Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, we give you this thorough — yet far from comprehensive — list of where to take in both locally brewed suds and hard to come by international brews in the nation’s capital. (Trust us, any of ’em beats another all you can drink Tuesday at McFadden’s.)
Every have a really good local brew in some far flung corner of Poland? How about on the beach in Indonesia? The Brickskeller probably has them both…along with about a thousand others.
Dupont Circle â€¢ 1523 22nd St NW â€¢ (202) 293-1885
One the metro area’s largest local brewers with three locations in DC and Virginia, Cap City has at least five varieties on tap-only suds year ’round (and a tre swank Capitol Hill space in the historic Postal Square Building).
Shirlington â€¢ 4001 Campbell Ave. â€¢ (703) 578-3888
Capitol Hill â€¢ 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE â€¢ (202) 842-BEER
Downtown â€¢ 1100 New York Ave. NW â€¢ (202) 628-2222
The most recently opened entry of this list, ChurchKey is all about drafts — more than 50 of them, many of which even the most seasoned of beer connoisseurs would have trouble tracking down outside of a bottle. (See their complete beer menu here.)
14th & U â€¢ 1337 14th St. NW â€¢ (202) 567-2576
It may be (yet another) chain, but the Chophouse at least sets itself apart by giving their DC brewer free reign over two of the breweries taps for his own special concoctions. And did we mention they make a bourbon flavored stout?
Chinatown â€¢ 509 7th St. NW â€¢ (202) 347-3434
Much worshipped by alco-philes (not a portmanteau of alcoholic and pedophile, promise) outside of its native Delaware, Dogfish Head makes some on the world’s best, strongest and most sought after beers. That makes DC area residents some of the lucky few with year-round access to all of them — on tap and under one roof.
Gaithersburg â€¢ 800 West Diamond Ave. â€¢ (301) 963-4847
Falls Church â€¢ 6220 Leesburg Pike, Seven Corners Shopping Center â€¢ (703) 534-3342
One part brewery, one part family restaurant, one part general store, Franklin’s is a true original…even if it is in PG County. But they more than make up for it with an ton of brews that don’t reek of by-the-book corporate recipes and a brewer who’s never, ever afraid to do a little experimentation on the side.
Hyattsville â€¢ 5121 Baltimore Ave. â€¢ (301) 927-2740
If you’ve been to any city with a major airport, chances are you’ve spotted a Gordon Biersch somewhere in the center of town. They alleviate that chain restaurant tedium, however, near-monthly tapping parties for their latest seasonal brews.
Chinatown â€¢ 900 F St. NW â€¢ (202) 783-5454
Rockville â€¢ 200 East Middle Lane, Unit A â€¢ (301) 340-7159
McLean â€¢ 7861 Tysons Corner Center â€¢ (703) 388-5454
The sole Northeast entry on this list, this unmarked H St. watering hole is plastered with concert bills from the greatest in underground rock (Cramps, Kyuss, and Rocket from the Crypt, to name a few) and their downstairs bar stocks an equally tasteful selection of more than 50 international beers by bottle. A favorite.
Atlas District â€¢ 1104 H St. NE â€¢ No Phone!
Virginians threw a hissy fit when the old Old Dominion moved out of its native Ashburn. On the other hand, however, the now Delaware-based brewer gave downtown DC residents something to call their own when they opened this spot in the Convention Center in its stead. (And their Spring Buck Blonde Ale kills.)
Shaw â€¢ 1219 9th St. NW â€¢ (202) 289-8158
We’ve written about the Quarry House before, but, while it may be a pure rock ‘n’ roll dive from a decor standpoint, their selection of beers reads like a wine list at the Four Seasons. With hundreds of beers to choose from and reasonable prices, this is a must-see (or, rather, a must-drink-then-stagger) joint.
Silver Spring â€¢ 8401 Georgia Ave. â€¢ (301) 587-8350
Why anyone would eat — or make out with a stranger — at a bar called Rock Bottom is still beyond me. The beer, however, isn’t half bad, not to mention extremely cheap come happy hour.
Bethesda â€¢ 7900 Norfolk Ave. â€¢ (301) 652-1311
Arlington â€¢ 4238 Wilson Blvd. Suite 1256 â€¢ (703) 516-7688