Get Beered in Virginia – City Brew Tours – NOVA Brew Tour Launches

City Brew Tours DC coordinator Steve Quartell distributes our first samples of beer at Lake Anne Brew House

It’s no secret that many residents of the District of Columbia (including myself) usually wouldn’t be caught dead in the suburbs, particularly Virginia (yes I’m from West Virginia, move along now). The Potomac is a great divide. However, when Steve Quartell of City Brew Tours reached out to me and Mrs. Barred in DC and invited us to check out their recently launched NOVA Brew Tour, we jumped on it. This tour, which launched just in mid-September, complements CBT’s already popular van tours of breweries and beer bars in DC, and is held every Sunday.

Pick-up is at very Metro-accessible spots near Crystal City and Tysons Corner Metro at 10:30a and 11a, respectively (Lyft to Crystal City is less than $15 from downtown). From there, the driver/tour guide (Steve is currently leading the tours but will be training others) led us in a 14-passenger van on a fun-and-informative-as-hell late morning/afternoon of drinking beer. During the drive to the beer spots in the Reston/Sterling area near Dulles Int’l Airport, guests get some rules (“Don’t suck the fun” and no drinking in the van) as well as a great crash course on the history of beer in the world and the U.S. (never had a tour guide before credit the role of enslaved African Americans in the history of alcohol production) that I’ve never received in the many tours I’ve taken previously.  We were also queried about our beer preferences to help the guide pick out our drinks for the day. [Note: the following schedule and stops are subject to change at any time.]

Surprisingly pleasant scene at Lake Anne. View from Lake Anne Brew House patio
Great graphics design at Lake Anne Brew House (by one of the owners)

First stop for us was Lake Anne Brew House in the eponymous planned community/man-made lake district (the first one in Reston, built in the mid 1960s). It was pretty cool to visit a part of the DC area that I’d never heard about. The nano-brewery (or “pocket brewery”) owned by husband/wife team serves basically only on premises (including for sale via growler) and is located in a former residential condo. I was a big fan of the blonde beer, the graphics/spatial layout (designed by one of the owners) and learning about the ingenious way the other owner vented out the CO2 in the tiny brewing area. Steve gave us a crash course on the pre-fermentation brewing process while there.  While tasting three beers, we also snacked on a massive tasty pretzel from neighboring shop Nordic Knot [Note on some tours, the first stop may be Caboose in Vienna]

Beer at Fireworks Pizza

From there, we had a beer tasting lunch at Fireworks Pizza (locations in Courthouse, Leesburg, and wherever we were in a nice shopping center in Sterling). There, Steve gave us tips on how to pair some great beer from other parts of Virginia (Ardent (honey ginger spiced ale) and Vasen (hazelnut coffee milk stout) from Richmond, and Three Notch’d (40 Mile IPA) from Charlottesville) with a very substantial spread of pizza, wings, grilled cheese, and salad.

Learning about fermentation at Rocket Frog

Next, Sunday tours usually goto Dynasty Brewing in Sterling but since we were just on the preview tour to get a feel of things, we ended our beer sampling at Rocket Frog Brewing, a long-in-the-works spot from a few brothers in a Sterling office park. There we sampled among other beers, a very good helles lager and a brown ale (Wallops Island). We learned about the name (a frog that went to space when a rocket lifted off from NASA’s base in Wallops Island a few years back), as well as the fermentation process. Finishing up there, we headed back to our pick-up point in Crystal City quite satisfied with our exploration of the NOVA beer scene. We got back around 3p (full tour ends around 4:30p so a solid day out).

Definitely recommend this tour for beer fans to easily check out part of the region you probably rarely or never stop in, and beers that don’t make the DC market (as our guide pointed out to us, there are way more people in VA suburbs than live in DC so they’re not missing out on a huge market for the headaches of distributing across jurisdiction). The full tour includes up to 16 tastings of beer, a fresh-baked pretzel, a full beer paring lunch, and a koozie. The normal cost is a quite reasonable: $115/person ($10 tip added automatically for groups of 4+), but for a limited time only, Barred in DC readers (or other people who find this on Google) can use code NOVALAUNCH for a very strong $45 off.

