The Public Ale | DC Brau Brewing Co.

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The Public AleThe Public Ale
Very Good
892 Ratings
The Public AleThe Public Ale

Brewed by:
DC Brau Brewing Co.
District of Columbia, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Public Pale Ale is brewed in the classic American Pale Ale style. Assertive bitterness backed by C-60 and Vienna malts which lend notes of rich, yet semi-dry caramel. Then followed up with a nice white grapefruit and citrus aroma that begs for a follow up sip.

Added by drabmuh on 04-15-2011

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 892 |  Reviews: 189
Photo of corylew
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a can of this thanks to mdaschaf.

Pours deep copper, with a big think tannish white head. Actually, I tried to open the can gently and it foamed up. As poured, also gently, into a glass it foamed way up and I had to wait for it to die down before pouring again. Idk if overcarbonation is a problem with this beer, I might have messed it up but mine was very fizzy.

Smells great. Malty and good with a pungent aroma of citrus hops. Simcoe if I had to guess.

Tastes nicely balanced. Strong malt and strong hops makes this beer a very nice find. Not sure though. Before I knew it the pint was gone.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. A little heavy for a 6%, but in exchange gives a great punch of flavor.

Overall, if I lived anywhere near DC this would be a go-to beer. Not overwhelmingly great but certainly a nicely balanced and good beer.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

crystal clear pale amber with a white head that cleared quickly leaving just a tad of lace. Smell was slight earthy, grass malts, with a hop hint. The taste was light and highly carbonated, but this is to be expected from an Extra Pale. This would make a good summer beer as it essentially goes down like water

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

POUR: dark auburn in color with some lighter hues when held to the light. Great looking carbonation level leading to almost an inch of off-white head. Some lacing left inside the glass.

AROMA: cotton candy, lemon peel, grapefruit juice, powdered sugar and lemon-lime Slurpee. Lots of hops coming from this Pale Ale...certainly leaning towards the IPA category it seems.

TASTE: one sip and I'm left thinking IPA. Lots of bitter, resiny hops hit the tongue and dry my mouth out. The palate is bombarded by citrus fruits and backed by light toffee and caramel flavors. As it warms a bit the floral flavors come out and mesh nicely with the sweetness that accompanies them. A very well rounded pale ale with a ton of great flavor and somehow it comes in at just 6%. Wow.

OVERALL: I'm left wondering one thing...what is DC Brau's IPA like? This is a pretty hop forward American Pale Ale that hits the higher gears when it comes to lupulin goodness. The tongue takes a good lashing but not one that will leave you moving on to something else. Nope, this is a beer you could make a night of that is for sure. Very well done. I look forward to their future canned releases!

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Photo of woodychandler
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was initially going to trade for this beer and then a college buddy who was working in Baltimore asked me to come down and hang out for a few days. For me, any trip to BALTO needs to include a visit to my maternal aunt and uncle in DC and they made the mistake of asking what I would like to do on the Saturday of my visit. "Let's visit a brewery!" I exclaimed, and after some initial eye rolling, they flashed on the great times that they have had with me on other brewery tours and acquiesced. By the time the tour and tasting were over, their regrets had vanished and I was flush with beer.

From the CAN: "DC Statehood Facts [:] In November 2000, the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles began issuing license plates bearing the slogan: 'Taxation without representation'"; "Serve in a tulip, goblet or enjoy from the CAN".

The Crack & Glug produced three (!) fingers of dense tawny head with great retention. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy orangish-amber. Nose was an interesting combination of a light citrusiness coupled with a slight malty sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium with a greater bitterness than I might have expected, based on the nose, but it did not really strike me as an APA, either. The finish was semi-dry, very pleasant, but still not my idea of an APA. Stylistically, it was not really making it, but in terms of hop presence and bitterness, I liked it. In fact, that was the consensus around the table after my maternal uncle came down to pick me up and run some errands. It certainly has a place in the cooler, but it should not supplant a more stylistically correct APA.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From a can to a pint glass, this is an insanely drinkable beer. Picked up two six packs at the brewery this weekend, might go back for more this weekend.

The beer pours a great deep orange almost bordering on amber in color. A nice ring of head stays throughout the whole drink of the beer and leaves great webs of lacing on the glass that are beautiful. A really nice start, comes out really frothy from the can!

The beer has a nice hop nose with some bready pale malts to back it up, seems almost like a beer judging template for pale, but doesnt have too much that stands out aroma wise, just mostly ok overall.

The taste is great, it is certainly not lacking in the hop department, and the hops give a nice spicy bite that blends really well with the pale and bready malts, they strike a great balance, maybe a balance that favors hopheads like me. Also has some tinges of fruitiness within the hop bite as well, maybe a little citrus and grass in the hops too. Very nice flavor, very drinkable yet still interesting for beer nerds I'd say.

