History Made – DC Now Has Its Own Beer – DC Brau Successfully Launched Fri. Night

DC Brau successfully launched at Meridian Pint in Columbia Heights on Friday night. The lines started building around 4pm and by 5pm they were down the block. The folks from DC Brau write:

We would like to give a warm thanks to everyone who has supported us thus far. We could not have had such a successful launch of a product made in DC, for DC, by residents of DC, if it wasn’t for the fine people OF the Washington DC area that came out to show their support.

Starting the week of April 18th, our products will be available all over the Washington DC area!

In the next few weeks, we will be releasing a DC Brau Finder, which should help you find our craft-brewed beverages, both in cans, kegs, and on-tap, in and around the Washington DC area. This will include both Maryland and Virginia. We also have plans to allow for searching from GPS-enabled mobile devices.

Nice. Did anyone have a chance to get a taste? If so – what’d you think?

I’m told we’ll start seeing cans around the first week of May.

DC Brau President and Head Brewer Jeff Hancock left and DC Brau CEO Brandon Skall right

Tons of pictures after the jump.

First official pint of DC Brau sold

Kegs tapped

Meridian Pint Brewmaster Sam pouring a pint

Calm before the storm – table taps

Line forming

Line down the block

So close – Go Caps!

Gotta give props to first in line – Kristin Padukiewicz and Rick Rust Meridian pint regulars, Columbia Heights residents, and craft beer enthusiasts.

Quickly smashed crowded

Non stop pouring

Meridian Pint manager Drew moving fast

It tastes so good when it hits your lips

Jeff and Brandon with Meridian Pint Brewmaster Sam, Manager Drew and owner John Andrade (center)

Brandon with his great aunt

54 Comment

  • I took my father, who was visiting for the weekend, to Meridian Pint on Saturday afternoon to try it. We both thought it was very good. I am a big fan of pale ales too, and I am excited for this local beer to expand their market share.

  • It was quite good. An assertive hoppiness but still very drinkable. Looking forward to their other beers.

  • Stood in line on Friday evening around 7 but it was well worth it (heck, we already waited nearly 60 years for a DC brewery, so what was another 20 minutes?). The pale ale had bright citrus and pine resin but its intense hops were balanced well. I’m interested to try their IPA because the pale ale was treading awfully close to IPA territory (in terms of IBUs, I’d guess the pale ale was clocking in around 40 to 50).

  • Good beer and good event.

    There was a huge line when I got there around 6:30, but it went surprisingly fast. It also wasn’t ridiculously crowded when I got to the bar. Kudos to Meridian Pint for handling the crowd so well.

    Looking forward to their other brews.

  • Tried it tonight at Meridian Pint when it wasn’t so crowded. Quite good! Pale ale is not really my cup of tea, but otherwise I thought it was good. Also looking forward to trying their other brews.

  • To be honest I found it overly bitter and hoppy for a pale ale. The after-taste was not very pleasing, either. Still, not a bad attempt from DC’s newest craft brewery. I am curious to try their other offerings.

    • I thought the same thing…left a bad after taste in my mouth. Not my cup of tea but neat dc has its own brewery.

  • I wish it were winter so we could freeze it into ice blocks and skate on it and melt it in the spring time and drink it!

  • Good shit. Was a great launch, and a great beer. Can’t wait to taste what else they have brewin’.

  • Oh happy day.

  • Quite good, and I think Meridian Pint handled the launch well, except for the fact that they ran out of DC Brau by 11:30pm (6.5 hours after going on sale). Though, it could just be that DC was a little too thirsty (15 kegs emptied).

  • I didn’t like it at all. It was much too hoppy, and left and unpleasant sweetish taste in the mouth. I had to struggle to finish mine, and the same did my friends who were with me. I’m glad somebody liked it, though, I like the idea of a DC brewed beer.

  • I’m not usually a fan of pale ales, but the citrus undertones balanced the hops well and made The Public a very drinkable beer. I look forward to the release of the other flagship beers, and I’m especially curious about the creativity that could come along with the seasonal beers from the upstart brewery.

  • I LOVED the THE PUBLIC and I’m not even a beer girl!! I really don’t know much about craft beer and generally don’t enjoy “hoppy” beers. My plan was to have a pint and then switch to my faithful fallback drink of choice (vodka/soda) and just hang out and enjoy the historic night and watch the crowd. But after one, I was hooked! The fruity flavor is great and makes it super drinkable. I couldn’t honestly tell you how many I had, but I know I only had 2 vodka/sodas and it was definitely a great night!! I’m already planning next friday’s HH for some more BRAU.

