DC Brau and Oskar Blues Launch ‘Smells Like Freedom’ IPA with ‘Aromas of Cannabis’

It wasn’t hard to do, DC Brau’s brewer explains, because hops and cannabis are essentially cousins

Smells like freedom, indeed. 

In honor of Initiative 71, the measure that, in February 2015, legalized the limited possession of marijuana in Washington, D.C., craft breweries DC Brau and Oskar Blues Brewery have teamed up to create a marijuana-inspired IPA named Smells Like Freedom.

DC Brau cofounder Brandon Skall told the Washington City Paper that the idea for the collaboration arose after the two brewers met at a craft brewers conference in D.C., before recreational marijuana use was legalized in the district during a November election.

“We were like, ‘Hey, this is something that we're about to have in common with Colorado in addition to beer culture,’” said Skall.

When some members of Congress later attempted to undo the measure, the breweries decided to use the beer “as an opportunity to remind/educate people about D.C.'s struggle for autonomy.” The tops of cans of Smells Like Freedom read “votes should count.”

Although the beer does not contain any cannabis, Skall told the Washington City Paper that it wasn’t hard to make a beer that smells like marijuana. “Literally, they’re like cousins,” Skall said of hops and cannabis. “A lot of times if you smell fresh hops, it's just a very similar smell.”


Only a limited 120 barrels of Smells Like Freedom have been produced this round. Cans of the craft beer are for sale only in D.C., but are available on draft where DC Brau is served.