Mouthfeel is great. It is so frothy in the feel over the palate, not spikey with carbonation like a lot of pales are. This beer just has a pub feel from the can, it really rolls right over the palate. Great.

This beer is an amazing one to have in the fridge to just grab to have a couple or three easy beers, but easy beers that are super taste and feel great to drink. This company continues to impress me, and I will be a patron of theres for a long time I'm thinking.

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Photo of WMEugene
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass straight from the can.

A - Pours a copper color, a little bit of haze in the color. Fairly good head retention and noticeable lacing.

S - Strong hops profile. I also smell caramel and malt with a trace of citrus in the background.

T - Noticeable hops and bitterness. Pretty aggressive for a pale ale. Some malt flavors are present as well. Has very much an IPA character to it.

M - Medium bodied with a nice hoppy aftertaste. Carbonation levels are appropriate.

O - A very good and hoppy Pale Ale. It's more aggressive than your standard Pale Ale (it can be mistaken for an IPA), but it is definitely a quality brew. It's sort of DC Brau's standard and as such, it is a great flagship beer. If you like hoppy beers (and I do), this could be the Pale Ale for you. Definitely would have again.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
2.93/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz into tulip.

A- Orangey glow to the body and a creamy, sticky, 4-finger head. Looks like orange meringue. Really nice lacing.

S- Very fruity, orange and mango in the nose.

T- Spicy pine resin and caramel/toffee malt. Fruit peeks through too. A bit muddled. Sweet and bitter finish that's not the best. Almost minty, like mouthwash. Not bad, just weird.

M- Heavy for the ABV, strong bitterness. Thick, almost chewy.

O- A little odd for the style, expected something a bit lighter and drier.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Thanks for sharing MrHirschybar!

Deep and dark clear amber with a thin white head. Nice lacing down the glass.

Very balanced aroma consisting of lots of bready malt character and a touch of caramel. Some pine hop presence balances the aroma nicely.

Hop flavors are certainly present, nice accompanying bitterness, along with some very bready and caramel malts. Incredibly easy to drink.

Medium to thick body.

A pleasant and flavorful, balanced and simple pale ale.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rather nice and rich take on a US Pale Ale bordering on IPA territory.

Presentation: 12 oz. can. Silver can background with a design highlighting the branding of the brewery, red silhouette of the US capitol in red with brewing vegetation surrounding it and a white checkered layer underneath. Back offers a small section with "DC Statehood Facts", serving suggestions, recycling recommendations, and an iconic map with the location of the brewery. Notes 6% Alc. by Vol. Served on a tulip glass.

A - Hazy deep gold to pale amber pour, rich and towering frothy head with good retention, creamy surface memory, and nice lacing.

S - Nose is very fragrant, long hoppiness, citric, resinous with a floral note… Some of the C hops have to be there… Centennial, Chinook?

T - Nice forward hoppy profile, bordering on an IPA as the brewer suggests, nice edge with its citrus and hint of resin over a nice caramel malt touch. Floral hoppy notes coat the soft malty finish.

M - Medium to medium/light body with sizable carbonation picking it up. Good crisp finish as it folds.

O - Very drinkable, closer to a hoppier profile than to the an entry point PA.

Notes: Updating the review of these cans… I did do the first entry of the canned version, and after all these months I needed to do an update. Maybe my palate has changed, maybe they have… Actually these are now freshly canned Pale Ales I have been picking from the brewery, so that may be the difference. In any case, this has a marked quality fresh hop profile that I did not remember, and it is consistent in all cans coming from the brewery so far. Before it was a good PA and a rather welcome addition to the local landscape, now I feel this is a quality hoppy PA that can stand on its own and I´m happy to cycle to the brewery and back to pick up a few six-packs of these (not to mention filling a couple of growlers). District pride? Sure… But also a pretty good darned brew.

Previous score: 04-28-2011
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Bottle courtesy of drabmuh. Thank you.

orange brown on top gives way to a golden color, pretty prominent off white head. kind of dark for the style. caramel and biscuity malt sweetness mingle with a light citrus hop aroma. Pretty sweet for the style. the malt seems to overtake the light hop presence. Reminds me a bit more of an amber ale. Still this beer is decently drinkable and there isn't anything offensive about it. medium bodied with a good deal of carbonation.

Overall a decent beer but nothing too memorable. I'm glad to have tried it though. Pretty cool looking can with an interesting fact about voting in DC.

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Photo of KeefD
3.32/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Woohoo! Another tick! CAN courtesy of woodychandler in the Nice Cans BIF. Glad to tick off another "state". I'll be up to 51 in no time!

EDIT: Awww.... This doesn't count as a state. Booo-urns!

