnic basket.


No comments: