I know many out there are avid or aspiring home brewers – including me (on the aspiring end here). On Wednesday, June 2, DC Brau hosted a home brewing tutorial at Little Miss Whiskey’s in the Atlas District.

If you have not heard about them yet, DC Brau is poised to become DC’s first in-district distribution-focused brewery since 1956. The founders, Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock have been in beer for years, working with other brewers around the country and now are bringing their craft to us. The brewery will be in the Northeast on Bladensburg Road and they anticipate an early 2011 opening.

DC_Brau_TankWhile brewing their “Belgian Pale Ale,” the enthusiasm Brandon and Jeff have for DC and their new venture is evident. They plan to name brews after neighborhoods around the district and even go “on tour” in DC to promote the beer and our local beer culture.

One of the most interesting points raised was about DC water. Brandon expressed (and Jeff later expounded on this for me) that he has been really pleased with the concentration of minerals in our city water supply.

When I asked Jeff for some suggestions and recommendations for new home brewers he told me:


–          Keep things clean! This is probably the most important thing you can do to help you succeed.

–          Do your research. Don’t just expect to be able to brew the first thing you see in a book or magazine – research, study, understand the beer you want to make before you embark.

–          As for books, pick up Designing Great Beers by Ray Daniels and Michael Jackson’s Beer Companion by the late, great Michael Jackson.

The back patio at Little Miss Whiskey’s was a great space for a mellow afternoon chatting about great beer. Also a great thanks to My Local Home Brew Shop and Maryland Home Brew Shop for supporting this event.