On Monday I met a colleague for lunch at Capitol City Brewing on Capitol Hill. This is my favorite of Cap City’s three locations because it is housed in the historic Federal City Post Office and it has a wonderful veranda with tables that have a view of the U.S. Capitol.
So my Monday afternoon was looking bright as I joined my colleague on the veranda where he was already on beer number two. I wasn’t certain we’d be having a beer at lunch, so it was nice to see this question was already answered before I even arrived.
The news only got better when the server told me their seasonal beer was an organic saison. Not only is saison one of my favorite beers, especially for a warm spring day, but it was organic!
Two hours and I won’t say how many beers later, we were heading back to the office feeling pretty good.
At 6% ABV, it’s not a huge beer but it’s not really meant for a lunch session either except for the fact that it is so damn drinkable. Slightly sweet medium body with a peppery spiciness and a dry finish — all characteristic of a good saison (though I could have taken a tad more tartness).
I emailed Mike McCarthy, the Director of Brewing Operations, to congratulate him on the new beer and to thank him for brewing organic. Then I recalled that we had actually spoken about organic beer on a couple occasions and I had tried to encourage his interest in trying out some organic ingredients (I recall one particularly wobbly late night at the Craft Brewers Conference in San Diego last year…). And sure enough, he emailed back confirming that he bought the organic hops for this beer from Seven Bridges (and organic malt from Gambrinus and Weyermann).
What’s more is that this is the first in an ongoing organic series. Once the saison runs dry at the end of June, he’ll put on an organic wit, which will also include some organic coriander, and should pour from July to September. Then it’s an organic trippel from October through December.
It’s hard to convey how excited I am to have a local brewpub serving organic beers on a regular basis. The fact that Mike has chosen three of my favorite beers styles for the organic line must just be the luck of the Irish. I see myself enjoying many a happy hour on the Cap City veranda in the coming months.