Pours is fantastic. Slight chill haze permeates the solid orange/rust colored body with a two finger head that fell slowly, leaving sticky lace all over the glass. Aroma has a nice piney/citrusy element, a bit of doughy malt in the background, and a touch of herbs. Taste is pretty good! Nothing really stands out, not overly hoppy, but has a good bitterness. Hops bring a decent pine and grapefruit flavor, but it's rather subdued, a brief candy-like sweetness midway through, and finishes dry with a cracker/bread like maltiness. Body is medium, good carbonation. Overall, a rather easy to drink pale ale that's not offensive in any way, but could use a bit more hop flavor rather than just the mellow bitterness. An easy drinker. Tasty burps.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks goes to Thorpe429 for sending a cans of this to Andy. I've been itching to tick a DC beer ever since they announced plans to can.

A: Slightly cloudy orange amber hue. Two fingers of thick creamy beige head. Good retention. Thick sticky lace clings to the glass.

S: The citrus hops give off a pungent, juicy aroma. Moderate caramel malt backs up the hops keeping things balanced.

T: Heavy citrus bitterness bites my tongue. Bordering on acrid. A bit resiny and medicinal. A touch of caramel malt comes out in the finish with each swallow. A bit out of balance for me.

M: Creamy medium body with a good amount of carbonation.

O: Not bad but nowhere near some of the best APA's I've had. Happy to have the tick nonetheless.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
6% ABV, "Serve in a tulip, goblet or enjoy from the can", no date.

Thopre429 deserves a big thank you for sending two cans of this my homeboy and I!

A - Lightly hazy golden caramel cube in color, The Public is topped by a loose cream head with tons of staying power. Not much lace is left on the glass though.

S - Tons of dry hopping with Cascade in thus hop-forward pale. Strong citrus; lemon, grapefruit, and light grassy notes flourish in front of a caramelly pale malt backbone. Hop-forward but well-balanced so far.

T - Toasted wheat bread and caramel notes with pils sweetness lay the foundation for this well-balanced pale ale. Hops plop on top with a coaxing mild bitterness like that of grapefruit, a bit of lemon grass zest pulls out, and a faint piny finish closes 'er.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth, The Public has a well-carbonated, fantastically balanced bitter finish that asserts itself slowly and carefully. As I've reiterated quite a few times, it's very well-balanced.

O - A fantastic American Pale Ale, The Public keeps it real with nice hop additions but never goes over-the-top with them. The level of balance DC Brau has achieved with this beer is exceptional. Despite the bigger hops, the malt is still enjoyable and allowed to stand on it's own in the background. Very nicely done.

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Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to woodychandler for his surprise visit to my job with this and other beers for me. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a cloudy caramel color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of citrus and hops. Taste is the same, lots of hops up front, some citrus flavors. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to smakawhat for sending this one my way!

A: Pours a slightly hazy deep copper color with a massive off white head on top. Upon pouring it was at least two fingers in height with nice retention, finally reducing to a 1/2 finger of foam on top. Nice foamy/sticky lacing on the sides.

S: A surprisingly hoppy aroma (of which I am a fan). Some citrus (mostly orange and orange zest) and a little bit of pine. Some light caramel and a bit of graham cracker malt.

T: A burst of orange and orange zest upfront with some biscuity malt to back it up. There is a little bit of grainy malt and a touch of caramel as well. Has a bitter finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Was a bit surprised it was 6%, doesn't really show it at all. Slightly bitter/dry finish.

O: A very nice APA. Nice aroma and flavor profile, on the hoppy side for style, of which I am a huge fan. If this is an indication of what is to come from DC Brau, I look forward to the next beer I try from them.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Smith Commons.

Pours a dark copper with a thick whitish head, great lacing and retention. Big pine and floral hop nose with a malt presence. Malt doesn't do much in the flavor as the bitter pine hops dominate throughout and into the bitter finish. A very aggressive, hoppy pale ale. A promising start for a new brewery.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange with a 1 finger off white head

smell: grass, pine, hops, caramel, malts,

taste: grass, hops, malts, bitter finish

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: decent pale ale. glad I got to try this new brewery out of Washington DC.


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Photo of siege06nd
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Sam Adams perfect pint...

A: For an APA, this looks fantastic. Gorgeous, glowing orange copper color. A half finger eggshell white head quickly dissipates to a ring around the glass. Beautiful, gobs of sticky lacing mark my progress as I sip this one. Truly a beautiful APA.

S: Mmmm, orange zest, grapefruit, piney hops. Light, sweet, and inviting.

T: Tangerine, orange flavor on the front and mid gives way to a grassy hop presence. Slightly bitter finish as the hop oils take hold. For an APA, this is hoppy, relatively complex, and very quaffable.

M: Lingering bitterness on the finish detracts a bit from what is otherwise a very good APA. Carbonation is just fine.