[Note that CBT offered this preview tour to us at no cost, but a positive review (or any review whatsoever) was not a condition of going on the tour. Though you should always be skeptical of any stranger who writes a review, of course.]

Where to Watch the World Series in DC

If you can’t get in to Nationals Park, here’s where you can watch (photo by Barred in DC)For the first time 86 years (though for over one-third of them there was no team here), the World Series will be played in the District of Columbia. After a thrilling ride through the MLB playoffs, the Washington Nationals open the World Series on the road against the 2017 WS champion and heavily favored Houston Astros on Tuesday, October 22nd, with Game 2 on Wednesday again in Houston, and in DC Friday-Saturday (with “if necessary games” in DC on Sunday, and then back on the road Tues-Wed Oct 29-30th). All games start a few minutes past 8p Eastern.

Barred in DC has been to every home game in the playoffs and a different bar for every other road game (except one). But given tickets are currently going for $900+ to stand in the ballpark, going in person to all the games will likely not continue. If you too don’t have tickets to the games, almost every bar in DC that has a TV will be showing each game. For the road games, Nats will be hosting free watch parties at the stadium (ticket required). If you don’t want/can’t watch in the stadium, Barred in DC has three recommendations: 1) If you’ve watched most/every game at the same bar during the playoffs, stay at that bar; 2) head down to Navy Yard neighborhood to watch in any bar there; and/or 3) goto a local neighborhood bar if they’ve been strong with fans + sound during the playoffs. If a bar has been weak, but they have great specials during the games, then that would be an OK choice as well.

Below is a list of World Series specials for bars in DC that fit the above categories (almost all will have the games with sound), as well as some of spots that may give you pause. Some of these specials have been cribbed from more thorough guides from the Post, Eater, DCist, and Washingtonian. DC’s sports bars are listed here.

Most highly recommended are in red. 

Navy Yard

  • Walter’s Sports Bar
    • 18 foot TV screen
    • Bucket specials (5): $18 Bud Light, $20 Truly
    • $25 bucket of 20 wings
  • Mission Navy Yard
    • $25 buckets of beer / $5.50 Bud Light pints / $8 margs / $5 tequila shots
    • $3 chorizo sliders / $8 quesadillas / $9 wings
    • open at 11a on home game days
  • The Bullpen
    • massive outdoor scene (12 foot TV screen)
    • $6 drink specials for away games, doors open at 6p
    • Doors open home games at 2p
    • game 3-$2 off select drinks if you pay with Chase card
    • live music
    • all drinks $5 3rd-7th inning
    • Note game may be on a delay due to streaming
  • Hampton Inn Top of the Yard
    • rooftop bar can see somewhat into stadium
    • open at 1p during home games
    • Giveaways
  • Buffalo Wild Wings
  • Dacha Navy Yard
    • bubbles & wine 25% off during playoffs
  • The Salt Line
    • Ryan Zimmerman is part-owner and players/manager went after NLCS clinch
    • Away games specials ONLY
      • 1/2 price oysters,
      • $3 ‘Gansett / $5 DC Brau / $5 wine / $7 draft cocktails
  • All-Purpose Capitol Riverfront
    • DC Brau Watch Party during home games, specials on Full Count and Joint Resolution
    • extra TVs throughout, patio expanded
    • Kitchen open early for lunch on Fri (Noon) and til midnight during home games and last call at 2a
  • Declaration
    • HH 11a-8p everyday
    • outdoor bar to watch games
  • El Bebe
  • Circa
  • The Big Stick
    • Always great spot to watch
    • game 3 pregame With local ESPN affiliate
  • Gordon Biersch
  • Roy Boys
    • $5 beer cans / $10 loaded base cocktail / $5 Natitude Red shots
  • Bonchon
    • Games 1-2 $1 Sapporo drafts from 7p-close
    • All games feature $13 wings and side and bottled beverage special
  • Scarlet Oak
  • Willie’s
    • $4 Bud/Bud Light bottles / $12 Bud Light pitcher / $5 Jameson
    • $5 bites (wings, nachos, pretzel bites, sliders, bbq sliders, chips & dip)
  • Bluejacket
    • 86 Years Double IPA tapped on Tuesday on draft during duration of series
    • AWAY GAMES ONLY:
      • Select $5 cans/drafts
      • $4 popcorn / $5 onion rings / $7 fried chicken bites / $12 peel & Eat shrimp / $10 short rib nachos
  • Due South & Dockside
    • $6 select drafts, well drinks, house red/white
  • Agua 301
    • Pre-game $6 margs / $4.50 drafts & food specials
    • during games: $7 margaritas drop 25 cents for every run score / $2.50 Bud Light bottles / rotating food specials
  • District Winery
    • away games only: 1/2 price bottles all night long
  • The Brig (really shared by Navy Yard & Barracks Row)
    • table reservations at info@thebrigdc.com
    • Game 1 – $1 every bottle sold benefits breast cancer awareness
    • $6 Bold Rock Rose bottles / Brig Lager specials ($7 half liter / $13 liter) / $25 bucket specials
  • Taco City (across from The Brig)
    • after 4p during WS
    • $15 Mahou pitcher, $5 Taco City margarita
    • $2 tacos
  • Capitol Riverfront parties (booze sales may or may not end at 11p
    • game 3 in Yards Park (capacity 4000)-party starts at 6p
    • game 4-5 in huge lot at NJ and M (capacity 8000)-part starts at 8p

