DC Brau Brewing Co., which opened in the District in 2011, is the first package brewery to be brewing and distributing beer in the city since 1956. The owners started the company with the goal of making D.C. a world-class beer town, and the awards they've won in the past two years show they're on their way. Co-founder and CEO Brandon Skall discussed the process and what's exciting about the District's brewing scene.

How did DC Brau get started?

We basically started building the company and planning it in 2008. We opened with beer on Tax Day 2011. ... My background was always in liquor sales/distribution. I was a wine importer before starting this company. My partner, Jeff, was a professional brewer at the time.

Any significance to your opening on Tax Day?

It just kind of shaped up that way, and it being Tax Day had a pretty good tie-in to the District.

How do you decide what to brew?

Really it's just about what's exciting us at the moment. We do our three main beers, just added two additional brews in the can. In additional to flagship beers, we try to do one or two one-off beers a month to keep things fresh.

We did a lot of research and development while we were getting started, a lot of brewing at home. We knew we wanted three different pale ales. We saw pale ale as the cornerstone of brewing. Everyone does one.

What excites you about the D.C. brewing scene?

Probably just the rapid speed of its growth.

I just think the stuff that's missing will come with time, which I see as a more established brewing scene. More and more beer-focused bars and restaurants opening up, and the general knowledge base of people in D.C. is increasing rapidly in terms of their palates and what they see in beer.

- Andy Brownfield