Did D.C. have brewers before DC Brau? Sure, and they're just fine. But the nation's capital didn't have a single brewer that sold beer beyond its taproom since 1956.
That all changed when Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock opened DC Brau in 2011. With brewmaster Hancock already well trained after his years with Grizzly Peak Brewing and Arbor Brewing companies in Ann Arbor, Mich., and at Flying Dog Brewery in nearby Frederick, Md., he and Skall made a point of making themselves and their cans of The Public Pale Ale, The Corruption IPA and The Citizen Belgian Pale Ale a part of the community. They partnered with powerhouse DelMarVa breweries including Baltimore's The Brewer's Art and Blue Mountain-based Devils Backbone, teamed with Denver's Ska Brewing on a beer for D.C. ska stalwarts The Pietasters, recreated the city's pre-prohibition Heurich's Lager and partnered with Major League Soccer's D.C. United on a team-specific beer known as The Tradition -- the only such team-brewery partnership in the league. They two have even dedicated their time and part of their website to supporting statehood for the District of Columbia.
As a result, DC Brau's reach has expanded throughout Maryland and Virginia and the brewery's output has nearly tripled. Community outreach is the key to success for any small brewer, but DC Brau has just put on a clinic for breweries looking to fill their city's beer void. Even if it's a town as large as Washington.