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Photos: R. Lopez

Great Bars Where Not Every Beer Has to Be Local

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When it comes to local beers and breweries, D.C. can certainly represent, and it's been exciting to see more and more bars carry DC Brau, Atlas, Port City and more. But just as sometimes diners need a good avocado or lemon to shake up their locally-sourced meals, sometimes drinkers need to branch out beyond the local offerings. These bars stand out for either an international focus (Japanese beer, anyone?), a diverse domestic selection, a regional specialty or just a wide selection of beers where local may be included, but it isn't the emphasis.

Have another favorite bar serving non-local beer? Share in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Bayou Bakery

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1515 N Courthouse Rd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 243-2410
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Bayou Bakery brings Louisiana to Northern Virginia, and that includes its beers. Chef David Guas has locked it down with Louisiana's Abita Brewery so expect the whole lineup, including the brewery's famous Purple Haze.

2. Belga Cafe

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514 8th St SE
Washington DC, D.C. 20003
(202) 544-0100
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Bart Vandaele is a Belgian through and through, and his restaurant was one of the first to celebrate the cuisine here. Belga's Belgian beer list is so extensive that when diners want to order, they are handed a book. But for those who are overwhelmed looking through a tome for the perfect pint, just ask one of the knowledgeable bartenders.

3. Bier Baron Tavern

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1523 22nd St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20037
(202) 293-1885
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The West End beer haven has pretty much everything for everyone. With 600 beers in its lineup and a tap list that's always changing, drinkers can get local brews and lots of not-so-local beers as well. Because change ups are always happening, it's like every visit is the first time.

4. Biergarten Haus

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1355 H St NE
Washington DC, D.C. 20003
(202) 388-4053
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It's pretty well-established that Germans know beer. So when a German beer hall comes to the neighborhood, German beer will be flowing. H Street's Biergarten Haus has plenty of beers (or biers) available, and not one of them is from anywhere nearby.

5. Burger Tap & Shake (BTS)

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2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20052
(202) 587-6258
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The second word in the restaurant's name is "tap". So BTS better deliver. And it does with more than a dozen ales and half a dozen lagers from across the U.S. Plus, with happy hour drafts running at $5 and $6 or $7 after happy hour is over, it's also a solid deal for the neighborhood.

6. ChurchKey

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1337 14th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20005
(202) 567-2576
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The mecca for beer lovers for sure. The bar above Birch & Barley has such an extensive bottle list that it runs for more than 30 pages. Fortunately it's draft list isn't a novella, but there are still more than 50 beers to choose from. East Coast, West Coast and international beers are all represented.

7. City Tap House

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901 I St. NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20536
(202) 644-9433
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City Tap House emphasizes craft brewed beers. And it's no joke when checking out its beer menu. There's everything from the popular Allagash White to Michigan's Founder's Porter to Anchor IPA out of California. From coast to coast, there is a beer right for everyone.

8. Dacha Beer Garden

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1600 7th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20001
(202) 524-8790
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This Shaw beer garden is often packed with happy imbibers hoisting heavy boots of beer. What kind of beer? German beer. Unfortunately, the boots are so popular they have been hoisted out of the beer garden. But that noise has got to stop.

9. Galaxy Hut

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2711 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 525-8646
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Arlingtonians need to drink, too. Fortunuately Galaxy Hut has them covered with 28 beers on tap with an emphasis on craft and small-batch brews. Galaxy does some beer that's local and other that's far away. All they care about is if it's good.

10. Meridian Pint

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3400 11th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20010
(202) 588-1075
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Meridian Pint on Columbia Heights's 11th Street is a watering hole staple. Its website is updated constantly to give revelers a pretty-much real time look at the number of casks, taps and bottles. At the time of this writing, the numbers were 1, 24 and 121. And look out for another Pint to come to Brookland in a few years.

11. Red Derby

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3718 14th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20010
(202) 291-5000
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Don't expect beers to come out of anything but a can here. The menu is updated all the time. And by menu, we mean the bar's huge chalk board. This place is cash-only and not pretentious at all. Let your hair down when throwing back can after can after can. And save the "consultant talk" for someplace else.

