DC Brau’s 5th Anniversary Festival is this weekend. In case you haven’t heard, it’s going to be a real blowout. Five bands and definitely more than five beers, to start with, and some of those beers will be collaborations brewed in honor of the half-decade mark. These beers will be available on draft at the brewery on Saturday, and they’ll start hitting the market later next week. The beers below will be available on draft and in cans, specifically in a six-pack including one of each and a can of On the Wings of Armageddon. There will be about 1,800 cases of these mixed six-packs (which are being hand assembled) sold between the brewery and the local market. It’s pretty neat, frankly; I’ve never seen a six-pack of six different beers before.

We got the lowdown on each of the five collaboration beers from DC Brau. It’s pretty cool to get the detailed tasting notes from president and brewmaster Jeff Hancock as well as each beer’s back story. Check this out today as an appetizer; tomorrow’s entree is an interview with co-founders Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock.

By the way, tickets for the Festival are still on sale. If you’re worried about transportation, there will be a free shuttle provided courtesy of Reston Limousine via the Rhode Island Avenue Metro Station. They’ve also got some affordable limo packages available if you want to split a trip in style with some friends.

Anyway, to the beers!

NAME: Zehn von Zehn


COLLABORATING BREWERY: Port City Brewing Company

STYLE: German Style Dünkel Lager

YEAST: Augustiner Lager

MALTS: Weyermann Barke Munich I, Weyermann Munich II, Weyermann Barke Pilsner, Weyermann Melanoidin, Weyermann Cara-Munich III, and Weyermann Carafa III (de-husked)


HOPS: Hallertau Tradition

IBU: 22

ABV: 5.3%

BACK STORY: “Port City opened up about two months ahead of us back in 2011, and have been producing amazing beer ever since. In 2015, they were awarded the distinction of “Small Brewing Company of the Year" at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). Our Head Brewer, Jeff Hancock has been friends with Port City's Brewmaster Jonathan Reeves for many years now. It was only fitting that we work on a collaboration with these pioneers of the local craft beer scene.

TASTING NOTES: “The eyes are greeted with a creamy tan head that sits atop the attractive light brown to deep copper hue. Zehn von Zehn leads in with an elegant aroma of rich, toasty malt sweetness with hints of chocolate and faint toffee. Its clean fermentation profile and a hint of herbal hop aroma dazzle the palate. Flavor is moderately malty with expressions of light nuttiness and freshly toasted bread. Multiple types of Munich malts used within help establish a prominent and complex body and mouthfeel. Hops are appropriately present and provide a pleasing, earthy flavor that helps to support this traditional brown lager that has its humble origins in the old city of Munich.”

NAME: Pink Pallet Jack


STYLE: Belgian-Style Saison Ale

YEAST: DC Brau & Perennial Farmhouse Ale / Saison blend


MALTS: MFB Czech Pilsen and MFB Vienna

ADJUNCTS: Unmalted wheat

MISC INGREDIENTS: Rose Hips & Hibiscus

HOPS: Delta

IBU: 20

ABV: 6.5%

BACKSTORY: “So this beer has a pretty funny story. It started two years ago on a dark, stormy night during Philly Beer Week. Phil from Perennial, Justin from Cigar City, and Jeff and Brandon from Brau were all hanging out having some beers looking at inappropriate images from the web and talking about procuring a “Philly Taco" for a late night food option. After many laughs, Jeff, Brandon, and Phil were talking about a specific supplier that sells pallet jacks. We all cracked jokes about how this supplier sells pink pallet jacks. Then we both fessed up and admitted that each brewery actually owns a pink pallet jack, thus the name for the collaboration was born.”

TASTING NOTES: “A vibrant, off-white head sits on top of this striking pinkish colored brew. The prominent pink hue is derived from the addition of rose hips and hibiscus during the conditioning phase of fermentation. The complex nose is comprised of tart fruit, herbs, spice, bread, and yeast. Herbaceous, phenolic, earthy, and peppery qualities are produced by distinctive esters from higher fermentation temperatures combined with our signature saison yeast strain blend. The high level of attenuation leads to a refreshingly crisp and dry finish. The high carbonation level of the beer helps to carry the myriad of flavors and keep the drinker focused on the next sip.”

