Immediately following the repeal of Prohibition, drinkers in DC could buy Old Time Lager, from the Hopfheiser Brewing Company. That beer was brewed out of Baltimore’s Globe Brewing Company on South Hanover Street, which closed in 1963. Now Hopfheiser and Old Time are back, this time brewed in the District at DC Brau.
DC Brau bought the rights to the names “Hopfheiser” and “Old Time,” and this new historical beer will likely compete with Right Proper Brewing‘s similarly resurrected Christian Heurich’s Senate brand for the title of DC’s “premium lager” of choice.
How the name “Old Time” wasn’t already taken is beyond us; it’s a solid name for a lager and sports the excellent tagline “Anytime is a good time for an Old Time.”
DC Brau is no stranger to recreating local brewing history, collaborating with the Heurich House Museum and Lost Lagers on Heurich Lager in 2013, which boasted a 7% abv. Old Time, at 4% abv, seems intended to capture more of a “vibe,” and market share, than historical accuracy.
Interestingly, the Old Time website makes no mention of DC Brau, and neither the brewery nor Old Time’s public relations firm would confirm that it’s a Brau product. The brewery has a seltzer brand, Full Transparency, that also makes little mention of its origins.
But enough about the background, you want to hear about the beer. From a press release: “This lager is brewed with North American 2-row barley and flaked corn. A truly refreshing, thirst-quenching lager meant to be consumed ice cold – boasting a crisp, dry finish. Low hop bitterness and a light body make this beer extremely crushable and a reliable option any time of the year.”
So, beer-flavored beer. At 4%, it’s going to be a bit lighter than Senate and should be available in DC, Maryland, and Virginia in 12-pack, 12-ounce cans and 4-pack, 16 ounce tallboys in the very near future.
Lighter lagers are enjoying something of a moment in DC, with 3 Stars Chillum Lite available wherever they distribute and City-State‘s collaboration with SandlotDC, SandLite Premium Lite Lager, launching on Thursday, April 7 on tap at The SandlotDC, with cans to follow next week. Unlike Senate, Chillum Lite, Denizen’s PGC Lager, and Old Time, City-State’s premium lager is all malt, with no corn or rice.
Truly, we live in the golden age of shotgunning beers. Please shotgun responsibly this spring and summer, and join us in lobbying DC Brau to make Hopfheiser Amber Bock. Life hasn’t been the same since Michelob discontinued that style.