The United States of Beer – Capitol City Brewing

So we have been skirting about the issue of local Washington DC Beers. I used some poetic license when I suggested that beers from Maryland were local DC beers. But there are some beers that are actually  brewed in the very limited confines of the District of Columbia.

We knew that Capitol City Brewing was in Capitol Hill, we had also been to Capitol Hill, we had found many, many white columned building, but not a brewhouse. But we gave it on last chance on our last night in DC. We hopped on Washington DC’s metro system which looks like it was designed by some set designers who have been out of work since the science fiction movie boom of mid seventies.

This trip terminated at Union Square station, we wandered out of said station and instead of turning left as we done previously we turned right, and low and behold right there, next to the station is Capitol City Brewing. In fact it shares the building with the US’s premier Postal museum, in fact I’m willing to go out on a limb and suggest this is the only brewpub to be located in the museum dedicated to the transportation of letters and associated packages.

Much like Gordon Biersch this historic location added a certain amount of grandeur to the whole experience, and suggested that the beer was going to be better than your average pub fare.

I surveyed the menu and looked for something a little unusual, something that would prove if these people could brew. I settled upon the Capitol City Brewing Irish Red Ale, which was a dark brown colour rather than red. Jord’s had a wispy white head, but mine had none, suggesting perhaps that our pourer had poor pouring skills (try saying that ten times fast) or perhaps my glass wasn’t as clean as it could be.

It smelt of roasted malts and sweet grapes. The taste revealed that it had little carbonation but plenty of flavour. Specifically sweet fruit tones in the front of the sip giving away to mocha overtones in the aftertaste. This was a seriously good beer. There was a long discussion about its jug worthiness, but eventually we ended up deciding it fell just marginally short – Pint.

I was confident that these guys could brew so I moved onto my thoughts onto darker brews which I normally prefer. I ordered a Prohibition Porter, which was black, very black with half a centimetre of creamy looking head on the top of it. It smelt of nothing, which was very concerning. More concerning was when I tasted it – It tasted of nothing, not malt, no hops, just a very slight hint of coffee in the aftertaste, but much like American coffee this left me very disappointed. – Pot.

Never had I seen such highs and lows in the one place. If I’d had more time I would have liked to have tried a few more brews to find out if the Porter was the aberration, or if it was the superb Irish Red Ale which was out of character.

Six Degrees of Norm

  1. As we know Capitol City Brewing shares it building with the national postal museum
  2. The postal museum celebrates everything that is awesome about Mail
  3. One of thus awesome things in the Mail Carrier (postman to us Aussies)
  4. And the postal museum can help you track the details of anyone who has worked for the Postal service.
  5. Such as one Cliff Clavin – who was the best Mail Carrier ever.
  6. And drunk with Norm in a bar named Cheers
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