DC Brau Brewing Company turns 10 (and was a DC first)

DC Brau owners Jeff Hancock, Marisela Rodela and Brandon Skall are pictured. (Courtesy DC Brau Brewing Company)

DC Brau Brewing Co., the first packaging brewery to open inside D.C. since the Christian Heurich Brewery closed in 1956, marks its 10th anniversary this week.

DC Brau tapped its inaugural keg on April 15, 2011, though founders Jeff Hancock and Brandon Skall teamed up to form their brewery partnership two years earlier.

DC Brau’s inaugural keg of The Public pale ale was not tapped at its Northeast brewery on Bladensburg Road, but instead at Meridian Pint’s former bar location in Columbia Heights in Northwest D.C. (Meridian Pint relocated to Arlington, Virginia, in 2019.)

Hancock’s wife and co-owner Marisela Rodela serves as DC Brau’s chief community and cultural officer. She is president and co-founder of the District of Columbia Brewers Guild, which is housed in the former Heurich Brewery mansion in Dupont Circle, now the Heurich House Museum.

Skall, with a lengthy resume in the hospitality and beverage industry, and Hancock, a brewer whose past experience includes Arbor Brewing and Flying Dog, are celebrating their 10th anniversary with a special series of The Public.

Each month, DC Brau will experiment with the original recipe by substituting the singular hop variety from month to month throughout the year.

“You always remember your first, right? The Public will always hold a special place in my heart,” Hancock said. “Sometimes you have to change things up to truly appreciate where you started.”

The Public has been brewed exclusively with Centennial hops for the past 10 years. It has produced almost 40,000 barrels of The Public to date.

The first batch of the special Public 10 Year series features Amarillo hops.

“Jeff and I could only dream of what DC Brau and the DC beer community would be at the 10-year mark. The reality far exceeds even our wildest expectations,” Skall said.

DC Brau has brewed dozens of flagship, limited release and collaboration beers. It also added its own hard seltzers to the mix two years ago.

DC Brau’s brewery and tasting room, at 3178 Bladensburg Road NE, remains closed to visitors, but is currently offering curbside pickup and delivery. It plans to reopen in early summer.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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