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Capitol City Brewing

Not Rated.
Capitol City BrewingCapitol City Brewing
BA SCORE
85
very good

49 Ratings
Ratings: 49
Reviews: 49
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 10.24%
Active Beers: 0
Beer Ratings: 0
Beer Avg: 0
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

2 Massachusetts Ave NE
Washington, District of Columbia, 20002-4949
United States
phone: (202) 842-2337
// CLOSED //



Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 49 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by BeerSox:
Photo of BeerSox
3.7/5  rDev -0.3%

Located just north of the Capitol Building and right next to Union Station (Amtrak, MARC, and D.C. Metro). It's also walkable to several other Metro stops, as well as (obviously) several sight seeing spots. This is a great place to go after walking the length of the National Mall.

The location is right next to the National Post Office Museum, and is either an old post office or bank (there is a vault door near the bar). There is a sign among some very tall pillars in an older style building. The area is very long, with the kitchen way on the left and a long oval bar with plenty of stools. There is also an upstairs area with more booths that lead up to some brewing equipment. In the middle of the bar is also some tall tanks that I assume are for fermentation, or possibly just decoration.

There were about 8 beers on tap, including their regulars: Pale Rider Ale, Prohibition Porter, and the other two I can't remember. I had the ESB which didn't impress me, but the Pale Ale was pretty solid. Their Porter is really good as well, hopefully it's as good as the other locations. The price per beer is reasonable, especially for the area.

There is a wide variety of choices on the food menu, also a step above normal bar food. It's definitely a place to have a good meal.

There's another location in downtown D.C. which isn't too far from this one. There's also one in Arlington, VA. A cool looking place along with decent beer. If you've been wandering around the Capitol Hill area this is probably the spot to head to afterward. Recommended.

BeerSox, May 12, 2009
More User Reviews:
Photo of dafizzif
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%

Tried a sampler of 6 their different ales (and ordered an IPA that never came, so marks off for service).
Of all the beers, my whole party and I liked the Fuel (Coffee infused RIS) the most. The selection of beers was solid overall and the only beer I didn't really like was the Kolsch. Good, solid brews, but nothing too special.
The food was actually quite good. My Hickory BBQ Burger was cooked very well and they kept the soft pretzels (a personal favorite, so this review is a bit biased) stocked. We split a dessert 7 ways that was kind of forgettable, but nice (should have gotten more of the Fuel to go with it).
Had a great time with an awesome group.

dafizzif, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of jrallen34
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%

In DC for 2 hours, this was my first stop so I could tick a DC beer. Located in one of the many Smithsonian museums and right next to Union Station this is easy to find, meaning its also touristy in appearance and quality. The place is new looking and cleaning inside, but sterile, no personality to it. Too big to be a nice cozy brew pub. Metal casks in the middle of the bar, some brewing equipment on the second flood that you don't have access to...A beer draft menu of 8 beers, 4 regular and 4 rotating. Represented a variety of styles, a little heavy on easy drinking easy appealing beers. The beers are average brew pub quality. The server was not very knowledgeable about their brewing process or other area beer haunts. Offered us decent selections of their beers.

A place to get your DC tick but this is totally touristy and you can tell in both the location, atmosphere and beer selection.

jrallen34, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of SShelly
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%

Ate and drank at the postal service location after a long day on the mall.

8 house beers on tap, maybe half sounded interesting, went with the beire de gaurde, actually a tasty beer but not a bdg. More of a malty hefeweizen, lots of banana and clove with backend sweetness, still pretty tasty.

The food was decent but nothing to write home about, had bratwurst two ways, neither wowed me, but nothing offended as well.

Overall a nice place to grab a beer and bite after playing tourist all day but not really somewhere I'd actively seek to go find new/entertaining beer.

SShelly, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.1/5  rDev -16.4%

Overall impression was that this place was more about the scenery and tourist aspect moreso than a true beer destination.

Usual suspects in a brewpub. Light, pale, porter, stout, red, brown etc. . . the ones I tried (ipa, pale, stout) all had that similar taste, or yeast strain that you often find, you know, when a brewery's beers all have that similar tasting vein in them. You see it a lot with homebrewers too.

The food was overpriced, I dunno, for almost $70 total, a couple of burgers and pints should do more for me than this. Nothing was bad, don't get me wrong. Nothing was particularly memorable either, other than the stuff outside. Just kind of left with a meh feeling.

