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No Kisses pizza garden
The “pizza garden” behind Sonny’s and No Kisses.
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

15 Beer Gardens With Terrific Brews Around D.C.

Where to raise a glass to the magic of barley and hops

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The “pizza garden” behind Sonny’s and No Kisses.
| Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Washington may be an ocean away from Germany, but the area has an impressive roster of outdoor drinking spots fit for enjoying a pint — or a liter — with friends and neighbors. And although these spaces are best when they’re communal and convivial, they’re also poised to adapt to physical distancing and health protocols. The region’s beer gardens aren’t one-size fits all. Bars like Sauf Haus and Biergarten Haus feature a classic Bavarian-style vibe, leaning heavily on light bodied, refreshing European favorites like pilsners and hefeweizens, along with sides of soft pretzels and sausages. Establishments like Owen’s Ordinary and the Berliner dedicate draft lines to some of the best local brews around.

Whether the day calls for sipping IPAs along 14th Street or knocking back lagers by the water, these 15 beer gardens are the places to be.

A number of D.C. area restaurants have resumed dine-in service. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns. The Washington Post is tracking coronavirus cases and deaths in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. More information can be found at coronavirus.dc.gov. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Denizens Brewing Co. (Multiple locations)

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This homegrown brewery hopes to tempt Silver Spring residents this fall with a patio decked out with pumpkins, hay bales, and fire pits. The brewery features an eclectic mix of beers that usually includes creative experiments to go with mainstays like Southside Rye IPA and Lower Lord English-style ESB. There’s also a production facility and taproom in Riverdale, Maryland, with its own seasonal vibes. 

Hook Hall

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Park View’s huge multi-purpose beer hall accepts walk-ins and reservations at its tropical-themed Oasis. Tables for two, four, or six people cost $35 for a two-hour rental, which includes a bucket of mix-and-match seltzers and beers. Cabana rentals cost $100 for two and a half hours. That price includes a bottle of Champagne and table service. Beers are $1 off from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday with taps pouring German brews and local options from Denizen’s and Devil’s Backbone. — Gabe Hiatt

The Midlands

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At this accommodating beer garden in Park View, expect a mix of cheap domestic brews, local offerings, and German beers. The kitchen serves up snacks like spinach and artichoke dip and Buffalo chicken nachos, along with heartier options like a shareable platter with bratwursts, sauerkraut, and a soft pretzel. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available.

Sonny’s Pizza

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The “pizza garden” behind Sonny’s Pizza recently reopened with the full menu of square pies, natural wines, and beer in cans and large-format bottles from producers like Maine Beer Co. and Danish microbrewery To Øl. Reservations are are available for parties of four to six people when the garden opens Thursday through Sunday. — G.H.

Garden District

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Get on the virtual waiting list for a seat at this trendy and pioneering beer garden along the 14th Street corridor. Garden District is the consummate meeting place for fans of barbecue and giant beers, and it has one of the best cheeseburgers in town. Featured pours range from easy-drinking lagers to pilsners to hoppy IPAs.

Sauf Haus

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Crowded happy hours may be on temporary hold, but the multi-floor Sauf Haus is still open in Dupont Circle (with a little more elbow room). The Erdinger Weissbier is a great German hefeweizen beer to chill out with. Table reservations are available by email, and contactless food pickup is organized through Public Bar Live next door. 

Red Bear Brewing Co

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This Pacific Northwest-inspired brew pub is a short walk from the NoMa Metro station. It has expanded to include a front and back patio for outdoor, distanced seating. Beers here range from hopped up ales to clean lagers and even a couple of spiked seltzers. If hunger hits, don’t miss the Seattle-style teriyaki chicken, served up with fluffy white rice and spicy mayo.

The Berliner

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More than two dozen draft beers and ciders share the stage with a half-dozen sausages (including chicken, lamb and veal varieties) and falafel sandwiches at this Georgetown spot. Selections range from local D.C., Maryland and Virginia brewers like Solace and DC Brau all the way to producers from Cologne, Germany. Generous outdoor table space fills out the footprint beneath the Key Bridge in Georgetown. 