O: This would be a standard IPA for most breweries, but not for the guys at the Brau. This is very very good, an APA that is sessionable but has a depth and complexity atypical of the style. It's a quality brew, even if the dry finish more closely resembles an IPA. This guy's not complaining. Great job, DC Brau!


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Photo of Chaney
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A special thanks to Huzuhbendah who handed me a can of this out of the blue. Thanks Matt!

DC's first brewery since prohibition. Gotta love it!

A: First of all, foam filled up the glass rather quickly when I went to pour. After it down down, the brew sitting idle below it was somewhat cloud, golden, and the head itself was both web-like and plentiful.

S: A huge hop citrus bomb was born as soon as the can popped. The aroma of orange and grapefruit hit the airwaves instantly and didn't let up. Powerful stuff!

T: Wonderful balance between fruit and hop bitterness, with a slight yeast strain in there just for safe measure.

M: A bit thin and flat actually. Despite the massive head, the low prickle factor was a distraction from the overall experience. The sweet elements were kept in check by the bitterness, which linger for a bit afterwards.

O: This was one of the best smelling Pale Ales in recent memory, however, the other senses could use some tweaking.

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Photo of wchollif
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Huhzubendah for this extra. A 12 oz. can poured generates about a finger of head that leaves great lacing. The light amber color and obvious heavy carbonation leads me to dive right in. Light hop aroma is not overpowering and not much to write home about. Taste is much better, bitter pine hops and lemon grapefruit bite. This is a really hoppy bitter pale. The heavy carbonation helps with outstanding drink ability. If this was a local, and inexpensive, I'd buy it all summer long.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is slightly hazy, appearing copper orange in color. The off white head is an inch thick, and leaves substantial lacing on the pint glass. The aroma offers citrus and malt, with a nice hop character. The flavor brings balance, slightly in favor of hops. The feel is medium bodied, with appropriate carbonation. Personally, I prefer less balance and more of a hop forward pale ale. That said, this is well done. I look forward to more tasty beers from this new local brewery.

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Photo of Smakawhat
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally get a chance to try this in the can, pouring into a tulip glass as recommended by instructions on said can. Brought right from the brewery premises.

Tight creamy foam comes right out of the can, not gushing, but ready to play. Hits the glass nicely and forms very evenly with the tiniest of bubbles. Body is a great orb cloudy but not as dull on tap opaqueness orange amber. A great glowing orange orb beauty. In my opinion this looks better than on tap.

Bouquet is virtually identical, but there's a little bit more bread punch, to go along with the wet minor hop bent and maltyness.

Taste is a carbon copy of it's on tap brother, orange citrus, hop bent, light malt feel is a bit more wet though and feels considerably more light bodied. A little steely also, perhaps a hint of ferrousness, but nothing extremely noticeable or off putting.

Overall still a great beer to be had for people of DC.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer served at Churchkey in 4oz. nonic pint glass

A - Beer had a reddish-brown colored clear body; beer was served with a one finger white colored head; not much carbonation formed in the beer; lots of lacing stuck on the side of the glass

S - Citrus and hop notes; some pine notes; grass; mostly fresh citrus; caramel malt

T - Caramel malt back-end; hop and citrus notes; pine; some lemon-zest; smooth and crisp flavor; quick hard bite of pine

M - Beer has a bitter aftertaste that lingers for a while; good flavor; soft medium body and bubbly

D - Good solid drink; glad to DC has a real contender in its own backyard; immediately becoming my local favorite

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Photo of Olive
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's nice to have a solid local brewery in the DC Metro area. This is one of the first beers I've seen from DC Brau on-tap in Northern Virginia and I was very happy with it.

Had it on-tap from Colombia Firehouse in Alexandria, VA. Very amber in color and had a nice head. Had a very aromatic, hoppy smell to it just as you'd expect from a good APA. Excellent taste, not too bitter, not too weak but just right. It did however, leave a small after taste. Overall, I'm very happy with DC Brau's first offering and I hope to sample more.

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Photo of mi6234
4.41/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally a brewery in this town.

Appearance is dark for a pale, burnt orange, almost copper.

Smell is extremely hoppy. Citrus all the way with little malt coming through.

Tastes like an IPA if you ask me, a really awesome one. Strong citrus hop flavor and serious bitterness. Well balanced, at least for someone who likes hop/bitter bombs. Malt matched appearance with some mild crystal sweetness in the middle. Hops rule the beginning and though the end.

Carbonation is moderate to high with medium body. Pretty much to style though maybe a little chewy.

This beer is awesome and since it's brewed like 5 miles from my house it will always be fresh. I love that I can get it in a can to. It will be great for music festivals. I plan on drinking a number of these in the hot summer sun.

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The Public Ale from DC Brau Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 892 ratings