Tonight, I picked up a six pack of DC Brau’s Penn Quarter Porter.
Beer Packaging: Each Penn Quarter Porter can features a prominent stovepipe hat stamped with the DC Brau logo. On the other side of the can is a box labeled PENN QUARTER FACTS. (Every bit of text on Penn Quarter Porter cans is in all caps.) The fact box shouts: “PENN QUARTER IS MOST FAMOUS FOR FORD’S THEATRE, WHERE PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS ASSASSINATED, AND HIS HAT AND COAT CAN STILL BE SEEN TO THIS DAY.” It’s educational, but a bit morbid. I wonder if a beer called Dallas Doppelbock would feature DALLAS FACTS trumpeting the details of JFK’s assassination.
Beer Style: Penn Quarter Porter is a ROBUST PORTER, according to the packaging. It’s supposed to be on the line between a stout and a porter. Stouts are typically the heaviest of beers, while porters are the next level down, so if you’ve ever played a MechWarrior game, you can think of a Penn Quarter Porter as a mix between a 100-ton Assault Mech (stout) and a 75-ton Heavy Mech (porter). And if you haven’t played any MechWarrior, you should drink a dozen Penn Quarter Porters and try to forget about your wasted life.
The Brewery: DC Brau is located in Washington DC, just barely over the border from Bladensburg, Maryland. For their name’s sake, DC Brau’s location is fortunate: “Maryland Brau” has absolutely no charm at all, while “Bladensburg Brau” sounds like a medieval German torture device.
The brewery is fun to visit; the part open to the public is essentially a big warehouse, with a bearded, cargo-shorted doorman and a helpful cashier/guide in the entry room. Behind that lies a much larger space bustling with brewers and canning machinery. You can sample four beers for free; however, you can’t drink any more than that on DC Brau’s premises. They sell growlers and six packs, which you can purchase and then scurry off to drink in private. The brewery also provides free pretzels, of which my girlfriend somehow pirated 10 bags during our last visit.
Penn Quarter Porter in One Text: “The problem with having Penn Quarter Porters in the fridge is that you always want another Penn Quarter Porter.”
Penn Quarter Porter, Elaborated: Penn Quarter Porter is indeed a stoutish porter, as the ROBUST PORTER description suggests. Despite its bluster, Penn Quarter Porter’s relatively low ABV of 5.5% and just-medium body keep the beer from being a sluggishness-inducer, which is good, because its stouty, chocolate-coffee flavor will make you want more than one. This is the only beer so far to earn a nickname from my beer-drinking circle: “PQP.” It’s fitting that PQP sounds like a street drug, because Penn Quarter Porter is kind of addictive, in that it’s a beer I have a very hard time not buying when I see it on a shelf. Try it yourself, and maybe I’ll see you one day in PQP Anonymous.