Wunder Garten

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NoMa’s resident biergarten continues to host regular specials, including $4 beers on Mondays. Local food trucks often take up residence just inside the gates. The garden received a warning from ABRA in late September for not enforcing social distancing.

Biergarten Haus

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This long-standing neighborhood watering hole is huge, with lots of room to spread out across 40 tables. There are four different bars, several televisions, and a large menu listing both food and beer options. 

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Dublin is excited for patio weather

A post shared by Biergarten Haus (@biergartenhaus) on

Westover Market Beer Garden

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This is a neighborhood beer garden with serious chill. There’s rarely a line to get in, and there are six draft lines to choose from. It’s open seven days a week starting at 11:30 a.m. (10 a.m. on Sundays) with a rotating beer list that includes Hofbräu Original and an Angry, Angry Alice IPA from Rocket Frog Brewing Company in Sterling, Virginia. — G.H.

The Lot

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This Arlington beer garden has a selection that includes beers from Atlas Brew Works, Dogfish Head, and Old Ox Brewery. The open-air space has tons of seating and space for food trucks and games.

Shelter

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The centerpiece of Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s new Capitol Hill food hall is this sprawling beer bar with 100 outdoor seats and 50 draft lines. Beer director Greg Engert, who picks the list at esteemed Churchkey in Logan Circle, focuses on low-ABV brews at Shelter. Side-pull faucets dispense creamy pours of beers like a German Helles lager from Schönram, a German kellerbier from Traunstein, a Märzen from Northern Virginia brewer Ocelot, and Czech pilsner Únětické Pivo 12°. Drinkers can get food from Red Apron Butcher, new Hi/Fi Tacos, and New York-style Slice Joint. — G.H.

Shelter at the Roost food hall in Capitol Hill, has 100 patio seats.
Shelter, the new beer garden at the Roost food hall in Capitol Hill, has 100 patio seats.
Neighborhood Restaurant Group [official]

The Brig

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This unassuming drinking spot in Navy Yard still flies relatively under the radar. It carries 40 draft lines that range from German flagships to D.C., Maryland and Virginia favorites. The year-round gathering place also has a decent menu of burgers, sandwiches, and bar snacks to keep hunger at bay. Walk-ins are available, and reservations can be made at least one day in advance. 

Dacha Navy Yard

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Dacha’s second D.C. location is part sleek, American restaurant and part patio and outdoor beer garden within view of the Anacostia River. New group chef Jerome Grant created a beer garden menu that features half-smokes with brisket chili and bratwurst with collard green kimchi. This might not be the most spacious option, though. At the end of September, ABRA investigators handed Dacha Navy Yard a $1,000 citation for failing to enforce social distancing protocols.

Denizens Brewing Co. (Multiple locations)

This homegrown brewery hopes to tempt Silver Spring residents this fall with a patio decked out with pumpkins, hay bales, and fire pits. The brewery features an eclectic mix of beers that usually includes creative experiments to go with mainstays like Southside Rye IPA and Lower Lord English-style ESB. There’s also a production facility and taproom in Riverdale, Maryland, with its own seasonal vibes. 

Hook Hall

Park View’s huge multi-purpose beer hall accepts walk-ins and reservations at its tropical-themed Oasis. Tables for two, four, or six people cost $35 for a two-hour rental, which includes a bucket of mix-and-match seltzers and beers. Cabana rentals cost $100 for two and a half hours. That price includes a bottle of Champagne and table service. Beers are $1 off from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday with taps pouring German brews and local options from Denizen’s and Devil’s Backbone. — Gabe Hiatt

The Midlands

At this accommodating beer garden in Park View, expect a mix of cheap domestic brews, local offerings, and German beers. The kitchen serves up snacks like spinach and artichoke dip and Buffalo chicken nachos, along with heartier options like a shareable platter with bratwursts, sauerkraut, and a soft pretzel. Both indoor and outdoor seating is available.

Sonny’s Pizza

The “pizza garden” behind Sonny’s Pizza recently reopened with the full menu of square pies, natural wines, and beer in cans and large-format bottles from producers like Maine Beer Co. and Danish microbrewery To Øl. Reservations are are available for parties of four to six people when the garden opens Thursday through Sunday. — G.H.