Outside Navy Yard – Strong Throughout Playoffs (per reports/personal knowledge)

  • The Pug (H Street) 
    • Lots of cheap dad beer at 14th worst bar in DC
    • Pizza has been bought at some point for most games
  • The Blaguard (Adams Morgan)
    • rotating specials
    • $3 Bud Light / Natty Boh
  • Tunnicliff’s Tavern (Eastern Market)
    • great older crowd 
    • Barred in DC watched G5 of NLDS here, 76 year lady there cheering till end
  • Duffy’s Irish Pub (H Street)
    • $4 Budweiser Tallboys & $5 shots
    • normal 1/2 priced wings on Wed (Game 2)
  • Penn Social (PQ/Chinatown) 
    • $5 drafts from DC breweries during games
  • Across The Pond (Dupont) 
    • 55 cent wings (min 10)
    • $4 ATP Pilsner pints / $15 ATP Pilsner pitchers
    • beer/wing combos: $20 (either 10 wings + bucket of macro beers OR 20 wings + ATP pitcher); $26 (20 wings and other beer pitchers, other than Smithwicks or Guinness)
  • The Midlands (Park View) 
    • hot mulled cider with spiced rum
    • $5 pints of Mermaid Pilsner all night
  • Lou’s City Bar (Columbia Heights)
    • $4 Bud Light / $4 Miller Lite / $5 Sam Adams products during games
    • Team 980 pregame Game 1 radio pregame
  • DC Reynolds (Park View)
    • BOGO 5-9p (all days except Sun)
  • Nellie’s Sports Bar (U STreet
    • $3 Miller Lite/Coors Light / $6 Sam Adams seasonal & Coney Island Pilsner / $15 buckets
  • Penn Quarter Sports Tavern (PQ/Chinatown)
  • Hellbender (way up there)
    • $5 pints
  • Dirty Water (H Street)
    • Game 1 & 2 specials
      • Pregame Bud Draft specials: $1 6-7p, $2 8-9p
      • During game $5 John Daly, specials on beer buckets and quart pails
  • Cleveland Park Bar & Grill
    • drink and food specials during games
  • Exile’s (U Street)
    • pregame HH
    • bucket and DC draft specials during games
  • Capitol Lounge (Capitol Hill)
    • 25 cent wings every game

Other Spots With World Series Specials (sound noted where it may be surprising)

