Food

A DC Bar Blogger, Beer Historian, and Brewery Are Using Twitter Polls to Make the District’s Dream Beer

Cast a vote in Barred in DC's beerocracy.

Twitter users can vote to create the perfect DC beer. Image via Shutterstock.

Bar and nightlife blogger Barred in DC (a.k.a. lawyer Raman Santra) just announced he’s creating an unusual beer in collaboration with Right Proper Brewing Company and Lost Lagers beer historian Mike Stein. The partnership has been dubbed #ByDCForDC  after the process by which the brew will be developed. Santra is posting Twitter polls, allowing online voters to select the beer’s color, alcohol content, hops, and more. Even the name could be left to the masses (please, no Beery McBeerface).

Surveys are a common feature of Barred in DC’s active Twitter presence. Santra often polls his 9,245-odd followers and others on hot industry topics like how much customers should tip bartenders and whether kids should be allowed at breweries. Based on their popularity, Right Proper head brewer Bobby Bump came up with the idea to build a beer through polls.

To avoid creating an undrinkable brew, the surveys will adapt and evolve to each round’s winning features. The polls are also a clever marketing move, slowly building investment in the final product as participants cast their vote.

One feature the team won’t crowdsource? The type of beer. Instead, the makers are approaching the challenge like an episode of Chopped. The characteristics are like a basket of ingredients and the brew crew will decide how to piece it all together.

The first poll asks imbibers to pick between four colors: “pale/clear,” “pale/hazy,” “copper/ruby,” and “dark as night.”  Santra says its been a social experiment of sorts.

“It’s been interesting seeing folks on Twitter saying, ‘Hey, we like darker beers, there’s too many hazy beers, let’s try to push people to vote.’ There’s been some compromising,” Santra says.

As the dark beer supporters realized their choice wasn’t catching on, some decided to throw their numbers behind “copper/ruby.” Their argument? Electability. The strategy is working. At the time of publication, the poll had almost 1,250 votes, with the lead going to “copper/ruby.” It’s now the most voted for poll in Barred in DC history. 

Such is the community-building power of the polls. “It’s not about making people change their mind,” Santra says. “It’s about either making them feel ‘Oh, there’s a lot of other people in my boat that I didn’t realize. Or, ‘I’m glad to see there’s lots of people who feel the same way as me.'” 

Polls will be released over the next few weeks and last for 48 hours each. The final beer will be available at Right Proper’s Shaw location in the coming months.

Get Our “Brunches This Weekend” Newsletter

The best breakfasts and brunches to try every weekend, plus our most popular food stories of the week.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
Daniella Byck

Daniella joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a University of Wisconsin-Madison grad and lives in Logan Circle.