A Day At DC Brau

I have the pleasure of having an amazing brewery no more than 5 miles from my house, and I’ve only been there twice.  Being a lover of all things beer, I’m rather ashamed to have to admit to how few times I’ve been there.  Every Saturday they have growler hours, tours, tastings, and a food truck.  Well, this past weekend I knew I had to go.  DC Brau has been really active over the last year.  They began production and distribution, recently they got in even more equipment that will up their production by over 60%, they are just starting to can two of their other beers, and they have done collaborations and special releases.  This is all in their first year of business.  I haven’t been around to see a whole lot of other breweries open, but I have to imagine this is pretty impressive for a brewery that is so young.

I really wanted to stop by this past weekend for multiple reasons.  First, I managed to talk myself out of going to my normal beer store.  They had a few new things in stock that interested me, but ultimately, I was able to convince myself my time would be better spent at the brewery. Secondly, DC Brau released their special release “Thyme after Thyme”.  I have really enjoyed everything DC Brau has put out, but for an even better reason, I’ve actually tried everything they have released as well.  I needed to keep my streak up.  Finally, the last time I was there, I hopped in on the end of a tour and didn’t get the whole thing.  I didn’t have a whole lot of time to spend there, so I really needed to get in and out.  So I wanted the whole tour this time.  Not to mention my wife wanted her own DC Brau t-shirt as well.

We got to the brewery a little earlier than the rest of the crowd, so I was able to get my first sample, my growler filled, and my wife’s t-shirt without much waiting.  However, while hanging out in the tasting room for a little while, it really started to fill up quick.  They had their Thyme after Thyme, The Citizen Belgian Pale, The Public Pale Ale, and The Corruption India Pale Ale on their tasting for the day.  Thyme after Thyme is another great addition to an already impressive line-up.  Since there is no real write up on any details of Thyme after Thyme anywhere, I emailed Jeff for a little description of what their description of the beer was.  Here is his response.


Belgian Style Winter Ale Brewed with Thyme and Sweet and Bitter Orange Peel
IBU: 20
ABV 9.0%
MALTS: Pale 2 row, C-60, Munich, Aromatic and Carafa III
HOPS: Falconers Flight
ADJUNCTS/SPECIAL INGREDIENTS: Dark Candy Sugar, Thyme and Sweet and Bitter Orange Peel
YEAST: Wyeast 1762 Belgian Abbey II
“If you fall I will catch you, I will be waiting, time after time.” Yes, I have to be honest, this 80’s hit by Cyndi Lauper was part of the inspiration in making this beer. “Thyme after Thyme” is our version of a Strong Belgian Winter Ale.  Initial tasting leads to a zesty orange rind and herbal aroma. Mouthfeel has weight and comes across  with a white grape and subtle, herbal character that coats the tongue and lingers with a glimpse of Thyme. Mild warmth on the tail end of the finish gives a small view into its lofty 9% abv.
Both Orange peel and Thyme were added during the primary fermentation so as the beer developed the spices were slowly stripped away leading to a well balanced spiced ale that is a great companion for a comfy couch and a roaring fire.
I personally really enjoyed both my tasting and growler of Thyme after Thyme.  The thyme is really subtle and provides a really nice finish to a really good hearty beer.  I’ll definitely be heading back to the brewery for a little more.
On with the tour!  The tour was extremely informative.  Aside from going through the different processes and equipment they use for brewing their beer, they also went into some of the exciting things they have on the horizon.  They have some barrels from Catoctin Creek that they put their Penn Quarter Porter in.  The porter is easily one of my favorite releases from DC Brau, and I am very interested to see what it would taste like after it comes out of these barrels.  According to the tour, it could be as early as next week.  There were also some pretty interesting wine barrels that were filled with their Pale Ale as well.  I’ll definitely have to keep track of when those come out.
The other really big news from the tour was that they were in the process of canning and distributing two more of their beers.  Previous they were only able to can and distribute their Public Pale Ale; however, the other two types of can are in, and they are starting to can those.  The next two they will be canning are The Citizen Belgian Pale and The Corruption India Pale Ale.  The Citizen was available to be purchased in cans this week.
All in all, it was a great visit to DC Brau.  A big highlight for me was actually getting to meet Jason from Beer Advocate.  He is one of the two founders of Beer Advocate, and he just happened to be in the area that day.  If you’re ever in DC, you should definitely take a break from some monuments and museums and get over to DC Brau.  They have good beer, and they give you some pretty nice size samples of it too.

1 Comment

  1. Getting there early was key! I enjoy the T.A.T. and can’t wait to get another growler-ful.

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