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DC Brau brews with D.C. United and Red Hen

DC Brau is releasing two new collaboration beers in the next week. The first celebrates D.C. United; the second is a partnership with Bloomingdale's Red Hen restaurant and Virginia's Linden Winery.

DC Brau co-owners Jeff Hancock (left) and Brandon Skall are set to release a new beer on Saturday, and then another the following Tuesday. (Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

The D.C. United beer came about after the brewery created logo T-shirts that replaced the team's name with the brewery's. The team's merchandising office loved the shirts, Skall says, and they discussed other ways to work together. The result was this limited-edition beer, which will be served in D.C. United partner bars where fans gather to watch games. (Skall hopes it will eventually be served inside RFK Stadium.)

Skall describes the new brew as a golden ale that's "not over the top with hops, and not over the top with malt." The beer should be "more accessible to a variety of beer drinkers" than DC Brau's usual hop-forward craft beers, Skall says, and perfect for drinking at summer tailgate parties in Lot 8.

DC Brau and D.C. United also agreed to let fans choose the name of the new beer, which will be announced Thursday. The United beer has two release parties on Saturday: You'll be able to get a growler at the brewery during the day -- anyone wearing United gear gets $1 off on a growler fill -- and then sample it on tap during a D.C. United viewing party at the Pug during the 7:30 match against the New England Revolution.

Then, on Tuesday, the Red Hen hosts a release party for "Sailing the Seas of Lees," a farmhouse saison aged in barrels from Linden Vineyards in Linden, Va. Red Hen co-owner Sebastian Zutant says it was a natural collaboration between friends. "Jeff [Hancock, DC Brau's brewer] and I grew up together, and I live in the same neighborhood as Brandon [Skall]," Zutant explains. They brewed the saison before putting it on Sauvignon Blanc lees, or yeast from the bottom of wine barrels. "I wanted to give it a nice, citric, mineral-laden taste," Zutant says. "It's like nothing I've ever tasted."

Zutant says this is the first of a series of experiments with DC Brau beer and local wine. The next, which involves aging DC Brau porter in claret barrels, should be available in a few weeks. "It's like doing a weird art project with a bunch of friends," Zutant says. "You don't know how it's going to turn out."

The beer will be tapped at the Red Hen on Tuesday night, and will sell for $7 per glass.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.



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