  • Now that DC finally has its own beer, can it please have its own vote in Congress? Thanks.

  • A huge thank you to all that came out to try the beer on Friday night! It was an incredible night. Thank you for everything DC!

  • I enjoyed the new brew quite a bit. I can certainly see how a lot of people might find it a bit too hoppy – it is assertive. Just enough malt and sweetness to balance it out for me (and I prefer malt to hop flavor).

    Also, keep in mind that this was the first public offering of their first beer – excellent under those conditions. There will be tweaks to slight imperfections – and practice makes perfect. For hop detractors, you might not like the next two variations – since they’ll be stronger ales than the one you’ve already tried. Though I heard whispers of a lager/pilsner in the works, which I think would be a monster hit.

  • wow… standing in line to try a new beer.. DC Hipsters definitely need a life!

    • Seriously. And even worse, the other night in Chinatown, I saw a long line of douche-bags waiting in line to watch a bunch of guys play basketball. And some in Cleveland Park waiting in line to watch a movie.

      WTF is going on with this town?

      • LULZ.

        And, for the record, I think Public Ale is a great pale ale. Really well balanced (a lot of pale ales are not)

  • I missed opening night but stopped by to sample the product on Saturday. I’m a hophead and was expecting it to be a decent placeholder while I waited for their IPA to become available, but WOW that’s a tasty brew. It seemed awfully IPA-y to me. Curious to taste how their actual IPA will taste, but their Public Ale will be tough to beat for me. Can’t wait for cans to be available so I can stock my fridge!

  • At 6 percent and quite hoppy (40+ IBUs?), it’s technically an IPA according to the BJCP beer lords. Just like my other favorite IPA pretending to be a Pale Ale- Dale’s from Oskar Blues.

    • wOO-hoo! If it’s anything like Dale’s, we’ve got a hit.

      I’m curious, though, why the Hell can’t anyone make a damned session beer? Is it too much to ask for a 4% English bitter from one of these damned American breweries?

      • That trend is in full force now. Just look a few taps down at Meridian Pint…


        And I love the Oliver’s Ales – which are becoming a lot more popular at ChurchKey…


        • Behold! The magic of demographics:

          House In Session Ale is a 4.2 percent alcohol by volume American session ale dry-hopped with Simcoe and Amarillo hops. “We wanted to make a sessionable American-style pale ale that would be great on draft but also on cask, since all three bars serve cask ale,” Engert explains. “It’s an English-style bitter pale ale with an American twist.” The American twist being the citrus and pine flavor-producing hops, of course.

          Very happy.

      • More are on the way: As mentioned, there is Schlafly’s, Oliver has a few, 21st Amendment with Bitter American … and by accident I have a 3% DIPA in my fermenter right now 😀

      • saf

        Let’s add to that. “I’m curious, though, why the Hell can’t anyone make a damned session beer that isn’t a hop bomb.”

      • Session beers are definitely a growing trend, but I doubt they’ll ever become more than a novelty in the US.

        I realize some people are on the look out for low-alcohol beers, but most people won’t bother with a 3 or 4% craft beer. I think there can be a correlation between price and ABV in the minds of craft beer drinkers. Why pay $5 for a 3% abv brew when there’s a 6% pale ale for the same price?

        • So you don’t get too wasted? There’s a big difference between 4.2% (House in Session Ale – even Guinness is around there) and 5.5%+ (most craft beers and imports).

          There’s clearly a need and demand for it amongst beer nerds in big cities. That’s what people like Greg Engert have started provisioning more of them. I think the craft beer movement has reached a point where drinkers have realized that 8% beers are nice to start with, then they have to downshift.

        • Never say never. I can still remember when you could hardly every find a cask ale in this town; and when you did it was inevitably an 14% Blueberry Infused Imperial Russian Stout with Cardamom and Figs.

          Thank God those dark days appear to be behind us.

  • Does anyone know what other bars are serving it? I like Meridian Pint, but it may be too pretty to go inside to drink after work today…

  • Where can I get it in cans?

    • “I’m told we’ll start seeing cans around the first week of May.”

      And I’m assuming the cans will be widely available.