Garden District

Get on the virtual waiting list for a seat at this trendy and pioneering beer garden along the 14th Street corridor. Garden District is the consummate meeting place for fans of barbecue and giant beers, and it has one of the best cheeseburgers in town. Featured pours range from easy-drinking lagers to pilsners to hoppy IPAs.

Sauf Haus

Crowded happy hours may be on temporary hold, but the multi-floor Sauf Haus is still open in Dupont Circle (with a little more elbow room). The Erdinger Weissbier is a great German hefeweizen beer to chill out with. Table reservations are available by email, and contactless food pickup is organized through Public Bar Live next door. 

Red Bear Brewing Co

This Pacific Northwest-inspired brew pub is a short walk from the NoMa Metro station. It has expanded to include a front and back patio for outdoor, distanced seating. Beers here range from hopped up ales to clean lagers and even a couple of spiked seltzers. If hunger hits, don’t miss the Seattle-style teriyaki chicken, served up with fluffy white rice and spicy mayo.

The Berliner

More than two dozen draft beers and ciders share the stage with a half-dozen sausages (including chicken, lamb and veal varieties) and falafel sandwiches at this Georgetown spot. Selections range from local D.C., Maryland and Virginia brewers like Solace and DC Brau all the way to producers from Cologne, Germany. Generous outdoor table space fills out the footprint beneath the Key Bridge in Georgetown. 

Wunder Garten

NoMa’s resident biergarten continues to host regular specials, including $4 beers on Mondays. Local food trucks often take up residence just inside the gates. The garden received a warning from ABRA in late September for not enforcing social distancing.

Biergarten Haus

This long-standing neighborhood watering hole is huge, with lots of room to spread out across 40 tables. There are four different bars, several televisions, and a large menu listing both food and beer options. 

View this post on Instagram

Dublin is excited for patio weather

A post shared by Biergarten Haus (@biergartenhaus) on

Westover Market Beer Garden

This is a neighborhood beer garden with serious chill. There’s rarely a line to get in, and there are six draft lines to choose from. It’s open seven days a week starting at 11:30 a.m. (10 a.m. on Sundays) with a rotating beer list that includes Hofbräu Original and an Angry, Angry Alice IPA from Rocket Frog Brewing Company in Sterling, Virginia. — G.H.

The Lot

This Arlington beer garden has a selection that includes beers from Atlas Brew Works, Dogfish Head, and Old Ox Brewery. The open-air space has tons of seating and space for food trucks and games.

Shelter

The centerpiece of Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s new Capitol Hill food hall is this sprawling beer bar with 100 outdoor seats and 50 draft lines. Beer director Greg Engert, who picks the list at esteemed Churchkey in Logan Circle, focuses on low-ABV brews at Shelter. Side-pull faucets dispense creamy pours of beers like a German Helles lager from Schönram, a German kellerbier from Traunstein, a Märzen from Northern Virginia brewer Ocelot, and Czech pilsner Únětické Pivo 12°. Drinkers can get food from Red Apron Butcher, new Hi/Fi Tacos, and New York-style Slice Joint. — G.H.

Shelter at the Roost food hall in Capitol Hill, has 100 patio seats.
Shelter, the new beer garden at the Roost food hall in Capitol Hill, has 100 patio seats.
Neighborhood Restaurant Group [official]

The Brig

This unassuming drinking spot in Navy Yard still flies relatively under the radar. It carries 40 draft lines that range from German flagships to D.C., Maryland and Virginia favorites. The year-round gathering place also has a decent menu of burgers, sandwiches, and bar snacks to keep hunger at bay. Walk-ins are available, and reservations can be made at least one day in advance. 

Dacha Navy Yard

Dacha’s second D.C. location is part sleek, American restaurant and part patio and outdoor beer garden within view of the Anacostia River. New group chef Jerome Grant created a beer garden menu that features half-smokes with brisket chili and bratwurst with collard green kimchi. This might not be the most spacious option, though. At the end of September, ABRA investigators handed Dacha Navy Yard a $1,000 citation for failing to enforce social distancing protocols.

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