From an email:
“Hellbender Brewing Company of Washington, D.C. is proud to announce that it will launch its first DC-made beer on Wednesday, November 5th. Hellbender’s first release – the Red Line Ale – will be launched on November 5th at the Iron Horse Taproom in Chinatown (507 7th St, NW). The Red Line is a roasty, hoppy take on the classic American Red Ale style and measures in at 6% ABV and 35 IBUs. We named it the Red Line Ale in honor, of course, of DC’s most (in)famous metro line which runs directly behind the brewery and once derailed on our property long before we took possession.
The Eft IPA and Bare Bones Kölsch will join the Red Line Ale in the year-round flagship lineup later in November as they become available. Hellbender Brewing Company is located at 5788 2nd Street, NE.”
More background on Hellbender after the jump.
The Mash Filter Difference
With an endangered species as our name, we knew we had to focus on environmentally sustainable brewing practices. That’s why we chose the high-efficiency system built by Centec and Aegir Brewing Systems (both American manufacturers) with a Belgian Meura mash filter. Mash filters are currently used by only a handful of American brewers (and quickly growing), but have been widely used throughout Europe in both microbreweries and larger regional breweries for over 50 years. With absolutely no negative effects on flavor, the mash filter system uses 15% less grain and 30% less water per batch than a traditional brewing system while reducing brew times by 20% and conserving energy. This means we can brew more beer faster and with a far gentler impact on the environment than most other American breweries. The mash filter system is radically different than anything used in DC now and is the first of its kind on the East Coast. You can find more info on the system at the links earlier in this paragraph.
Hellbender Brewing Company was born from the shared passion for beer of co-founders and long-time District residents Ben Evans and Patrick Mullane. Both homebrewers when they met, they’ve been brewing together for nearly 10 years.
Ben, our President and Head Brewer, is a former microbiologist and neuroscientist that left the laboratory life in favor of the much bigger science experiment that is the Hellbender Brewing Company. He personally directs daily brewing activities, recipe development and quality control, where his science and brewing experience are crucial to ensure our beer is made according to the highest standards.
Patrick’s road to brewery founder was less direct. He worked for 12 years as a congressional aid on Capitol Hill, moonlighting as a server and cook on the side for much of that time. Patrick directs all business, sales and marketing activities and helps brew when there’s a break in the seemingly endless paperwork and red tape.
The Hellbender Salamander
The Eastern Hellbender is the largest salamander in North America, and the third largest in the world. That may not sound impressive until you realize these nocturnal amphibians reach up to 2.5 feet in length and three pounds in weight. They can grow large enough to eat a small kitten. Luckily for kittens everywhere, Hellbenders prefer to eat mostly crayfish and some small freshwater fish.
Believe it or not, Eastern Hellbenders used to be D.C. residents, too. But, they have become victims of urban and suburban sprawl and are now endangered in many states while disappearing from D.C. all together. Fortunately, captive breeding programs are underway throughout the mid-Atlantic, Ozarks and Ohio River Valley to restore this species to its natural habitat. Fittingly, the most prominent effort is located right here in D.C. at the National Zoo.
Hellbender Brewing Company is dedicated to environmentally safe brewing practices and waste disposal. We plan to raise awareness about the Hellbender, its habitat and the environment in an effort to help bring this unique animal back into our neighboring rivers.