The weekend before last, I finally did something I’ve been meaning to do for a while now – visit one of DC’s breweries. (There are three: DC Brau, Chocolate City Beer, and Three Stars Brewing.) I’ve tried – and liked – the beer of all three at bars and restaurants around town, but as I learned on my visit to Alaskan Brewing this summer, it’s interesting to see where the beer is made, try samples, and listen to knowledgeable people talk about the brewing process.
I started my DC beer adventure at the first of the new breweries in town, DC Brau, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that tastings are free — we were each given four sample tickets on the way in. (I went with my friends Julia and Michael.) I tried a couple of their standard beers, the Corruption (IPA) and The Citizen (Belgian ale), and really liked both, but it was the two limited edition beers, On the Wings of Armageddon (double IPA) and Penn Quarter Porter (porter, obvs) that I really loved.
I had my newly-acquired growler filled with Armageddon, thinking its hoppy bite and refreshing citrusiness (I know, not a real word) would make for a good tailgaiting beer the next day, which it did. I am hoping the porter is still available next time I’m there, though, because it’ll make a nice fall-drinking choice.
Midway through the tastings, we took a break to go on the tour of the brewery, which was being handled that day by the CEO, who the Internet has kindly reminded me is named Brandon Skall. As was the case in Alaska, listening to people talk about brewing beer makes me wish I understood chemistry better, because a lot of the finer points go over my head. (This is something they should mention in school. I bet most teens would like chemistry better if they knew it would help them understand beer.) It was cool to see all the big vats, and aging casks, and pallets of cans ready to be shipped out, though.
Michael also bought a growler while we were visiting, which means it shouldn’t be too hard to convince him to add DC Brau to his list of regular weekend errands so that I can join him and get mine refilled, too.
For what it’s worth, I will definitely be adding this to my list of recommended activities for visitors. Until I decided to drag my mom and cousins to Alaskan Brewing while we were in Juneau, “brewery visit” had never occurred to me as a tourist activity, but it was a lot of fun and felt like a legit slice of community life in a way that other things did not on that trip. I feel like DC Brau would provide that same experience here.
Anyway. One down, two to go. Oh… and I’ve got to hit the brand-new distillery at some point, too.