NAME: Celestial Garden


STYLE: India-Style Pale Lager

YEAST: Augustiner lager

MALTS: Weyermann Barke Pilsner, Weyermann Cara-Hell, Weyermann Acidulated & Crisp Crystal Light 45

ADJUNCTS: Briess Flaked Oats

HOPS: Simcoe, Citra, Amarillo, and Columbus

MISC INGREDIENTS: Tangerine Puree, Apricot Puree, Pear Puree

IBU: 65

ABV: 7%

BACKSTORY: “Our Head Brewer Jeff Hancock has known the folks down at Austin Beerworks since their inception in 2011. Jeff worked with two of their four founders during the mid 2000s at the Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, MD. Ever since both breweries opened their respective doors, they've wanted to collaborate on a beer together. The 5th Anniversary was the perfect occasion.”

TASTING NOTES: “This attractive India Pale Lager has a medium-gold color with a great white head that sits atop the beer like a crown. The aroma is exploding with hops and fruit undertones. It has all the hoppy notes you'd expect, melon, tropical fruit, pine, stone fruit, grapefruit, citrus, resin, and marijuana. You get the point. A clean yeast profile allows all that hop character to rest perfectly on the shoulders of the light, malty body. This makes for a very well balanced yet hop forward brew that will appeal to a multitude of craft pallets.”


NAME: Ripa the Dipa


STYLE: Double India Pale Ale

YEAST: Chico Ale

MALTS: Canadian Pale, Simpsons Crystal Rye, and Weyermann Rye

ADJUNCTS: Briess Flaked Rye, Sugar

HOPS: Columbus, Centennial, Kohatu, and Crosby Idaho #7

IBU: 84

ABV: 9%

BACKSTORY: “We first ran into the legendary Clay Robinson of Sun King Brewery fame about three years ago. DC Brau was asked to participate in the Ameri-CAN Fest held at SanTan Brewing in Chandler, AZ. While attending Ameri-CAN Fest, our Production Manager, Chris Graham, met Clay. After having a heady conversation about canned beer, Clay invited DC Brau to participate in Sun King's canned beer festival called CANvitational. We only felt it was right to work on a collaboration with them since we're such great friends and have a huge respect for one another's beers and brewing ethos.”

TASTING NOTES: “Ripa has a distinctive, light amber, reddish color bursting with an amazing white head and pleasing lacing that goes on for days. Being a double IPA, the aroma is dominated with heavy American and new world hop characteristics that affirm this beer means business. Specific aromas of orange and apricot with fruity undertones dominate the bouquet. It's then backed up by a mild spice flavor provided by the various versions of malted, unmalted, and flaked rye present in the grist. The beer drinks with a dominant shot of bitterness followed by a warming ethanol note that helps transition into the many other layers of flavor present. At a strong 9%, this beer will get the party started quickly.”

NAME: The Wise and The Lovely

COLLABORATING BREWERY: Cigar City Brewing Company

STYLE: Imperial Stout

YEAST: London Ale III

MALTS: Canadian Pale, Simpson's Chocolate, Simpson's CaraMalt, Simpson's DRC, Simpson's Roasted Barley, and Weyermann Cara-Munich III

MISC INGREDIENTS: Lactose & Cacao Nibs (from Harper Macaw)

HOPS: Columbus, Ella & S. S. Steiner Experimental Variety 6300

IBU: 60

ABV: 10%


BACKSTORY: “This collaboration started with the relationship we have with Justin Clark from Cigar City. Brandon, Jeff, and Chris all know Justin from various beer events locally and nationally. Every time we all get together we have a great time talking about the beer industry and our respective breweries. Cigar City was at the top of the list as far as potential collaborators for our 5 year anniversary party. Chris and Jeff came up with this beauty of a beer with Cigar City's Brewmaster, Wayne Wambles. We also partnered with DC's first Chocolatier and DC Brau's neighbors, Harper Macaw in the sourcing of the cacao nibs for this 3-way effort.”

TASTING NOTES: “Big, bold, and dark are three things that come to mind when thinking of how to describe this beer. A very dark brown, almost black color sits beneath a rocky, espresso-colored head. This gives way to playful aromas of light cocoa and baker’s chocolate with notable roast and vinous alcohol. Upon an initial sip, the palate is greeted with a firm, viscous body and flavors of wet tobacco and semi-sweet chocolate chips. The addition of lactose lends itself to the formation of a velvety texture and sensuous mouthfeel. The hops play second fiddle to the malty character but still have an equally important role in supporting the massive malty dominance of this behemoth of a beer.”