  • Atlas Brew Works (Ivy City)
    • $5 pints of 1500 S Cap Lager on game days
  • The Game Sports Pub (Adams Morgan)
    • $20 Bud/Bud Light buckets (5) / $30 San Miguel buckets (5) / $10 select beer + shot combos / $6 select wine or sangria / $7 punch
    • $3 off burgers for Tues/Wed games / $8 chili cheese fries / $10 grilled cheese + Fries
  • Boundary Stone (Bloomingdale)
    • $5 beer/wine/cocktails
  • Rock & Roll Hotel (H Street)
    • At least for Game 1 (Tues)
    • game on 2 floors with sound
    • $5 Bud/Bud Light 16 oz cans / $7 Devils Backbone ERA on draft / $1 off rails
    • raffles/giveaways
  • Tico (14th St)
    • Wear Nats or Astros gear get $30 bottomless wings, nachos, and beer each game
    • soun on
  • Matchbox (Barracks Row, 14th St, Chinatown)
    • HH food/drinks when wearing Nats gear during games
  • Charlie Palmer Steak (Capitol Hillish)
    • 50 cent oysters all day until end of World Series w/ purchase of alcoholic beverage
  • Proper 21(Downtown)
    • $5 Bud Lights / $5 Jameson shots
    • $5 fried chicken sandwich
  • Red Bear Brewing (NoMa)
    • HH pricing during WS games if come in Nats gear
  • Nick’s Riverside Grill (Georgetown)
    • $5 drink specials during games
    • Halloween costume party for Friday’s game
    • drink/food specials
    • prizes/DJ
  • 3 Stars Brewery (Up there)
    • draft specials
  • Hook Hall (Park View)
    • bring dog in Nats gera, gets $3 off any Dogfish Head beer
    • food specials
    • Hook Hall Lager goes down 25 cent for each Nats run
    • $1 Bud/Bud Light (limit 2/person) in first inning while Nats are batting
    • $3 Fireball shots with Nats hoer
    • $5 mulled wine/cider
  • The Cloakroom Rooftop (Mt Vernon Triangle)
    • yes this is a strip club’s rooftop bar
    • HH 1-9p $3 domestics / $4 imports / $5 rails/ $8 pizzas
    • get free koozie if you say you’re there to watch the Nats
  • The Wharf
    • 17 foot LED floating stage next to District Wharf behind Cantina Bambina
    • $6 16 oz cans of Bud/Light/Goose Island/Michelob Ultra
  • Pearl Street Warehouse (The Wharf)
    • $5 Bud/Miller Light/Shiner Bock / Dickel shot
    • Cantina Marina gumbo / nachos
  • Hank’s at the Wharf
    • food and drink Nat-themed specials during and after games
  • Culture House (Southwest)
    • venue (formerly known as Blind Whino) 14 minute walk from stadium
    • free watch party with hosted bar + food
    • all ages allowed
    • the game on two 70” LED TV’s in Lounge and a 10′ x 20′ Large Format Projector Screen upstairs in Performance Space w/ mini baseeball diamond for games and contests
  • Shaw’s Tavern (Shaw)
    • $6 wings / 50% off burgers
    • $14 Miller Lite / $16 Blue Moon pitchers
  • Church Hall (Georgetown)
    • $8 stein of Gansett / Bulleitt shot
  • The Eastern (Eastern Market)
    • games with sound
    • HH draft beer specials ($6 Gold Leaf and Astrodon)
  • Truxton Inn (Bloomingdale)
    • HH specials all night ($6 Old Fashioneds / $5 wine / $3 gansett) for Games 1-2
    • games with sound
  • DC9 (Shaw)
    • 1st floor bar has games with sound
  • Union Trust (Downtown)
    • with sound
  • Ivy City Smokehouse (Ivy City)
    • wear Nats gear and get HH prices all day
  • Bar Deco (PQ/Chinatown)
    • free popcorn during games
    • themed food specials
    • $4 Labatt Blue Lights / $5 Makers Mark shots
  • Barrel (Eastern Market)
    • $5 Old Grandad bourbon and Old Overhold rye all night during games + specialty cocktail
    • $10 cocktail THe Curly W
    • $8 fried wings with coleslaw and poblano mayo
  • Dyllan’s Raw Bar Grill (Georgetown)
    • HH all night (includes $10 burger and $9 calamari)
  • Casolare (Glover Park)
    • games on outdoor screen
    • 2 chili dogs + fries for $10
    • 5 Miller High Life bucket for $10
    • HH all night
  • Alta Strada (Mt Vernon Triangle)
    • HH all night
    • sound doubtful
  • The Riggsby (Dupont)
    • HH all night
    • sound doubtful
  • Streets Market (NoMa)
    • first draft free
    • $4 DC beers
    • all night HH
  • Union Pub
    • drink specials include $5 select beer / $4 Bud Light drafts / $6 rails / $10 Rolling Rock buckets / $2 off wine
  • W Hotel (Downtown)
    • Corner Office “Tony Two Brews” gets  2nd beer off
  • Logan Tavern (Logan Circle)
    • HH all night at bar
    • $7-8 signature cocktails / $5-6 wine / $25 beer buckets
    • $7-8 bar bites
  • The Occidental (Downtown)
    • where Senators celebrated its last appearance has screenings on bar and patio
    • special Nats cocktails for $10
  • Finn McCool’s (Barracks Row)
    • $4 draft beer / $15 pitchers
    • $5 apps
  • Spots that usually don’t turn on their tv but are (probably without sound)
    • Beuchert’s Saloon
    • All Souls
    • The Royal (with sound)
  • The Ugly Mug/Valor Brew Pub (Barracks Row)
    • $15 combo (I believe a pint of their beer plus Halfsmoke fried price and either 1/2 basket of wings or French dip sandwich)
  • Wundergarten (NoMa)
    • Watch parties
    • caliburger available
  • Nomad (H Street)
    • $3 beer
  • H Street Country Club (H Street)
    • Game 1: all night HH ($5 margs & $3 beer)
    • Rest of games: $4 bud lights and $18 buckets
