A bit of breaking news out of our own DC Brau today. Effective immediately, they are discontinuing free tastings during growler hours. Brau is doing this because during said hours, people are exiting the brewery through a side door and getting back in the entrance ticket line. So if you are one of these people, you are why we can't have nice things. You could have just bought a pint for $5, but instead…. Nice work, everybody!
Recall that your valid ID used to get you four tickets, each good for a 3 ounce pour of a Brau beer. Now each of those pours will cost you $2. The price of pints, cans, and growlers remain unchanged.
In a conversation with Brau co-owner and co-founder Brandon Skall, he cited potential concerns with ABRA, DC's Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, licensing and liability. Without a license from ABRA, business becomes very difficult for DC Brau. Here is the press release, in full:
DC BRAU DISCONTINUING FREE SAMPLES DURING GROWLER HOURS
Brewery Forced to Begin Charging for Tastings Due to Widespread Abuse of the Privilege
Washington, DC – February 19, 2015 – The saying goes, a few bad apples spoil the bunch. Unfortunately, due to widespread abuse of the free tasting policy during growler hours at the brewery, DC Brau will be discontinuing free samples starting immediately. “
This definitely isn’t something we wanted to do,” says Brandon Skall, CEO & co-founder of DC Brau Brewing Company. “Unfortunately people were going to great lengths to circumvent the system to drink more without paying. We are all for having people try our beers, but we have to stay compliant to the rules. This decision isn’t about the money, it’s about protecting our license.”
The brewery’s tasting permit restricts complimentary tastings up to 12 ounces per person per visit. Visitors had received 4 drink tickets upon arrival at the brewery, which were good for 4 small (3-ounce) pours of any of the beers available that week. Under the new system, DC Brau will now offer 3.5-ounce pours for $2 each during growler hours, in addition to continuing to offer full pints for on-site consumption and growler fills.
DC Brau recently extended their growler hours to Thursday and Fridays from 4pm to 9pm, Saturdays from 1pm to 6pm, and Sundays from 1pm to 5pm. The brewery offers half priced pints on Friday nights, and will continue to offer free tours most Saturdays from 2-4pm on the hour.
Located in Northeast Washington, DC, DC Brau Brewing Company was established in 2009 by co-founders Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock. Both DC locals, the pair shares a passion for brewing, complimented by years of experience in beverage distribution. DC Brau’s signature brews include: The Public (Pale Ale), The Corruption (IPA), The Citizen (Belgian style Ale), On the Wings of Armageddon (Imperial IPA) and Penn Quarter Porter (Robust Porter), with seasonal and special brews available throughout the year. For more information on DC Brau, visit http://www.dcbrau.com, and follow on Twitter @dcbrau.
Yes, the hashtag is theirs.
Another reason why we can't have nice things: thanks to a deal between Heineken and Major League Soccer, Brau will not be making The Tradition this year. Here is a DC United official, wounding me deeply.
“We’re excited to partner with an important and recognizable brand like Heineken, and to forge its connection to the legions of soccer fans in our region,” said D.C. United Chief Revenue Officer Mike Schoenbrun. “There is a unique passion and enthusiasm for soccer in the nation’s capital that is part of the remarkable growth of MLS and the sport itself in North America.” (Source)
This partnership is for the 2015 season, so perhaps The Tradition will return at a later date. In the meantime, please join me in mourning, fellow fans of delcious, locally made, session ale.
Now the good news: Brau will be canning a pilsner this spring to replace The Tradition, and thanks to a perfect storm of events, they will also have "crowler," a can-growler hybrid, up and running in March. The crowler is a gift from Colorado's Oskar Blues, who are currently collaborating with Brau on a beer brewed in both DC and CO. Within minutes, a crowler can can 32 ounces of fresh draught beer. More information on how this works can be found at Oskar Blues' website. In the meantime, please behave responsibly at local breweries, or any breweries, really, and try to not get anyone's license suspended or revoked. Thanks.