  • Went after work with a friend. Saw the lines: out the door and down the block. Gave it a pass. Congratulations on a successful launch, but my days of waiting in line for beer ended with undergrad.

  • I am very excited about DC Brau launching in D.C.

    Quick question though, is not Capitol City Brewery the oldest D.C. Based Brewery still in existence? Is the distinction of D.C. Brau leading to “D.C. having its own beer” because Cap City focuses on serving their beer in their restaurants and not in stores? Does Cap City sell their beer outside of their restaurants? Should they?

    • DC Brau is good about being clear when it comes to this – they are DC’s “first production brewery” in over 50 years. “Production” means making beer for retail sale outside of a brewpub.

  • I must say I really enjoyed it…. it was very close to an IPA though in terms of hops. Great brew and I can’t wait till they release the other types of brew.

    • Jeff Hancock is the brewer. From DCBrau.com:

      Since serving an apprenticeship at Franklin’s Restaurant and Brewery in Hyattsville, Maryland, Jeff has brewed at Grizzly Peak Brewing and Arbor Brewing companies, both in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and at Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Maryland.

      I also know Jeff has trained at the world-famous Siebel Institute in Chicago. He knows his shit.

  • do the people who started this actually know anything about brewing beer, or is this just a “it would be cool to start a dc brewery” kind of idea (or both)?

    • how would one start a brewery without knowing anything about brewing beer?

      • it’s called home brewers get some money. happens more often than you think.

        • i never considered it. either i like the beer or not. doesn’t matter to me if they know anything or not. so tell me, where are these breweries that are called brewers get some money.

          • The Brewer has experience home brewing and working at craft breweries. I ran into him at a party once….nice guy, I’m glad their launch went so well. The bad news (for non-hop heads) is that the game-plan for their first three beers is pale-ale only (Public, an IPA, and a Belgian pale ale). I’m hoping they put out some darker brews sooner rather than later.

        • i’m not 100% sure what you’re implying (trust fund babies starting breweries…? that’s what i interpreted), but DC Brau got all of it’s funding from 6 months of an aggressive investor search. in the 4th month, nearly all of brandon and jeff’s free time was spent in investor meetings.

    • as both brandon and jeff are great friends of mine, i feel i must defend!

      brandon is more the business half of the partnership, while jeff is on the more creative/mad-scientist end.

      brandon has been working in wine and beer distribution for years (and prior to that, in the restaurant industry).
      jeff has worked as a brewmaster in both commercial brewing production and craft beer creation.

      both have been making homemade brews for years as a hobby. however, DC Brau was not some random thought of “oh, cool! let’s start a brewery”…this has been a labor of love for them (with LOTS of red tape along the way) for over three years. i was so SO proud of them on friday, and happy to drink a pint of the Public in a DC bar.

      congrats to brandon and jeff! and a special shout-out goes to heather and mari, their fabulously supportive (and sexy!!) wives and first ladies of DC Brau 😀

      (and a sidenote to PoP…it was great to finally meet you in person at meridian pint on friday!)

      • a lot of your questions can be answered either through their website dcbrau(dot)com, or i believe they are avid facebook updaters (i’m not on the facebook, so i wouldn’t know personally…but that is what i hear). dc brau has it’s own facebook page if you’re in to that sort of thing.

  • by the way, pretty awesome that they’re doing private label beers too. was getting sick of old dominion.

  • Blue Banana Bar will have the “Public” on Tap this Thursday which is also their 1/2 Price Beer Night! Come try it for only $2.50 a pint!

  • I stopped at the Pint on Saturday with my wife. I had 2 of the Public Ales and really enjoyed them. I initially thought it was similar to Sierra Nevada but after a few more sips, its true character came out–more malt, more bitterness. I really liked it and my wife did as well.
    I can’t wait to get this in cans, at CK, etc. $9.10 for 2 pints is a decent bar price for a good brew as well.

    Congratulations DC Brau and Meridian Pint.

  • Tried it on Sunday night. Too hoppy for me but my roommate enjoyed it. Look forward to trying the others!

  • I’m a beer fan, but not of DC BRAU. Was at the opening and found it to be way too bitter and with all that bittering hops, there seemed to be very little finishing hops to add floral or citrus notes. For a brewery opening in a demographically diverse city like DC, I was really surprised the released this as their flagship. I will try their other stuff, becuase I want them to succeed, but I think once the novelty wears off, this brew maybe in trouble.

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