After our last hometown tourist adventure, we decided to do something significantly less “traditional.” At least by DC standards. When a rare weekend popped up with no plans, we knew it was time to visit DC Brau!
DC Brau is the Nation’s first beer/brewery. They opened about 12-18 months ago and have slowly built a following here. It’s easy to understand why. The owners are a tight-knit group of guys who are bringing something to the district that we don’t have: our own beer. They are start-up but haven’t gone overboard with the ‘no frills/hipster’ approach. They are who they are. But who they are is a personable group of people who will happily chat with anyone about beer.
If you’ve been on one brew tour, you’ve been on them all. Honestly, they don’t vary much. The key items (almost in order):
- Introduction by brew master or quirky communications/marketing person
- Quick walk around the brew area. Sometimes this includes wearing fashion forward safety glass.
- “See and feel” time with the hops
- A look at the bottles…. What’s unique about DC Brau is that they are anti-bottle and distribute their beer in cans like this:
- Peak in the freezer and AT LAST
- A tasting
The only variation i have seen on this tour format is at the Heineken plant in Amsterdam. And in fairness, it’s really one part brew tour, one part cool games and eight parts marketing. (We’ve made an art of brew tours so i can say this with some authority but that’s another post).
In going on the “tour” we just wanted to see the much buzzed about DC Brau and sample a few beers. If you go, tastings are free on Saturdays. It’s first come first serve so I recommend you get there an hour before your tour. Who cares if you are early, relax and have a beer. If the weather is decent, they usually have someone running a grill, cooking up sausages. We tried a lemon chicken variety; it was too spicy for me but everyone else loved it.
They do sell growlers; check the website for details. Don’t throw your bottles away, they can be brought back to the brewery for refills. We got the Embers and Saison which were happily consumed by friends and given two thumbs up.
As for the beer? I can’t tell you. I’m along for the adventure and not much of a beer drinker. (Yes, i drink just not much beer). I can say it’s worth the trip out if only to support a local business.