Where In Town: d’vines, 3103 14th St. NW
Price: $5.90/12 ounces
Sencha Asked: Stop me if you’ve heard this one: An American, a American ex-pat based in Japan, and a Japanese guy who lives in Guam walk into a brewery. The Japanese guy says, “Let’s brew.” This isn’t a bad joke for the School of Advanced International Studies crowd; it’s more or less the story behind one of the oddest ales you can find in the District. Following this year’s earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Toshi Ishii, the owner of Guam’s Ishii Brewing Company, approached San Diego’s Stone Brewing Company about collaborating on a new beer to support disaster relief. Then, Bryan Baird of Japan’s Baird Brewing Company got looped in. Add Japanese Sencha green tea and hops from New Zealand, France, and the Pacific Northwest, and you’ve got a beer that better be worth its weight in frequent flier miles.
Charity Case: Light gold with fat bubbles and sticky foam, this imperial India pale ale looks a bit like cream soda and smells like herbs, pine, and maybe—just maybe—ginger. Lychee? There’s faintly, but definitely, fruit. It’s big and boozy, with more herbs when you take each smooth sip, followed by a lingering bitterness and astringency from the tea. And it’s not just a damn good beer: Proceeds benefit the Japanese Red Cross.