  • Duke’s Grocery/Counter (Dupont, Foggy Bottom, Cleveland Parkish)
    • Sound on
    • $5 beer/bourbon/vodka drink specials
  • The Queen Vic (H Street)
    • $5 Jameson at least for game 1
  • Granville Moores (H Street)
    • great $5 craft beer (select drafts, can, bottle
    • $5 wings, burger, mini-moules, brats, fries
    • specials may vary
  • Chop House (PQ/Chinatown)
    • extended HH 4p-end of game on game nights at bar only
  • American Ice (U Street)
    • $4 Sam Adams
    • 1/2 wings
    • Sound on
  • Wingo’s (Glover Park)
    • $2 tequila shots / $15 margarita pitchers (at least game 1)
  • Mr. Smith’s (Georgetow)
    • $5 drink specials (Nat’s themed) – think Absolut voda/cran/OJ/sprite
    • $5 potato skins filled with breaded chicken
  • Free State (PQ/Chinatown)
    • $2 off DC drafts during games
  • Jack Rose (Adams Morgan)
    • upstairs covered/heated (but smokers) terrace on 4 TVs
    • $5 cans (Flying Dog, RAR, Coors Light)
    • 1/2 price whiskey wings / $15 beer & Big jack burger
  • Astro Beer Hall (Downtown)
    • $18 pitchers of Miller lite / $5 Washington Apple shooters / $1 off local draft DC beers
  • The Brighton (The Wharf)
    • $5 Bud/Bud Light
    • $6 hot dog
  • Pop’s Sea Bar (Adams Morgan)
    • $5 3 Stars Diamonds are Forever Hazy IPA cans all games
  • Kraken Axes (Downtown)
    • $1 off select cans and 10% off next group booking of 6 or more if you wear Nats gear Games 1-2
  • The Crown and Crow (14th St)
    • game 1: $5 rails / $5 domestic beer / $2 off select wine
  • The Berliner (Georgetown)
    • Game 1: sound on, drink specials all night
  • Tony & Joe’s (Georgetown)
    • Mustang Sally on special during games
  • Mi Vida (The Wharf)
    • Free apps in the bar for every home run
Caution
  • Matchbox Barracks Row didn’t put NLDS Game 1  over NFL Thursday night football when asked
  • Wundergarten had trivia not sound during at least one NLCS game
  • Nanny O’Brien’s had trivia not sound during at least one NLCS game
  • Franklin Hall – some games didn’t have sound except in certain back room and otherwise place is too loud to hear anything
  • Union Pub is a Bama bar and will definitely play the sound on for their game which conflicts with Saturday’s game. They also played sound for the debate over the World Series.
  • Jackie Lee’s has said “they aren’t a sports bar so we don’t play the games with sound”
  • The Crown and Crow played the debate in much bigger tv with sound
  • Kingfisher self-proclaims itself as a terrible place to watch sports
  • Red Derby has one TV in back
  • The Pitch Tavern sports bar is closed currently for renovations
  • Possible College Football Conflicts (These may be resolved with separate rooms or cancelled watch parties)
    • Friday night (Game 3)
      • Fado (USC),
      • Penn Social (Colorado-but multiple rooms)
        • Nats sound on big screen
    • Saturday night (Game 4)
      • Mission Navy Yard (Clemson)
        • Sound for Clemson at back bar on South Capitol
        • Sound for Nats everywhere else
      • Union Pub (Alabama)
        • Bama  sound priority)
      • Penn Social (Michigan, UCF )
        • Nats sound on big screen
      • Bullfeathers (Texas Tech)
      • The Exchange (Notre Dame)
      • Finn McCool’s (Notre Dame)
        • sound on Notre Dame in one floor
        • Nats on another floor
      • Ivy & Coney (Michigan)
        • Inside: Nats with sound
        • Deck: Michigan with sound
      • Across the Pond (Boston College)
        • BC will be shown in restaurant (w/ sound) on projection TV with WS game on walls
        • WS shown with sound in bar area
      • Willie’s (Mizzou)
      • Town Tavern (Kentucky)
      • The Game Sports Pub (Arizona State)
      • Astro Beer Hall (UCLA)
      • Homeslyce (Cal)
      • The Ugly Mug (Washington State)
      • Irish Channel (Oregon)
        • Front/main section will have WS with sound
        • Back section will show Ducks with sound
  • Potential Trivia Conflicts
    • Tues Game 1: RiRa, Hawk n Dove, Whiskey Diner, City Winery, 3 Stars, Exile’s, Mellow Mushroom (2nd floor), Kingfisher, Moreland’s (trivia upstairs, sound downstairs)
    • Wed Game 2: Astro Beer Hall, Wingo’s, Homestead,  Smoke & Barrel, Provision No. 14, The Coupe, Duke’s Grocery Foggy Bottom (7-9), Crown and Crow, Froggy Bottom Pub, Wundergarden
  • Houston Astros fans have/will likely congregate at following spots
    • Republic Cantina – Main Astros party with specials (7 oz Miller High Life + 1 oz pop of Santa Teresa Venezuelan rum), though no booze after 10:45p
    • Across the Pond hosted watch parties during previous rounds of playoffs
    • PQ Sports Tavern was the officialish Astros watch spot earlier though reports have said the bar has squeezed out outside MLB teams in favor of Nats exclusively during playoffs
    • St. Arnolds on Jefferson is the Houston Texans bar so wouldn’t be surprised if folks go there.
  • Bars without TVs:
    • Destination Wedding, Bistro du Coin, The Black Cat, The Columbia Room, Harold Black, Copycat Co., The Gibson, Jack Rose (Saloon bar only), The Saloon, Wonderland, A&D, Compass Rose, EL Centro D.F. 14th, Ghibellina, McClellan’s Retreat