Beerandraiderfan, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Situated in the Postal Square building, this place consists of a long, somewhat narrow room surrounding a copper-covered rectangular bar area. It's pretty well-lit and has only a couple TVs for the viewing of the sports, etc. It's a bit on the noisy side (or, at least, it was around 1:45pm on a Wednesday afternoon), but not overly so; there was no ambient music cluttering the air, either. There is a decent selection of brews to choose from, though I felt that they leaned toward the lighter end of the color spectrum, lacking any stouts and having only a porter and a bock to represent the darker aspects of the brewer's art. At the bar, the servers are semi-attentive, but seemed slow and generally uninterested, though they were relatively knowledgeable about their house brews. From what I could tell/taste, the food is quite good: I had the flat-iron steak with smashed potatoes and veggies. It was very tasty, nicely seasoned, and perfectly cooked. The dishes I saw around me also looked rather good. The only real knock against this place would be the prices, which I thought were a bit on the expensive side. That said, this place is a definite must if in the Capitol Hill area.

TMoney2591, Feb 25, 2010
Photo of pzrhsau
3.28/5  rDev -11.6%

Atmosphere: Good lighting, wood paneling, giant brass fermenting tanks in the middle of the bar. Good seating and very lively.
Quality: The beer could be better. They seem to have a couple beers year round that work really well, but most of the beers were not very satisfying.
Good service: The wait staff really knows about the beers on tap and they really try to encourage you to try a lot of them.
Selection: All in-house beer. Usually a lot of different types.
Food: Good Food that does well to pair with the different beers.
Value: This place seems to be on the right track but I did feel like I wanted to get more for my money.

pzrhsau, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of beer2day
3.9/5  rDev +5.1%

I really like the feel of this place, having been coming here over 10 years but visting this past weekend for the first time in a very long time.

High, arching ceilings. Can get very noisy during the week, but the crowds aren't so bad on the weekends. Some outside seating, though that wasn't much of a factor on a 26 degree January day.

Very good selection of beers with 9 on tap, covering a wide vareity of styles. Their beers aren't world class but are all very serviceable. Their 2010 was particularly good.

Service has always been punctual here. Maybe I've been lucky, but the servers I've had did know something about the beers they pour - even quoting hops, malts, and abv for most of them.

Food is upscale bar with sandwiches and pizza dominating. Prices are pretty reasonable for the area.

Easy to find off the Union Station Metro stop. Worth a spin if you are in the area.

beer2day, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of glid02
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%

Finally got to taste a local brew here after missing out the first few times.

Atmosphere is good. It's a huge place with high ceilings and a giant bar with seating available on all sides after walking in the door. A good amount of TV's are scattered about. It looked like extra seating was available upstairs and there's a raised floor near the back.

Quality is good. Everything was in unmarked pint glasses at a good temperature with good amounts of head.

Service is good. I didn't wait long after sitting at the bar to place my order and everything came out promptly. The waitress was very friendly.

Selection is good. I believe there were 4-5 that were staples and 3-4 seasonals, from a pale to a stout to a pumpkin.

Food is good. I had a bowl of potato soup and was pleasantly surprised.

Value is good. Drinks were fairly cheap and the food was similarly priced.

Overall the beers were nothing special but they were solid and the food was not bad either. I would recommend the District Chophouse first if you're looking for a brewpub but this isn't a bad second option.

glid02, Nov 08, 2009
Photo of drabmuh
3.48/5  rDev -6.2%

The union station location is slightly different than the other location, closer to the white house. This place is basically an oval bar with a bunch of booths around it and an upstairs balony that stretches around the top of the establishment.

I sat at the bar. The service was good. I think the beer selection at this location is slightly better than at the other one, 4 regulars and 4 rotating seasonals. Fun. Beer is all served too cold but whatever, it's craft for the masses.

My bartender was very attentive and if you sit at the bar you can have free soft pretzels which I took advantage of easily. The food is decent if you like "up scale" fast food, the time I was in there it was mostly locals that work down town eating there on a federal half day. Interesting. I don't know if I ever have to go back unless I want to do some sleuthing for new beers that are going on.

drabmuh, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of morebeergood
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%

First stop on our DC pub crawl. Located right near Union Station, it's situated right beside the National Postal Museum. Very large bar room and dining area. Giant brass brewing equipment make nice centerpieces at the bar. Lots of nice window booths. Our waitress was on top of her game: it was so hot outside, and we asked her to keep the water coming, and our glasses never went empty. Our beers and lunch were also served promptly. They had about 8 house beers on tap. The Belgian Wit I had was refreshing, and my wife's Boysenberry beer was fruity but good. The crab cake sandwich was a bit dry but still tasteful. Prices were very reasonable. A very nice start to our day of drinking in DC.

morebeergood, Aug 07, 2009
Photo of sofraj
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%

I've been here several times now and find that it is unfortunately average. It's a shame as with it's location and historical home in the national Postal Museum it should be top notch.

