Before we get to the party, you have to hear this.
I was next in line to get in. Bouncer at the door sees three women approaching, none of them appear to care that the place is packed to capacity. “Hey ladies, line’s over there.” Either the greatest line or the saddest truth, the lead woman belts outs, “My friends and I were already in here. I left my baby inside.” She was holding a pacifier…
Astonishment aside, let’s get to why Meridian Pint was at capacity. Friday, April 15, was DC Brau‘s long awaited debut in the District. DCB is the first brewery to operate within the District of Columbia in nearly 60 years. A generation has come, and possibly gone, since the last brewery (I believe it was Christian Heurich Brewing Co.) closed it’s doors. Hundreds of people showed up for something that was more than a turnout. It was full-on support.
At any point during the first hours, the line looked as if it was coming out of Best Buy. Two blocks away. Anxious craft beer consumers, confused and annoyed diners with table reservations, and people who had no clue what was going on but wanted to be at the scene, were growing itchy got get their hands on some pints. Being next in line at the door was like being next in line for Space Mountain, it was unfair that others were having fun ahead of you. With the main floor closed we were herded to the basement. For the first time in my life I wasn’t taking every picture possible. No taps, no beer, no crowd….just went and drank. Sorry about that. Still, there were THREE people drinking something other than Public Ale. Under 1%. What were they thinking?
Word was DCB supplied something around 15 kegs of the Public Ale, a pale ale, for the weekend. By 7pm, 10 kegs were done. All it took to take down 66% of the weekend supply was two hours. (Ultimately, the weekend supply was gone before it could see daybreak on Saturday.) The table taps had one choice, the bartenders asked not “What?” but “How many?” A few Caps fans looked to be apprehensive; face-off of Game 2 was at 7 but they wanted to stay and be there for the hometown brewers. If I had tickets, hell, I’d have a hard choice too.
The beer itself is solid. Nothing fancy, nothing exotic, nothing that makes you wonder what they were trying to accomplish. Can’t say that there was an expectation since no one outside the brewery had tried it. The people I was with know pale ale, and we were taken by the hoppiness of the beer. Pale ales run the gamut on hop levels and this one is at the stronger end of the spectrum. No complaints from any of us. The conversation shifted focus to the impending IPA and Belgian PA that are coming in the not-so-distant future. If this pale ale was hopped-up, what can we expect from these two? Anticipation runs high.
Congrats to DC Brau for a spectacular debut.