Club Heaven and Hell Sent Straight to Hell – Record Setting Fine and Suspension

Club Heaven and Hell, the long-time Adams Morgan club (opened around 1991), suffered a massive blow last week when the DC Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) fined it a whopping $90,000 and suspended its liquor license for 90 days (November 1st-January 29th). This is believed by Barred in DC to be a record fine by ABRA (Halftime Sports Bar was fined $60,000 in Dec 2018, and never re-opened) and record liquor license suspension (though ABRA has revoked liquor licenses before).

The severe punishment mostly results, coupled with a history of violations, from an August 2018 incident where the bar illegally outsourced its security to a promoter of a live music event and violated the terms of its mandated security plan. Specifically, it allowed the promoter to check IDs and control ingress/egress into the club (per DC law, bars can rent out their spots to a promoter but the licensee must control the bar and security staff) and it did not have two bouncers and check everyone’s IDs as it opened (as required by its security plan). Also, the infamous “Yellow Death” cleaning fluid Long Island Iced Tea incident was factored in the penalty: the bar owner admitted accidentally adding Yellow Death cleaning fluid (instead of sour mix) in the drink in November 2018. The bar wasn’t actually punished directly for the mistake by ABRA; instead it was docked because it failed to fill out an incident report and log it in its security log as required by the security plan.

