By the time we got to DC I had completely shaken off my jet lag, so I made it my mission to get beery. Lucky for me, DC made this a very easy task to achieve.
Our first trip was up to U Street to line up for some of Ben’s famous half-smoke chili dogs (completely worth the trip to DC). Then we wandered to Churchkey, a lofty beer bar above the Birch & Barley restaurant. Packing around 55 taps on the wall, it’s obvious that this place doesn’t play around, and while DC was a veritable ghost town outdoors (it was a Sunday) this place was packed with people enjoying good beer.
I had a Sour in the Rye by The Bruery (tongue dryingly sour, with spicy rye accentuated by the peppery red wine. Tara called it Chinese preserved orange peel).
Day two saw us doing the typical tourist thing; exploring the gargantuan monuments and buildings in and around the National Mall. At the end of the day we relaxed at Maddy’s Tap Room. Not as big as Churchkey, this place only has 40 taps (beer bars in the US do shit properly!). I had the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA (from the list) while Tara had a Angry Orchard cider, which even I had to admit was quite tasty – for a cider. I returned for a second on day three to tick two more beers off the list; the Founders Breakfast Stout and the New Belgium Fat Tire.
For dinner we went up to 14th and V to check out the original Busboys & Poets. The food was fantastic (blackened fish all round) and there was a good, if a little cryptic, craft beer selection. I had a Sarnac IPA (light on the flavour) and a Flying Dog In-Heat Wheat (another from the list!)
Day three was raining, so we did the Smithsonian thing then hooked it to Chinatown where we happened upon RFD (honestly, it was an accident). I started with a Oskar Blues Deviant Dales American IPA (a solid IPA that went nicely with my buffalo burger), but Tara outdid me by ordering a Longtrail Brown Bag Series #2 Smoked Brown Ale (the waiter was as impressed as is was!). I was lucky enough to try it, and I’m glad I did. I called it the perfect BBQ, Tara thought it was like a good smoked cheese. Either way, it was impressive. Then I tried the Rhizing Bines, a collaborative IPA between Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada (sweet maltiness that reminded me of watermelon warheads. Tasty, but I missed the expected hop punch).
That night we saw the Caps play!! Such an awesome experience, helped out by the fact that they won. I bit the bullet and bought a Coors Light (they guy selling laughed at me when I ordered it – say no more). Thankfully we found a stand selling Goose Island beers, so we also enjoyed a 312 Urban Wheat Ale, a Nut Brown Ale, and a Honker’s Ale while watching the Caps skate to success.
We ducked into Ella’s Wood fired pizza for a quick dinner after the game. The food was good, but once again it was the beer list that got me. I finished my night by marking two more beers of the list; the Bell’s Two Hearted Ale and Lagunitas Brown Shugga’.
Thank you DC for helping me to get my beer groove back!