Over the past two years, DC Brau’s Pils — a clean, easy-drinking German-style lager with biscuity malt and grassy noble hops — has become one of the D.C. brewery’s most popular offerings, behind only its flagship Public Ale and Corruption IPA. But if you order one during the week beginning June 7, you might notice it looks, well, a little different.
The purple-and-yellow can features the words “Pride Pils” in an array of colors, just above a cartoon unicorn waving a rainbow flag. The back panel features the logos of DC Brau and the Washington Blade, next to four fluttering rainbow flags. (The Capital Pride festival runs June 8 to 11.)
DC Brau has been involved in Capital Pride in previous years, says co-founder Brandon Skall, including sponsoring a float in the annual parade. Stephen Rutgers, the director of advertising and sales for the Washington Blade newspaper, has asked DC Brau several times about producing a special beer for the festival, but Skall says the brewery just doesn’t have the production capacity. This year, through, DC Brau’s owners came up with a compromise: Pils would be rebranded as Pride Pils for Capital Pride, and the brewery would donate the proceeds to charity.
Why Pils? “Having been in the parade two times before, it’s always really, really hot,” Skall says. “Last year, we had kegs of water on our float, and that was really popular. We thought that Pils would be perfect for the parade — it’s light and easy to drink.”
DC Brau put a full batch of Pils into the special unicorn cans, which were created by local graphic designer Josette Matoto and selected in a popular vote on the Blade’s website. Just under 700 cases of beer will be sold at bars and stores in the Washington area. (Skall says that the cans won’t be sold at the Northeast D.C. brewery.) All proceeds from the cans will benefit LGBT youth organization Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders and the Washington Blade foundation.
“We really wanted to put our money where our mouth is,” Skall says. “We didn’t want to just focus on Pride and use it as a vehicle for sales. We wanted to make this about giving back to the community.”
That’s a sentiment to which we can all raise a glass.
DC Brau Pride Pils. dcbrau.com. About $11 per six-pack of 12-ounce cans.
Like helping others while enjoying a cold one? Try one of these beers:
Dog Tag Legacy Lager : This American lager, brewed under license by Pabst, donates all of its profits to charities selected by the families of servicemembers killed in combat, including memorial organizations, scholarships and rehabilitation services.
Flying Dog Dead Rise Ale : Proceeds from this best-selling beer, brewed with Old Bay spices, go to support Maryland watermen and crabbers through the Department of Natural Resources’ True Blue program. Flying Dog says that it has donated more than $25,000 since 2014.
North Coast Brother Thelonious : Sales of North Coast’s sweet, fruity, dark Abbey Ale benefit the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, which sponsors the annual International Jazz Competition and offers a jazz scholarship at UCLA.