This blog documents my attempt to drink a beer from every country in the world and every state in the United States.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

(Should be a) State #22: Washington, DC

Beer: The Citizen

Brewery: DC Brau Brewing Company, Washington, DC

ABV: 7.0%

Curious: Among all the proudly American civic-mindedness coming from this brewery (the beer names, the Capitol Dome imagery on the cans, the statehood stuff on their web page), we have a Belgian beer from a brewery with a German-ish name.
A couple weeks ago, in a vote overlooked amongst the Bronco Bamma-Mitt Romney mayhem, residents of Puerto Rico voted in favor of becoming a full U.S. state. Puerto Ricans had voted several times before to remain a territory of the United States, but for the first time ever a plurality of voters favored statehood over independence and the status quo. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Puerto Rico will become the 51st state anytime soon: the issue is quite complicated. But it definitely raises another question: What about Washington, DC?

Of course, if we start adding states, we'll have to change our flag. If we add Puerto Rico or DC, we'll be up to 51 stars (left). If we add both, we'll have 52 (right). If we start talking about statehood for Guam, Guantanamo Bay, the Northern Mariana Islands, well... the possibilities are endless.
The District of Columbia has more people than Wyoming, and only slightly fewer than Alaska, North Dakota, and Vermont. It is part of the geographically contiguous United States, and a majority of its residents speak English as a first language, so Rick Santorum can back off. So why not make it a state? Washingtonians can vote for President, but they don’t have representation in Congress, even though they pay federal taxes. This doesn’t seem fair, and many DC residents aren’t happy about it, according to a super scientific poll of one (1) near-lifelong Washingtonian, my friend Aaron, who says “I am 100% for DC (statehood)… or a tax free life. Either one would suit me just fine, but as it stands, the current situation is bullshit.” 

My poll was not very scientific at all. But if your city decides to put this on the license plates, it's safe to say that many others agree with my friend.
I’ve written before about how breweries often try to appeal to local prides and prejudices in the marketing of their suds, and the DC Brau Brewing Company is no different. As Washington's first packaging brewery in decades, all their beers have civic-minded names. They make The Public Pale Ale, The Corruption IPA, Fermentation Without Representation (an imperial pumpkin porter), and The Citizen, a Belgian-style ale that my aforementioned friend kindly served (in great abundance!) to the guests at his wedding. (They had the Public Pale Ale there too, but I had approximately 75,000 drinks at the reception, so I don't remember much about it). 

Fun fact: I actually learned this by reading the beer can. I didn't realize that this didn't happen until 1963. Of course, while I was learning this I was also too tipsy to take a decent picture of the back of the can, so I had to borrow this shot from the interwebs.
The Citizen here is a naturalized citizen, of Belgian origin, due to the strain of yeast used in its creation. If beers were people, The Citizen couldn't be president, but it could run for any other public office, and I’d vote for it. It was the first Belgian-style beer I’d ever had out of a can, and I liked it a lot. It’s sometimes difficult to get a good, long-lasting head from beer poured out of a bottle, but the narrow opening of the can makes this a bit easier, and a good head goes a long way towards the enjoyment of a nice Belgian. A few of the Citizens we sampled were “corrupted” by an excess of lactid acid, which made them sour, but I liked the extra tartness, even if it was unintentional. As DC residents surely know, sometimes corruption gets shit done.

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