Beer-centered lunch on Saturday?
I am in town for work and looking for a good gastro-pub or brewpub in the dc area for lunch on Saturday. Something casual and near a metro stop would be great. I am staying near the Federal center stop on the blue line. I would prefer some place with a good tap list, preferably on the local side, and good eats. The tap list doesn't need to be huge...a small but well selected tap list is always appreciated. Cask-conditioned beers are a plus....suggestions?
Birch & Barley is your best bet on 14th & Rhode Island - not too far from McPherson Square stop. Not certain if they are open for lunch/brunch Saturday, but their upstairs bar (ChurchKey) is for sure; though their food is not as good as Birch & Barley's.
In the other direction, two stops to the east on Metro, is Belga Cafe. Large Belgian beer selection with some available on draft, though I don't believe they carry any local beers.
They appear to do brunch on Saturdays, though I haven't been personally.
Belga Café • 514, 8th Street, SE - close to Eastern Market Metro ( Orange/Blue lines ) - http://belgacafe.com/
Birch & Barley and Pizzeria Paradiso are probably the only two places that have reliable cask conditioned beers available most of the time. Theres a PP at Dupont Circle that usually has a fine tap list and a cask available and you can always go around the corner to Bier Barron for more good beer after.
As far as brewpubs. theres a District Chophouse a couple blocks south of the Gallery Place stop (or a couple blocks north of the Archives stop). They have some decent house beers available and once in a while a barrel aged beauty but rarely a cask. Plus the food is pretty good including Saturday brunch. And once you are in the China Town area you can always make your way over to Gordon Biersch if you fancy some decent German lagers or even RFD which always has some interesting choices on tap (and Bras. Beck is not too far from there either as many people have suggested but honestly it wouldnt be the first thing I would think of when someone is specifically asking for a brewpub or gastropub unless you are specifically looking to nosh on high end Belgian food with your beer).
dcbeer.com might have some other recommendations that Im not thinking of that might have a cask available as well.
It's not as close to where you're staying, but I have to mention Meridian Pint as well - it's near the Columbia Heights metro stop, and they have great food and draught beer (including a cask ale or two).
But Churchkey would be great too.