The seating hostess was overly casual witch is fine for my hometown country diner but not DC. Shouting out the table number back to the host station over my head was not the classiest act.

We first ordered the Amber Waves Ale and the brown ale. The Amber Waves was quite good with a darker color, good aroma and pleasant hoppiness. My brown ale was not a brown ale. When I asked if they poured a porter by mistake the waitress said all their beers were darker than normal. OK, so I taste it and it is a porter. That's OK, too, I like porters. But I ordered a brown ale. We also had a Saison which was stylistically good although not typically to my taste. I don't particularly care for fruity beers.

My wife's cobb salad was good and good size. My pizza was no better than Safeway frozen but reasonably good. In the past I've hed their hamburgers which are huge and tasty.

On a final try just before leaving I asked for a sample of the porter. Suspicion confirmed. My first beer was definitely not a brown ale.

sofraj, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of joe1510
3.73/5  rDev +0.5%

I stopped by Capital Brewery on a recent trip to DC. It was my first stop on a mini beer tour of the city. The restaurant/brewery is large with very high ceilings in a big limestone building across the street from Union Station. The oval bar could seat a ton of people and is located at the right side of the building while the restaurant seating is on the left. Windows line the wall and let in natural light while letting you look out to the bustling street. Five copper serving tanks stand shoulder to shoulder behind the bar. The overall atmosphere is open and comfortable although a little on the chain-looking side of things.

I sampled a few of their beers. There are 4 regular beers on the menu and at the time of my visit there were 4 seasonals. The seasonals were nothing to get very excited about besides the Fuel Coffee Stout that was pouring. The regular line-up was ho-hum as well. All the beer was solid but rather boring. The service was good. I stopped in early in the day so the place was pretty bare but the bartender was talkative and friendly while giving me some advice on other drinking spots around the city. No food was ordered on this visit but a quick look through the menu showed higher than normal prices for average uninspired pub grub.

I'd stop by Capital City again on my next visit to DC. It's centrally located and a nice little break throughout the day. There's also a nice seating area outdoors right on the street that looked like a very comfortable place to hang out for an hour or two.

joe1510, May 13, 2009
Photo of MuddyFeet
3.43/5  rDev -7.5%

Great location for a brewpub right near Capital Hill. I was in town for a conference only two blocks away and stumbled across it by accident. In an older, government building (I think it is an old post office) with large pillars and high enough ceiling for some of the brewing apparatus to be right out in the open. TVs are in awkward places though if sitting in the bar.

They had about 10 or so beers on tap. Some seasonals in addition to the regular offerings. All were at least fairly solid. Service was a tad slow. I sat at the bar but it was tough to get the keep's attention when my beer ran low or when I was ready to order. I got the hickory burger and it was soso. The fries were cold and limp.

MuddyFeet, Jan 31, 2009
Photo of thekanna
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

When you walk into this restaurant, it's very impressive and you get the feeling you walked into some old late 1800's upper class brewpub: majestic columns, tall ceilings, polished copper vats. Overall very nice decor. They really spent time making the place.

Everything else about it though is quite average. My server wasn't very knowledgeable about the beers there. The food is very standard pub fare, nothing exciting. The beers... eh, what can I say? Capitol City Brewing has some decent beers, but nothing that sticks out. The porter tastes like a porter; the kolsch like a kolsch. Nothing fancy, just handed plain and simple to you. That's really the bottom line.

thekanna, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of Big78CJ
3.18/5  rDev -14.3%

The best thing about Capitol City for me was its close proximity to Union Station as I was going to hit some political stores for Obama inauguration gear.

The atmosphere is kind of cool because it is such a tall building. Typical view of brew kettles and other brewing equipment but much cleaner/polished looking than at some cooler brewpubs (e.g., Mountain Sun in Boulder, CO).

Our waiter was a nice guy and knew so much about beer that he was able to tell me that "the Election ale is brewed with hops AND malt." I stopped asking questions after that.

They had about 8 different beers available that day and the Election ale was pretty good. They have a decent Capitol Kolsch also.

The food was a bit better than standard pub grub but not much. They had a stout ale chili that was pretty good.

I am pretty sure the prices were actually reasonable for a D.C. establishment too. You should not feel bad if you miss this place but if you are nearby, it is worth a stop for a beer and some grub.

