Our first stop on Saturday is probably the most well-known brewery in the D.C. area. DC Brau is hidden away in the back of a strip mall in the heart of D.C. (we admit that it took us a few minutes to find it). We were pleasantly surprised to discover that they offer free tastings and tours on Saturdays! Upon entering you receive four tickets to exchange for 4 oz pours of any of their eight brews on tap. We got our first sample, On the Wings of Armageddon, their imperial IPA, and then joined the 2 o’clock tour.
The tour guide really focused on the history of DC Brau, as opposed to the brewing process, but it made for an interesting tour. He talked a lot about the murals they have covering many of the concrete walls; all were painted by local artists (some in exchange for beer). One unique thing about DC Brau is that they only package their beer in cans, not bottles, and they made this decision because they think it ensures a higher-quality product (no light exposure). Our tour guide said that if you buy their beer and think that the taste is off, you should contact them immediately so they can fix the problem. You’ve got to admire that level of dedication to quality control.
Now for our favorite brews! Funnily enough, our very first beer of the entire day ended up being Rachel’s favorite. On the Wings of Armegedon drinks like a single IPA; it has a nice, balanced bitterness and notes of grapefruit. The NATAS, a belgian-style imperial porter, won Maddy’s heart. DC Brau collaborated with Stillwater Artisanal Ales to craft a porter in which cocoa and caramelized fruits combine to create a highly drinkable, smooth brew. We also both really enjoyed the Citizen, a belgian-style pale ale that came highly recommended by the guys at Market Street Wine Shop. A pale ale? Us? Shocking, we know, but the flavors of spice, hops, and clove actually make this pale ale reminiscent of a belgian-style tripel. Why can’t all pale ales taste this good? 😉
Our travel companions, Mark and Cole, particularly enjoyed the NATAS as well. We can’t wait to go back to DC Brau!