A curious beer tour of Washington DC: pre-planning

We’re only spending 3 nights in the nation’s capital, so I think most of my beer adventures will be happening after hours. Our days will be spent wandering around the museums and monuments of the National Mall, and I don’t imagine that there would be too many beer spots in this area (but I could be wrong…)


There are two must-do activities on my DC list – eat at Ben’s Chili Bowl (as per advice from Man vs Food and No Reservations), and see an ice hockey game (since we’ve managed to snare tickets to see the Caps play). So I’ve designed my beer escapades around two bar crawls that get me from my hotel to each venue in the most beer focused way possible.


Crawl 1:

1. Churchkey/Birch & Barley: The top beer venue on ratebeer.com, and it’s easy to see why – the beer menu is categorised into ‘malt’, ‘hop’, or ‘fruit and spice’ instead of traditional styles. And it’s only a 10 min walk from my hotel! Seems like a great way to start my DC beer adventure.
2. Estadio: Seems to be more restaurant than bar, and I don’t want to ruin my hotdog appetite. However they do sell BrewDogs Tactical Nuclear Penguin by the ounce, so it may be a necessary stop just to mark this off the list for an affordable price.
3. The Saloon: This one is on U Street, close to my final destination. From the reviews I can see, the focus here is on Belgian and German brews. Not a bad thing, as I’m sure I’ll still find a few to mark off the list that I can’t get in Australia.
4. Ben’s Chili Bowl: Hopefully my boozy night will give me an appetite large enough to try a few of their offerings. Half-smokes, chilli con carne and chilli cheese fries sound like a decent starter.
Crawl 2:
1. Brasserie Beck: An even better start than the first crawl, since this is only a 3 minute stumble from my hotel! I was concerned when I first read the name, picturing a bar that served nothing but euro-lager in green bottles. Thankfully the website shows of a comprehensive beer list again focused around Belgian/European imports. I’m starting to wonder where in DC I’m going to find the US beers I’m searching for…
2. R.F.D Washington: …right here! Claiming to have the best and biggest selection of beer in the city, I may need to do a second visit after the game is finished.
3. Verizon Centre: to witness the mighty Caps decimate whichever team they’re playing. I’ll need to find somewhere to buy a jersey too.


I can’t find any breweries of note that are nearby. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for any local offerings, but I may not get a taste of what DC has to offer…


Cork and Fork: appears to be a lazy stroll from my hotel, so this may be my best bet to stock up on some ‘’standard’ US beers on the list (I use the word ‘‘standard’ very lightly of course)

Am I on the right track with these ideas? Have I missed anything important? Let me know in the suggestions below. I’ll be taking a nil response as a positive indicator that the above plans are perfection… 🙂 haha

The photo of the White House is courtesy of pachd.com


2 thoughts on “A curious beer tour of Washington DC: pre-planning

  1. Have you looked into DC Brau? They brew in the DC area and I’ve heard good things about them. And I have to say that I’m supremely envious of you. Would love to be heading to the US trying a stack of new beers.

    • Yeah, I’m giddy with excitement! I saw DC Brau but it’s a bit of a hike from where we’re staying. Hopefully I’ll find some of their brews scattered about the bars I visit

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