4 Best Beer Bars in Washington, DC


Washington, D.C., is an excellent destination for beer snobs and aficionados of aged beers. With dozens of breweries and beer-centric bars, there’s a delightful mix of beers, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Here are four of the best beer bars in Washington, D.C. Each one offers a unique drinking experience, from classic American brews to international selections, including Belgian beers and German beers. So, if you’re looking for a great place to drink a cold one or even enjoy barrel-aged cocktails, check out one of these excellent beer bars!

Pizzeria Paradiso

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One of the best curated and delicious beer lists in town, featuring draft beer and bottles of beer, can be found at Pizzeria Paradiso, a D.C. beer scene mainstay that dresses up as a pizzeria. The menu changes with the seasons to suit the traditional fare available, and there are always suggestions for beer and pizza pairings if you need them. If you order by the flight, you can sample the sour Brett beer or cherry-infused cider that might otherwise be too adventurous.

The website for Pizzeria Paradiso features a forward-thinking layout that offers a nearly real-time beer menu, complete with long-form bottles, rare brews, and a “Coming Soon” section that teases future beer delights. Perhaps the best thing about Pizzeria Paradiso is that beer connoisseurs can bring their less enlightened (OK, annoyingly obsessive) friends to enjoy some of the more popular beers from breweries like Sam Adams and Allagash. If you are a beer lover, you will surely love this spot, especially its outdoor beer garden.

Highline RXR

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You won’t find your average beer at this establishment. Instead of a typical bottle shop, think of it as a tap bar with a dozen beers on tap from places as far-flung as Belgium, Germany, Austria, Virginia, Michigan, and California. They have eight different wines available by the glass and make unique drinks like the Paloma Radlier, which is a tequila highball enhanced with Stigl Grapefruit Radler.

The funky dried fruit tastes of the Duchesse Bourgogne from Belgium and the dry crispness of Germany’s Gaffel Kolsch are two of the best beers around. The vibe is much funkier than the food. While there may not be any rust here, the RxR’s huge main hall has a bare, industrial aesthetic that belies the name. The space has a look and feels of a workshop, with concrete flooring, steel benches, and rough-hewn workbenches.

Beer drinking isn’t complete without a decent view, and Highline provides that in spades. When the weather is nice, the entire exterior wall of the restaurant slides open, transforming it into a pioneering beer garden overlooking Crystal Drive at dusk.

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Greg Engert, who is in charge of the beer program at both ChurchKey and The Sovereign, is responsible for the extensive and well-considered beer list. ChurchKey has an extensive selection of beers on tap and in bottles and a special cask program. ChurchKey’s sibling restaurant, Birch and Barley, is located directly below it and serves up excellent brunch and modern American fare. ChurchKey has gained legendary status over the years and is an essential stop for anybody interested in learning more about D.C.’s beer industry, including those interested in giant beers.

Smoke & Barrel

BBQ at Smoke & Barrel, run by the same people behind Meridian Pint, is still advertised as a hidden gem for beer aficionados. Amazing barbeque, surprisingly many vegetarian options (which is… fairly cute, considering), an extensive whiskey collection, and a changing range of rare, seasonal, and great beers are just the icing on the cake here. I don’t understand why Smoke & Barrel can excel in three different areas while the rest of us can’t even pick just one. 

Get in the spirit with a sampler of superbly curated drafts and a brisket plate (or vegan spare ribs). It’s the perfect spot for a rainy-day food experience.

What Beer is DC Known For?

Washington, D.C., known for its vibrant and diverse beer scene, is particularly celebrated for its craft beers. The city’s breweries excel in producing a wide array of styles, with a significant focus on aged beers and barrel-aged cocktails. These creative brews often feature unique flavors, combining traditional brewing techniques with local ingredients.

Among these, the Belgian beers and German beers inspired creations stand out, reflecting the city’s cosmopolitan influence. D.C.’s craft beer scene is not just about the beer; it’s a reflection of the city’s diversity of neighborhoods, each contributing its unique flair to the overall beer culture. This rich variety makes the city a must-visit destination for beer enthusiasts looking to explore giant beers, natural wines, and an expansive mix of beers.

What is the Most Popular Beer in Washington DC?

In Washington, D.C., the most popular beer varies depending on the crowd and setting, but there’s a notable preference for locally brewed craft beers. Among these, IPAs and Pale Ales often top the list, appreciated for their bold flavors and innovative brewing methods. These beers are commonly found in D.C.’s numerous beer-centric establishments, including beer halls and neighborhood beer gardens.

Patrons also show a growing interest in draft beer and beer in cans from local breweries, which often feature distinctive designs and branding reflective of the city’s culture. Furthermore, the popularity of aged beers and seasonal brews indicates the locals’ evolving palate, always eager to try something new and exciting. This trend towards local and unique brews underlines Washington D.C.’s role as a pioneering city in the American craft beer movement, making it an exciting destination for beer lovers.

Where To Dine?

There are a few reasons why people love beers at Washington, D.C. One reason is that the city has a large number of breweries, which means there is a wide variety of local beers to choose from, including beer in cans and natural wines. In addition, D.C.’s restaurant scene is booming, and many restaurants offer unique beer menus with selections from all over the world. Finally, D.C. is home to some of the country’s most passionate beer lovers, so there’s always someone around to recommend a delicious new brew to try, maybe even an Extravagant Afternoon Tea with a twist.

Whether you are looking for a place to watch the game or enjoy a good brew, these five beer bars are sure to please. Each spot on our list offers something unique and has something to offer to everyone who visits, including those interested in the diversity of neighborhoods and the editorial process behind creating such a vibrant beer scene. So, if you find yourself in the nation’s capital, check out one of these establishments, possibly using Google Maps for easy navigation.