Big78CJ, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev +7.8%

After having lunch at the New York location, we stopped in here for dinner. This is located next to Union Station, in the Postal Museum. Not an overly large place, but seating on two levels. Large bar area in the middle.

Again, the standard beers on tap with a few extras thrown in.

Service was good, and pretty quick. Our beers were solid. Food again was very good, and not outrageous for dinner.

All in all, both locations were enjoyable. Both had good service, and the tap list may vary slightly, but all of the beers seem to be better than average. A good choice while in town.

Bierguy5, Jul 18, 2008
Photo of slander
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%

Dude, I ain't been to DC since I was like 11, I'm due. I recall the beer selection at the Smithsonian totally sucking, so note to self, we're definitely not going back there. Maybe hop over the line to Virginia, maybe not, probably not, it's a bit ambitious. Still, the day's ours as the SAVOR session's not 'til 6:30. We've got some time for exploration of samplers about town; a fairly easy walk from the in laws...

Schnickel Fritz Mike and I got a-walking. Hadn't ett as of yet, so a light bite might be in order, sure. So Capitol, it's a big, pillared Post Office looking place, seemingly smaller inside than the enormity you feel on approach. Towards one end of the room, a center rectangular pressed copper topped and piping foot railed bar with crescent bowing ends, seating about 4 dozen all the way around and back again. Tucked inside, a row of 5 large banded copper serving tanks; 3 in the middle separated from the ones on each end by tiered booze in between and blackboards above displaying tap selections. Towers of 10 taps in all 4 sides of the bar.

Red leather booths in a raised step up running the length of the room longways along the inside and outside walls, a dozen angled square tables in between leading from the bar back to a busy open kitchen, and handful of bar tables on the far side of the bar. Steel girders at each end of the room supporting overhangs. The one over the kitchen holds the fermenters in a pen, the pieces at the other end and above the inside wall hold booths and tables. White pillars and cross trims with yellow inners, worn wood floors. Big postal murals on the back wall upstairs. Inside wall is like a postal window panel, and the outer wall is tall blinded windows. Drop cylinder lamps above the room from end to end in 2 rows plus alternating lower drop and mounted lamps over the booths and spots throughout. Mounted TV's here and there, and awkward mounted swing hinge vertical boards in places I don't know how they get to them to update.

5 beers on the sampler, or you can play up to 8, which we did, whoop, down to 7, the Hefe kicked. The Capitol Kolsch, crisp, clean, slightly floral, and a bit bitter; Prohibition Porter, roasty chocolate & coffee, sturdy; Amber Waves Ale, sweet aroma but hoppy and bitter too; Pale Rider Ale, very hoppy for a Pale Ale and a good bitterness; and seasonals Fuel, an Impy with coffee and lots of it on inkiness alcohol; Dry Irish Stout, thinnish, slight roastiness, oaty; and St. Adrian's Alt, nicely malty, a very pleasant version. I liked the Prohibition Porter & St. Adrian's Alt the best; Mike liked the Dry Irish Stout.

And that bit a bite, we split the Washington Wings, Teriyaki. They were good wings, but there were 9 of them, and we had to rock paper scissors for the last one. And I'm going to be honest with you, I don't know if the chicken involved were local. And hey, I pay taxes, can I write this off, I wonder? 'cause a whole lot of people here are, you can just tell.

Servers served and the food fed. Had a couple of good brews, the others were fair. It's a kind of cool room, but really shitty acoustics. Onward.

slander, Jul 01, 2008
Photo of Chugmonkey
4/5  rDev +7.8%

I ate here a few times mostly due to the location - near the Capital area where I was working/staying. I loved the beers. The food and service was great everytime I was there. If you are in the mood for some wings & good beer this worked great for me.

Was really busy everytime I went, but service and food was great. It's not upscale, more burgers, wings, etc. I would most certainly go back if I was staying in the area again. I'm sure there are lots of better restaurants in the immediate area, but for an out-of-towner it is a pretty safe bet to check out.

Chugmonkey, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of scoobybrew
3.6/5  rDev -3%

The wife and I stopped at Capitol City Brewing after checking out the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill. The place is just across from Union Station and has a great location if you're out sightseeing at that end of the Mall. We sat outside in a stone-walled cafe area. It was a warm day, but still fairly comfortable. We got a sampler. All beers seemed decent, but I think that the kölsch and hefeweizen needed a little more age as they were a bit sulfury: not so out-of-place for the German styles, but a bit strong. The rest were tasty though and I settled on the American amber, which was nicely done. The waiter seemed to know his beer and was very pleasant. It seemed like getting our beers was a little slow, but it always feels this way when you're thirsty! The food was very good. I'd stop here again if in the area.

scoobybrew, Jun 23, 2008
Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.06/5  rDev +9.4%

Hey we started a recent DC pub-crawl at the Mass. Avenue location. Easy to find from Union Station metro, even for a bunch of hillbillies from West Virginia.

