(Denver Post file)

Smells Like Freedom: DC and Colorado microbreweries debut pot-aroma IPA

Beer geeks thrive off finding common ground with one another. And the folks behind Washington D.C.-based DC Brau and Colorado-rooted Oskar Blues share a lot more than their love of microbrews. Both breweries now hail from areas of the U.S. that are home to the most relaxed cannabis laws in the United States — and they’re debuting a protest beer today (yes, St. Patrick’s Day) in honor of their 420-friendliness.

The new beer, called Smells Like Freedom, will be tapped tonight at D.C. hangout Meridian Pint in the Columbia Heights neighborhood — “where Initiative 71 supporters gathered on Election Night last year to celebrate legalization,” according to The Washington Post.

“It seemed to be a connection we had between the two [places],” DC Brau co-founder Brandon Skall said in a brewery blog, nodding to Colorado’s own marijuana legalization. “The idea was to make a beer that, obviously, does not have cannabis in it but sort of could emulate that flavor or aroma profile as closely as possible, being that hops themselves are so closely related to cannabis.”

If this all sounds somewhat familiar, perhaps you read about Oskar Blues’ other recent weed nod — Pinner, a 4.9 percent session IPA named after a thin joint.

Smells Like Freedom, the first collaboration between the two microbreweries, is a 7-percent IPA. It was brewed in both Colorado and D.C., according to DC Brau, which calls it “a nod to D.C.’s Initiative 71, the marijuana-legalization measure approved in November and expected to take effect early 2015.”

But what does it taste like? Here’s how DC Brau tells it:

“Smells Like Freedom is a big, juicy hop-bomb of an IPA with a nice medium body that is slightly dried out thanks to the addition of sugar the brewing kettle. The hop profile is huge. Notes include resiny, piney, earthy, sticky, cannabis and white pepper with aromas of cannabis, tangerine and sugar-coated ruby red grapefruit to entice the drinker. Smells Like Freedom drinks with a subtle punch of bitterness upfront that fades into a pleasant, palate-coating bitterness.”

Did the effects of marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient help inspire the making of Smells Like Freedom?

“When we have our work hat on, we have our work hat on,” Skall told Washington City Paper.