Beer and Soccer. The two go together like peanut butter and jelly, like Chuck Brown and go-go music. Countless songs at matches have been sung about this relationship, movements created to build American soccer through beer, and fantastic commercials starring soccer players created.
Earlier last year it was announced that D.C. United and D.C. Brau would be working together to create their own beer. After a year of hard work, "The Tradition," a name voted on by D.C. United supporters, was released to the public at the opening match of the season against the Columbus Crew. The club celebrated the release of the beer this past weekend by giving away a free can at the Chicago Fire game. With all of the events going on in relation to the beer, now seemed like a good time to crack a few open and give them a try.
For those who are unaware, or do not live in the Washington D.C. area, D.C. Brau is a brewing company that was started in 2009 by Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock. Hancock also served as brew-master for another local brewery called Flying Dog in Maryland. Currently, the company brews three different types of beer:
-The Public (American Pale Ale)
-The Corruption (India Pale Ale)
-The Citizen (Belgian Pale Ale)
They also brew several other different specialty beers, depending upon the season and the occasion. You can check out their website for the full list.
D.C. Brau really was one of the first micro-breweries to enter the region. Although there have been micro-breweries in the region, D.C. was never really the biggest beer making area. But with the cities recent shift towards being a younger city, many more small breweries have popped up. Breweries like Bluejacket, 3 Stars, and Port City have all opened in the area and expanded the beer culture in the region.
Now full disclosure: I am a bit of a beer snob. Having been a home brewer for over 10 years, there are certain types of beers that strike my fancy and others that do not. However, I am also someone who had his first beer at RFK Stadium many years ago (It was before I was 21. Yes, I had beer while I was underage). Finally, I have spent many hours in the parking lot before a D.C. United match or at The Pug on H Street pre-gaming with beers both good and bad.
When I first tasted "The Tradition" the first thing that came to my mind was not Raul Diaz Arce, but rather how smooth the beer was. D.C. Brau is very well known for their hoppy beers, but this tasted different. It was a very light beer, with a very light citrus flavor in the background. The beer had a beautiful golden hue to it as well which is always nice to see from a can beer. If there was a comparison it would probably be to that of a Heavy Seas Golden Ale. It is does not have a very high alcohol percent (5.0%,) but if you were to drink a couple of them it would definitely hit you.
In terms of this being a good soccer beer, I think it hits the spot. This is a fantastic summer beer and will work great on those sweltering hot July nights at RFK Stadium. In a soccer stadium in Washington D.C. you really need to stick with something a bit lighter, but still has a kick. Stouts and some of the heavier IPA's should be avoided. This is a great beer to give to someone who you are taking to their first-ever D.C. United soccer match and you are looking for a good icebreaker.
D.C. Brau's "The Tradition" is a limited release beer and can be found at their brewery, and D.C. United Supporter's Bars throughout the D.C./MD/VA area. Unfortunately, it does not look like it will be sold in stores. However, you can purchase six packs and growlers at the brewery.