All the ABRA commissioners present found Club Heaven and Hell to be liable, though one recommended revocation of the license. The huge fine and lengthy no booze sales outage (which likely means closure during the period) may be crippling for a bar (known for 80s Dance parties on Thursdays)-it might not reopen. Thus, it’s likely that a motion for reconsideration and/or appeal to DC Court of Appeals will be filed shortly. Stay tuned.

Getting Schooled on Cocktails: DC Harvest’s Mixology Class

Aviary at DC Harvest

Brothers Jared and Arthur Ringel, who own and run one of my go-to sit-down restaurants, DC Harvest, recently invited Mr. and Mrs. Barred in DC to check out the “DCH Mixology Class.” This independently owned spot, which recently celebrated its 5 year anniversary at its 6th and H St. NE location, serves popular brunches, well-priced local and seasonal dinners, and really good cocktails and beer. The mixology class, which costs a very reasonable $45 (with service fee/tax, a shade under $60 total), features a choice of any three of the spot’s signature cocktails along with any appetizer ($14 or less). Given that 3 cocktails themselves if individually purchased cost around $40, this is a solid deal

The class, which can be as educational (or not) as you want, is set up at the bar and usually taught by Jared. The co-owner explains in detail the inspiration for each cocktail (and its name) and what’s in it, and shows you how it’s made. He also shares some tips along the way that you can take home with you to make great cocktails. If you’re with more than yourself, I highly recommend getting different cocktails so you can sample the whole menu.

The whole menu, including the drinks, are seasonal, so we sampled some great fall cocktails, almost all made with spirits from DC, Virginia, or Maryland. The Apiary features honey (harvested by a DC Harvest server), lemongrass, bee pollen, angelica oil, and a Dutch-style gin; the Citron was quite garden-like, with limoncello (from local distiller Don Cicio & Figlo), house-made zucchini shrub, topped off with heirloom cherry tomatoes; the beautiful Pitaya is made with Falls Church Bourbon (the brothers are from there), dragon fruit syrup, lemon juice, elderflower syrup, and shiso; The Espadin Experiment is only one not made with local spirits, but makes sense, as it featues mezcal, along with roasted cashews, poblano peppers, toasted coconut syrup, and lime juice. I really dug the Monticello which is made with an agave-based spirit from Gray Wolf in St Michael’s (Eastern Shore MD), a housemade paw paw cordial, lemon juice, gomme syrup, nutmeg, and egg white. The one cocktail that is year-round at DCH, Kentucky Windage, is made with Kentucky Gentleman bourbon that has been house-“boosted” to add flavor with gomme syrup and house-made bitters.

The class is available basically every night (except certain holidays), with seatings on the half-hour 5:30-8:30p Sun-Thurs and 5:30-9:30p Fri-Sat. Book at the link.

Monticello
Citron
Ingredients for The Espadin Experiment

 

Crowdsourcing the Best Wings in DC

The venerable Old Ebbitt Grill was cited as having some of DC’s best wings

As frequently occurs (my Twitter DMs are open), I recently received a request for info or a poll-this time a poll on best wings in DC. I declined to do a poll since I wouldn’t know the options, but I threw this out to my Twitter followers and got a ton of responses. Compare this list of frequent mentions with Eater’s list (last updated in 2017).

The Most Mentions

  • Duffy’s Irish Pub (H Street)
    • Multiple hot sauce flavors, also other flavors
    • 12 wings/$15, 24 wings/$28
    • Half price dine-in w/ purchase of beverage on Wednesdays / 8 wings for $6 during HH 4-7p M-F
    • Delivery available
    • Mostly a bar
  • Clyde’s (Georgetown, PQ/Chinatown)
    • “Double-dipped” buffalo chicken wings
    • 6 wings/ $7, 12 wings/$12
    • $3 off at bar only during HH 3-6p
    • bar/restaurant scene
  • Old Ebbitt Grill (Downtown)
    • “Double-dipped” buffalo chicken wings
    • note may be the same as Clyde’s, and possibly same as served as The Tombs (same restaurant group)
    • 12 wings/$13
    • bar/restaurant scene
  • Wingo’s (Georgetown, Glover Park)
    • 24 sauces
    • 10 wings/$12, 20 wings/$23, 50 wings/$55, 100 wings/$100
    • Delivery available
    • Glover Park has a good bar scene, Georgetown is more carry out
  • KoChix (Bloomingdale)
    • Korean style with 3 flavors
    • 5 wings/$7, 10 wings/$13, 15 wings/$18, 20 wings/$24, 40 wings/$46
    • Delivery available
    • Carryout