12. R.F.D. Washington

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810 7th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20001
(202) 289-2030
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The sister bar to DC's bar of legend Brickseller, RFD in Chinatown has a huge list of beers by the draft and a small book of beers by the bottle. The range of beers is far and wide. And even the URL for this place shows patrons how much these guys love beer.

13. Sauf Haus

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1216 18th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20036
(202) 466-3355
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The newest kid on the block, Sauf Haus is all about beer and pretzels. (Which is a pretty amazing combo.) All 16 drafts from Dupont Circle's beer garden are German beer. These guys would give Dacha a run for their money if they weren't separated by more than a dozen blocks.

14. Smoke & Barrel

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2471 18th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20009
(202) 319-9353
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A change of pace for those doing the usual 18th Street bar crawl in Adams Morgan, Smoke & Barrel gives patrons glasses of quality beer. There are 24 beers on tap, more than a dozen bottled and another dozen in cans. Plus, paired with some BBQ, there's no need to go anywhere else to continue the neighborhood's bar crawl.

15. Daikaya

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705 6th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20001
(202) 589-1600
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Looking for a Japanese beer? Find such offerings as Echigo, Hitachino Nest and Ryujin Oze no Yukidoke at this izakaya.

16. Hill Country Barbecue Market

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410 7th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20004
(202) 556-2050
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Hill Country takes its Texas roots seriously, so find just about every variety of Shiner that there is at this barbecue joint.

17. Russia House Restaurant & Lounge

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1800 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20009
(202) 234-9433
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Looking for beers from Russia, Ukraine or even Lithuania? Vodka may be the emphasis here, but you can find such beers at Russia House as well.

18. The Queen Vic

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1206 H St NE
Washington DC, D.C. 20002
(202) 396-2001
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Fans of British and Indian beers, from Crabbies to Kingfisher, can turn to this true English pub.

19. Pizzeria Paradiso

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2003 P St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20036
(202) 223-1245
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Pizzeria Paradiso was one of the city's pioneering beer bars, and their list is epic, ranging from Belgian varieties to domestic craft beer standouts.

1. Bayou Bakery

1515 N Courthouse Rd, Arlington, VA 22201
Bayou Bakery brings Louisiana to Northern Virginia, and that includes its beers. Chef David Guas has locked it down with Louisiana's Abita Brewery so expect the whole lineup, including the brewery's famous Purple Haze.
1515 N Courthouse Rd
Arlington, VA 22201

2. Belga Cafe

514 8th St SE, Washington DC, D.C. 20003
Bart Vandaele is a Belgian through and through, and his restaurant was one of the first to celebrate the cuisine here. Belga's Belgian beer list is so extensive that when diners want to order, they are handed a book. But for those who are overwhelmed looking through a tome for the perfect pint, just ask one of the knowledgeable bartenders.
514 8th St SE
Washington DC, D.C. 20003

3. Bier Baron Tavern

1523 22nd St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20037
The West End beer haven has pretty much everything for everyone. With 600 beers in its lineup and a tap list that's always changing, drinkers can get local brews and lots of not-so-local beers as well. Because change ups are always happening, it's like every visit is the first time.
1523 22nd St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20037

4. Biergarten Haus

1355 H St NE, Washington DC, D.C. 20003
It's pretty well-established that Germans know beer. So when a German beer hall comes to the neighborhood, German beer will be flowing. H Street's Biergarten Haus has plenty of beers (or biers) available, and not one of them is from anywhere nearby.
1355 H St NE
Washington DC, D.C. 20003

5. Burger Tap & Shake (BTS)

2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20052
The second word in the restaurant's name is "tap". So BTS better deliver. And it does with more than a dozen ales and half a dozen lagers from across the U.S. Plus, with happy hour drafts running at $5 and $6 or $7 after happy hour is over, it's also a solid deal for the neighborhood.
2200 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20052