The atmosphere here is great. Copper vessels behind the bar, and fermentation tanks visible on the next level. Bartender was friendly, although he seemed a bit taken aback when we all ordered a sampler. He got over it!

Interesting, we met the head brewer Mike, who used to be asst. brewer at WV Brewing Company. He recognized one of the guys in our group as a former regular there. Was very chatty with us and glad to see we started our DC pub-crawl there.

We didn't have any food, just a sampler and a pint. Apparently Mike or the manager saw fit to comp us our beers as we were given a check for $0. Nice surprise but not necessary. This is a great place to hang out on a Friday afternoon.

ZimZamZoom, Apr 15, 2008
Photo of HopHead1982
4.55/5  rDev +22.6%

After killing an afternoon down on the national mall at the cherry blossom festival, this was an excellent end to the evening. Since it was a weekend and most of the businesses were closed, there wasn't much of a wait. Sampled almost everything they had to offer, but found myself have multiple porters. All of the beer was at least a 4.0 (good) and the porter, and the amber were 5.0's (excellent). I thought both of them were extremely well done and held true to their respective styles. Food was decent, but I would definitely return for the beer whenever I am in D.C. again. If you find yourself in to District, this is definitely not a waste of time. It is worth the trip.

HopHead1982, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of wvukb
3.55/5  rDev -4.3%

If you are interested in an evening out at a unique place enjoying some decent craft beer in DC, go to Capitol City Brewing. The building has the feel of a train station with its large stone columns and tile floor. When the weather permits, I'd recommend sitting outside. They have a great patio area that is perfect for people watching - especially since its so close to the Capitol. I tried the sampler. The beer was good, not great - although their Prohibition Porter was tasty enough I ordered a second glass. In addition to the porter, the sampler consisted of their Amber Waves Red, Capitol Kolsh and Pale Rider Ale. Seasonals included a Nut Brown Ale, Blackout Stout and Bull Run Bitter. If you're staying for dinner, consider the Citrus Grilled Chicken or the Meatloaf, for an appetizer I recommend the Stout Ale chili.

wvukb, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of Bamabrew22
4.43/5  rDev +19.4%

Great place to grab a quality brew, within steps of the US Capitol Building. Absolutely beautiful setting in the Old Post office museum. Atmosphere on a Friday night was hopping, with lots of young people and even a few families. Great food and an awesome selection of micro-brewed beers. Not a site to be missed on a tour of DC. I was really impressed with the service, as it was extremely crowded. A little noisy, but after a few of their excellent brews, you don't mind so much. The Fuel and Pale Rider are excellent choices. I hear the Porter is good as well, but just ran out of time. Will definitely go back to this place.

Bamabrew22, Jan 14, 2008
Photo of 86sportster883
3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Forget the Food Court,
and go have a Beer

Located on the Mass Ave side of the Smithsonian Postal Museum, Capitol City Brewing is literally a stones throw from the SW entrance of Union Station and the Metro Redline. I had an hour to kill before my train departure and stopped in Capital City for a late lunch during mid-week. I ordered a sampler that included the:

Capitol Kolsch - a nice clean crystal clear golden ale with great balance and a dry finish.
Pale Rider - A little over hopped for an APA.
Amber Waves - Pleasantly hopped and very drinkable; probably my favorite.
Bull Run Bitter - A solid English style best bitter.
Prohibition Porter - Good hop/malt balance.

For lunch I ordered the Rueben which was one of the best that I've had, and I've had a few. The pastrami was super lean (it almost melted in your mouth) and served on soft marbled rye - excellent!

CCB is a cavernous place, with a large bar and ample booth and table seating on two levels. Five 15 BBL copper serving tanks serve as the room's centerpiece, while stainless steel fermentation tanks can be seen on the 2nd level, above the kitchen in the back. A massive safe door by the entrance appears to be a museum piece that was too heavy to relocate. The place certainly has character and the decor achieves a harmonious blend of old and new.

Overall, the service was fast, attentive & professional (why not, the place was empty), my food came out fast, and both the food and the beers were very good. I will definitely be back.

86sportster883, Jan 10, 2008
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Capitol City Brewing in Washington, DC
85 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.