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History and Hops at the Heurich House Museum

Hops. History. How do they interact and when do they ever overlap?

In the 21st century just as in the 19th century, brewers in Washington, D.C. are importing hops from Bavaria and Bohemia. They’re brewing with American malt, just as the Christian Heurich Brewing Company did in the late 1800s.

On Thursday February 21st, the Heurich House Museum will host its first installation of “History and Hops.” The idea is the brainchild of Heurich House Museum Executive Director, Kimberly Bender, and “Beer Ambassador” Maurice Maloney. When Bender originally toured the Heurich House, a visitor herself, it was a few years ago for a Christmas event. When the tour ended she wondered like so many other visitors, ‘where’s the beer?’ Enter Maloney who successfully set up the first 21st century beer event, an Oktoberfest-style tasting and tour which took place in October.

The success of October’s event encouraged Maloney and Bender to create a monthly event that will celebrate D.C. metro brewers and breweries in the surrounding region. This month’s installation features the DC Brau Brewing Company with its co-founders, Jeff Hancock and Brandon Skall. They’ll be pouring their flagship Penn Quarter Porter and The Public Pale Ale. DCBeer recently spoke with brewery spokeswoman Mari Rodella who said that in addition to the two flagship ales, “a surprise cask with regionally available spices,” will be served, “in the brewer’s basement.”

The brewer’s basement, also known as Christian Heurich’s bierstube, is akin to a Victorian mancave. Attendees of the event will have a chance to drink D.C.-brewed beer inside the Brewmaster’s Castle, and sample some porter in the very spot where D.C.’s biggest brewer, Christian Heurich, once stood. As Bender puts it, brewers like Hancock in their own way honor Christian Heurich, “they are his legacy.”

Tickets to the event are sold out. However, next month’s installation will feature the Lost Rhino Brewing Company on Thursday, March 21 and tickets to that tour and tasting can be purchased here.

“History and Hops” is a recurring event falling on the third Thursday of the month. The Heurich House Museum is currently in talks with Port City, Starr Hill, and Bluejacket.

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