6. ChurchKey

1337 14th St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20005
The mecca for beer lovers for sure. The bar above Birch & Barley has such an extensive bottle list that it runs for more than 30 pages. Fortunately it's draft list isn't a novella, but there are still more than 50 beers to choose from. East Coast, West Coast and international beers are all represented.
1337 14th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20005

7. City Tap House

901 I St. NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20536
City Tap House emphasizes craft brewed beers. And it's no joke when checking out its beer menu. There's everything from the popular Allagash White to Michigan's Founder's Porter to Anchor IPA out of California. From coast to coast, there is a beer right for everyone.
901 I St. NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20536

8. Dacha Beer Garden

1600 7th St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20001
This Shaw beer garden is often packed with happy imbibers hoisting heavy boots of beer. What kind of beer? German beer. Unfortunately, the boots are so popular they have been hoisted out of the beer garden. But that noise has got to stop.
1600 7th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20001

9. Galaxy Hut

2711 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201
Arlingtonians need to drink, too. Fortunuately Galaxy Hut has them covered with 28 beers on tap with an emphasis on craft and small-batch brews. Galaxy does some beer that's local and other that's far away. All they care about is if it's good.
2711 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

10. Meridian Pint

3400 11th St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20010
Meridian Pint on Columbia Heights's 11th Street is a watering hole staple. Its website is updated constantly to give revelers a pretty-much real time look at the number of casks, taps and bottles. At the time of this writing, the numbers were 1, 24 and 121. And look out for another Pint to come to Brookland in a few years.
3400 11th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20010

11. Red Derby

3718 14th St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20010
Don't expect beers to come out of anything but a can here. The menu is updated all the time. And by menu, we mean the bar's huge chalk board. This place is cash-only and not pretentious at all. Let your hair down when throwing back can after can after can. And save the "consultant talk" for someplace else.
3718 14th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20010

12. R.F.D. Washington

810 7th St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20001
The sister bar to DC's bar of legend Brickseller, RFD in Chinatown has a huge list of beers by the draft and a small book of beers by the bottle. The range of beers is far and wide. And even the URL for this place shows patrons how much these guys love beer.
810 7th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20001

13. Sauf Haus

1216 18th St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20036
The newest kid on the block, Sauf Haus is all about beer and pretzels. (Which is a pretty amazing combo.) All 16 drafts from Dupont Circle's beer garden are German beer. These guys would give Dacha a run for their money if they weren't separated by more than a dozen blocks.
1216 18th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20036

14. Smoke & Barrel

2471 18th St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20009
A change of pace for those doing the usual 18th Street bar crawl in Adams Morgan, Smoke & Barrel gives patrons glasses of quality beer. There are 24 beers on tap, more than a dozen bottled and another dozen in cans. Plus, paired with some BBQ, there's no need to go anywhere else to continue the neighborhood's bar crawl.
2471 18th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20009

15. Daikaya

705 6th St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20001
Looking for a Japanese beer? Find such offerings as Echigo, Hitachino Nest and Ryujin Oze no Yukidoke at this izakaya.
705 6th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20001

Related Maps

16. Hill Country Barbecue Market

410 7th St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20004
Hill Country takes its Texas roots seriously, so find just about every variety of Shiner that there is at this barbecue joint.
410 7th St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20004

17. Russia House Restaurant & Lounge

1800 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20009
Looking for beers from Russia, Ukraine or even Lithuania? Vodka may be the emphasis here, but you can find such beers at Russia House as well.
1800 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20009

18. The Queen Vic

1206 H St NE, Washington DC, D.C. 20002
Fans of British and Indian beers, from Crabbies to Kingfisher, can turn to this true English pub.
1206 H St NE
Washington DC, D.C. 20002

19. Pizzeria Paradiso

2003 P St NW, Washington DC, D.C. 20036
Pizzeria Paradiso was one of the city's pioneering beer bars, and their list is epic, ranging from Belgian varieties to domestic craft beer standouts.
2003 P St NW
Washington DC, D.C. 20036

Related Maps