DC Brau co-owners Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock first encountered Epic Brewing—a beermaking operation in Salt Lake City, Utah—at Northern Virginia Brewfest last summer.
"We liked their beers, they liked ours," recalls Skall. So they decided to make one together. Head brewer Hancock came up with a recipe and sent it to Kevin Crompton, his counterpart at Epic. Then he flew to Utah for two days so they could brew the beer together.
In the end, the breweries decided to release two slightly different versions of the imperial pumpkin porter. ("Imperial" refers to the porter's high ABV—about eight percent.) DC Brau added roasted malts to the East Coast version, which Skall says envelope some of the sweetness of the pumpkin flavor. (An impressive six hundred pounds of squash were used to make it. Allspice, nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ginger, whole cloves, and Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans were also involved.)
The beer's name doubles as DC Brau's slogan. The phrase "fermentation without representation"—a riff, of course, on "taxation without representation," the battle cry of DC denizens who lament our limited voting rights—resonated with Epic cofounder David Cole. Skall said Cole and his Epic cohorts are currently fighting booze laws in Utah, where bars can only tap beers with four percent ABV or less. Higher alcohol brews are sold only in bottles and cans.
Tonight is your chance to sample the two versions of Fermentation Without Representation; Meridian Pint will have them both on tap. The porter will be sold by the bottle in stores nationally, says Skall, and should be in DC emporia by Monday.