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3 cheers for beer (iyho)

So I lived in LA and chicago. the former was a weak beer town, the latter did pretty well. but in general, i have been impressed by dc (in the short time i have lived here).

so i pose the question: i want to show a chicago friend of mine coming to visit how dc eclipses beer-cago. where to?

my limited thoughts thusfar: beck, paradiso, and this saloon i just went to next to bens chili bowl....i was happily impressed.

so, fire away...and thanks in advance

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  1. I like your suggestions. Obviously you have RFD and Brickskeller, but, depending on when your friend is coming, a new place may be a good option. The Post had this to say:

    Coming later this spring -- they say by tax day, I have doubts -- is Logan Circle's newest bar, replacing Dakota Cowgirl on 14th Street. Beer Guy Greg Engert told me he's trying to get 50 draft beers (!!!), which will be hands-down the biggest selection in the city, and 500 bottles, which would be second-only to the legendary Brickskeller.

    1 Reply
    1. re: katecm

      I'll take Rustico over Brickskellar. Great atmosphere at the latter, but you're lucky if they have your FIFTH choice of beer.

      Food at Rustico is MUCH better than the 'skellar, BTW. They know how to cook a burger, fries are properly cooked twice, and they have some interesting things on the menu.

    2. I assume you mean Birreria Paradiso in G-Town. That's a great pick.

      I'd also add Reef and Bourbon in Adams Morgan (just not on the weekend). Maybe also try St. Ex if you're over that way.

      If you're looking for some good German beers, I've heard cafe mozart is a good (if a little odd) option.

      1. Granville Moore's for the best re-creation of a Belgian pub. No TVs, great Belgian beer selection, solid mussels and frites, atmosphere somewhere between Fells Point and Brussels. 1238 H St. NE / 202-399-2546

        If Alexandria works into the plan, e.g. if he's flying in and outta National, Rustico has a big great beer menu. It's a new place, the atmosphere is nothing special, may feel somewhat like an Uno's to your buddy, but the beer is there

        1. Take a quick trip to Brewer's Art in Baltimore for good in house beers and eats.

          1. I'll second the recommendations of the Brick, RFD, Birreria Paradiso and Rustico. The Dogfish Head Alehouse in Falls Church is good, too.

            1. Rock bottom in Ballston? Capital City Brewing co?
              I agree w/ Brickskeller for one brew, not food. it's just one of things you have to do once, to see all the selections they are SUPPOSED To have...

              1. Maybe too gimmicky for your friend, but if he/she is in town on Monday, March 24th, I'd recommend Brasserie Beck. They have a new "keep the glass" beer promotion. If I have the details right, they are featuring a different Belgian line (and glass) on the last Monday of every month. Last month was Kasteel. Not sure of this month's special.

                If you buy two beers of the featured line, then you take home the featured glass. They kicked off the promotion last month and it appeared to be a big hit. By the time we left, they were starting to run low on glasses (stopped serving Kasteel in Kasteel glasses so that people could take them home).

                2 Replies
                1. re: takajin

                  Can you confirm this? I checked their website and there's no news of this. But they might not want to lose all their glasses.

                  In anycase, I'd be more than happy to blow $25 on a glass...I'm a simple man.

                  1. re: Vodkalager

                    It's not posted on their website. I received an email from them regarding the February event (on email listserv) in which they mentioned that the next event would be on Monday, March 24th and that they would plan to continue the last Monday of the month throughout 2008.

                    As far as I can tell, you don't have to be on the email listserv to participate. Just know it's going on that night and get there while supplies last. The waiter mentioned it to us when we sat down (although we already knew). I think they were less informative in the bar area because it was so busy. We ran into friends on the way out and they didn't know about it. As I mentioned though, supplies were getting low by that time and it was only 8 or 9 pm.

                    The beer is great and it's fun to take home a souvenir of sorts. For Kasteel, they had a beer that was not yet available elsewhere in DC alongside 3-4 other Kasteel beers. Most were on draft. According to our waiter's comments, I believe they already have the beers lined up for the next few months, so you could probably call and ask what the feature is for March.

                2. btw, what's the saloon near Ben's and how would you describe the beer selection and food?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: takajin

                    yah, i think it's just called the saloon. it was raining and we were meeting a friend for dinner at etete, and we haphazardly snuck in. nothing mind-blowing, but there was a beer on tap called...hmm, you're testing my memory here..."eggerbach"? they had an impressive bottle list (i mean, lets not compare to places like the brickskellar) and other drafts looked good. they have some usual suspects like spaten and some others.
                    and call it blasphemy, but i really like leinie's sunset wheat, which was on draft and deelish. lienenkugel was my first sip of beer ever (and successive buzz, of course), so its "branded" into my heart.

                    ps thanks to all for the suggestions. we might hit up rustico, but i think beck might be the place. he was all ga-ga when i said there was a "beer sommolier" there. despite novelty, i have no probelms drinking there. draak on draft...mmmmmmmmmm

                    1. re: foie grasias

                      Beck is a good choice. A well-designed list of beers (rather than going for bust) and good food. Was not especially impressed by Rustico beyond the beer menu (with apologies to those who have suggested here). And you are right with regards to the novelty of having a beer sommelier. Can Chicago even boast a Beer Knight?

                    2. re: takajin

                      It's The Saloon, and it's a wonderful place. The beer selection is small but well-chosen and unique. The bartender (not sure if he's still there-- Robert) is amazing, and the owner is very charming too. He sometimes has food selections from his native country (somewhere in the Near East, might be Turkey?) and loves to talk about beer.

                    3. Agree on Brasserie Beck their 25 or so page list is amazing and the knighted beer somellier, RFD, Brickseller.

                      1. Good suggestions all around. I would like to add...

                        Big Hunt
                        A lot of people might overlook or dismiss this bar because it is not as pretty as some other bars in Dupont, but I assure you they have a fantastic selection of 27 draft beers. They rotate about 8 of the taps on a regular basis and since moving to Dupont a few years ago I have enjoyed walking into the Big Hunt and asking "what's new?" and receiving enthusiastic recommendations from the bartenders and patrons alike.
                        My one complaint is that the food is nothing to cheer about. Oh well.

                        Lost Dog
                        If you care to venture into Virginia I would suggest checking out the Lost Dog Cafe in Arlington. It is a neighborhood pizza and sandwich place that has exceptional and creative food. They have about 10 beers on draft and over 200 beers available as six-packs or single bottles for take-out or drinking at your table.