by Piero J Filpi
Everytime you walk into a D.C. bar, there’s always one thing you can be sure of: when you get to the bar you’ll run into a draft handle with a small plastic Capitol at the tip. That handle is D.C. Brau’s handle, and the beer that comes out from the other end is even better. Luckily, the small brewery doesn’t just focus on the beer. They cater to the customer all the way down to the experience you have in their brewery located right by CUA. The brewery is tucked away on Bladensburg Road NE, keeping the NW after work happy hour crowd out of the picture.
The brewery is nothing special from the outside. Like any brewery, it looks like an industrial factory, but once you step into D.C. Brau, you can see where the brand takes itself seriously. T-shirts, hoodies, patches, glasses, and anything else one can imagine to produce as merchandise can be found at D.C. Brau. The brand takes pride in the city and has become an important role in shaping the identity of the growing, young culture in D.C. Their website says:
“Yes, the capital of the United States of America now has a beer to call its own. A beer brewed within the city limits and available citywide. A beer representing a delicious and uniquely American blend of North American and European techniques and ingredients. A beer that looks just as inviting in a pint glass at the neighborhood bar as in its handsomely designed can on a picnic table at an Appalachian campsite. A beer that pairs just as well with summer’s barbecued bounty as with a hearty winter stew. A beer crafted in our nation’s capital that reflects the great state of brewing in the United States today.”
The bar area of the brewery is quiet and relaxing if you want to have a beer in the middle of the day, but also a nice crowd of people on nights like Friday and Saturday. Tours of the brewery are available for free on Saturdays all day, where they show you everything down to the cans coming in. Murals painted by local artists and friends of the owner are all over the walls of the D.C. Brau, offering a neighborhood vibe to the microbrewery.
Their prices are cheap and their beer is fantastic. They have wide spectrum of beers on tap at the brewery, including Corruption and The Public, two of their more common beers, which are seen at bars around the city. Pints will run from 5-7 dollars, but on Fridays happy hour runs from 3 P.M. to 11 P.M., with all beer marked down to half price.
Along with the beer, the staff is great. The bartender Stu is a great presence at the bar who is always ready to pour you another one without delay. The service at D.C. Brau is minimal but on point. They are hospitable and never make anyone wait for another beer, which is the most important thing for a bar. If you ever have a friend in town who wants to see the real D.C. and not the same statues they saw on their 8th grade trip, take them to D.C. Brau. You’ll have nothing but a good time with people who care about more than just politics in this city.