Multiple Mentions

  • Choongman (H Street)
  • Bonchon (Navy Yard)
  • Nanny O’Brien’s (Cleveland Park)
  • Boundary Stone (Bloomingdale)
  • Due South (Navy Yard)
  • Comet Ping Pong Pizza (Tenleytownish)
  • The Queen Vic (H Street)
  • Cane (H Street)

Not in DC, but Tons of Mentions: First Down (Ballston)

Others Mentioned: BOM, Ivy City Smokehouse, Fuel Pizza, Joe’s, Vinoteca, Federalist Pig, The Green Zone, Stadium Club, Duccinni’s ChiKo, Buck’s Fishing & Camping, Barrel, The Dubliner, Solly’s, America’s Best Wings, Mandu, Fado, Union Pub

Where to Watch Your NFL Team in DC

Although Barred in DC is a hardcore college football fan (often spending 10 hours of the greatest season of the year inside and skipping beer festivals), I cannot deny that NFL is the most popular televised entertainment in this country and in this city. Owing to that and to the fact that crazily enough that not every game is nationally televised even in 2019, lots of bars in DC have watch parties for different teams. Some of my earliest DC memories include watching Stillers games at the Pour House on the Hill with like 1000 people crammed in all 3 floors.

With the heavy assistance from Twitter follower/redditer here  as well as some Twitter outsourcing and this Washingtonian post here, I’ve come up with a list of all teams that have folks gathering to watch their games at bars in DC below (you can find suburban links in the links above). Email barredindc@gmail.com or comment below if something is missing. I’ve tried to approximately list which bar appears to have the most fans in order (if multiple teams), but this can be subjective. A couple observations: The Patriots with SIX friggin watch parties really show their excellence (i.e., in attracting bandwagon fans) over the past couple decades. Surprising to me that the Texans get a DC proper bar while the Falcons have ZERO in the entire DC metro.

Note you can always catch more games at once at spots like Walter’s Sports Bar and other spots

  • BUFFALO BILLS: Grand Central, Exiles, Bar Deco

  • CAROLINA PANTHERS: Mission Navy Yard

  • CHICAGO BEARS: Union Pub, Ivy and Coney

  • CINCINNATI BENGALS: The Bottom Line
  • CLEVELAND BROWNS: Fado

  • DALLAS COWBOYS: Parlay DC, Homeslyce Pizza

  • DENVER BRONCOS: Penn Quarter Sports Tavern, Stoney’s

  • DETROIT LIONS: Capitol Lounge (basement), Ivy and Coney, Biergarten Haus

  • GREEN BAY PACKERS: Hamilton’s, Duffy’s Irish Pub, Lost and Found

  • HOUSTON TEXANS: St. Arnold’s on Jefferson

  • JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Penn Quarter Sports Tavern

  • KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Blackfinn DC

  • MIAMI DOLPHINS: Solly’s, 1831 Bar & Lounge, Blackfinn DC

  • NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Capitol Lounge, Dirty Water , Across the Pond, Irish Times, Proper 21, Jake’s Tavern

  • NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: Little Miss Whiskey’s, The Brig, Lou’s City Bar,

  • NEW YORK GIANTS: Across the Pond Restaurant & Pub, Nanny O’Briens, Rebellion

  • NEW YORK JETS: Irish Channel

  • OAKLAND RAIDERS: Lou’s City Bar

  • PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: District Anchor, Boundary Stone

  • PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Johnny Pistolas

  • SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Town Tavern

  • SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: Red Bear Brewing Company, Lou’s City Bar

  • TENNESSEE TITANS: Lou’s City Bar

  • WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Blaguard, The Camelot (strip club), 1831 (almost every bar will show Skins games)

Nothing in DC proper: Baltimore Ravens (almost always on TV in DC anyways(, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Bucs

Nothing in DC metro: Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons (!), LA Rams, LA Chargers