Dogfish Head Alehouse

Not Rated.
Dogfish Head AlehouseDogfish Head Alehouse

46 Ratings
Ratings: 46
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: n/a
Taps: 15
Bottles: 20
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

13041 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy
Fairfax, Virginia, 22033-2001
United States
phone: (703) 961-1140

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: guild337 on 08-21-2009

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Ratings: 46 | Reviews: 29
Reviews by smanders:
Photo of smanders
3.83/5  rDev -9.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

We were anticipating the opening of this place for at least 6 months so when they held a "soft opening" on a Tuesday, we were pretty stoked. Same top-quality beers, same ultra-friendly waitstaff, and same pub food (wings, nachos, etc.) that you'll find at any DFH Alehouse, AND it's right around the corner from Total Wine. After enjoying a tasty beverage at the pub, there's no problem picking some up for the house.

The taps usually serve the following:
60 Minute
75 Minute - Personal favorite
90 Minute
Indian Brown Ale
Chicory Stout
Midas Touch
Black and Tan
Palo Santo Maron

...with seasonals thrown in when applicable. For example, the DFH Punkin' is out now and definitely worth a sample. Oh, and don't forget to ask what's in the Vintage Beer Cooler. Cellared selections for the true "beer snob."

Overall this is the place that would be welcome in any neighborhood. Thanks DFH for choosing ours!

More User Reviews:
Photo of Thrashsquatch
4.11/5  rDev -2.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This is like my local cheers bar. Love the vintage nights and special release parties. This place fills up when special events happen but the staff stays on their game. The food here is to die for. Bottles are available for take home. My only gripe would be the pricing is a bit high, but hey what are ya gonna do?

Photo of delta490
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25

I love coming here (and the original in Rehoboth DE). I have had a wide variety of their menu and the food never disappoints. Burgers, sandwiches (both hot and cold), appetizers, desserts, they all are delicious. Then you get the bonus of having a wide variety of the Dogfish Head beer line available (to include some offerings that are difficult to find or only available in their Alehouses) and it makes it just that much better. The service sometimes suffers a little when they are really busy, but not horribly. Just a little bit longer of a wait on getting drinks and food. All in all, I keep coming back.

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75

Atmosphere: It’s located in a strip mall, in its own stand alone building (there is a soccer store located in this building too, but it’s predominately Dogfish Head’s building). Inside, the place is decorated in the typical Dogfish Head style, a cross between beach hut/boathouse, with corrugated tin and maritime accompaniments. The Dogfish Head logo of the shark is everywhere! During happy hour and weekend evenings, it can get very crowded and very loud, but lunchtimes are great times to get in here for some killer food and beer!

Quality and Service: All of the staff are excellent, from the hosts/hostesses, to the servers, to the bartenders, they’re all friendly and professional. The bartenders are always willing to pour tasters of beers that you’ve not tried and the servers are always prompt with their service. Never had a bad experience here.

Selection: The beers, Dogfish Head of course, are always stellar, and they always have a great selection of Dogfish Head beers on tap, usually about 10-15 beers, as well as some vintage bottles available for purchase. They even fill sell and fill growlers! Each beer is poured into a glass appropriate to the style of beer: pints or snifters.

Food: The Ale House serves KILLER pub food. Their fish tacos are outstanding, the flatbread pizzas are excellent, the burgers are fantastic, the fish and chips are solid, the pulled pork sandwich rocks, and their jambalaya pasta is killer!

Overall: This, and its sister location in Falls Church, is one of my favorite brewpubs in the Northern Virginia area. (This location might edge out the Falls Church location because it’s around the corner from a Total Wine!) It serves some of my favorite beer, some really killer bar food and the staff are extremely cool and friendly. The only negative is that there aren’t more of these places in the area. They need about 50 more, and at least one in my back yard!

Photo of MarshallMan
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

What more do I need to say other than ... they've got Dogfish Head beer on tap! Lots of Dogfish Head beer!

I really appreciated the friendly & helpful staff at this place. Being a beer geek the beer selection was epic. The staff was knowledgeable and made some great suggestions. If you go you should try some of the blend recommendations they have.

They also have some great swag. T-shirts, glasses, hats, openers, etc. I got a nice camo DFH Alehouse cap.

It's a can't miss for any beer lover if you are in the area.

Photo of beerenjoyer1
4.83/5  rDev +14.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I really enjoyed the Dogfish Head Ale House in Fairfax, VA. After walking 2.7 miles to get there I was expecting some pretty good stuff and I was not disappointed. Awesome beer selection from the Dogfish Head collection of brews, great service, good food, and a nice atmosphere made the experience all worth the long walk from the hotel. I really enjoyed the hushpuppies but that is just me. The local folks were very nice and had a good knowledge of the Dogfish Head beer selections if I had any questions. Thanks again and I will be back!

Photo of BritCvS
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This is my favorite local place.
Atmosphere is good, slightly noisy at times, but generally fine.
Quality of beer is outstanding.
Service is very good. They know their stuff, and they try hard.
Selection is very good too, though I'd love a tap of "Guest Beer that Inspires Us". On their blog DH sometimes visit other breweries and talk about other brewers, so I figure sharing the love once in a while could be a good thing, and might bring increased distribution elsewhere from time to time in response.
Food good too :)
Overall I'd happily come here for a beer and a bite to eat any time, as it is good value too.

Photo of Chaney
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

"Come to this place on a Saturday night and see if you get a table" - Me

I go to this place a good bit and it's always packed every time I go!

Atmosphere: Located in a strip mall (with a killer Total Wine!) just inside the Fairfax line. Inside, the typical rustic, garbage can-esque DFH decor is all about. The bar and restaurant area is MUCH more spacious than the Falls Church one which is a good thing.

Quality and Service: The beer pretty much speaks for itself, and the food ain't half bad either. I've always had good service here and never really remember having a bad experience of having to wait too long for anything.

Selection: The always have about 10-15 of their brews on tap and BIG note about this place: THEY FILL GROWLERS! Hell, they even fill ones of their high octane stuff like WW Stout (even though it's very pricey).

Food: I've had just about everything on the menu know, and I have to say that of all the food items, my wife and I tend to gravitate towards the wood-fired pizzas. Also, they have the best crab dip in town.... seriously!

Value: The beer is expensive, no doubt, but a lot of love, blood, sweat, tears, money, and waiting around went into that gourmet liquid. I'll willing to swing it for those quality suds! The food prices are typical of most quality bar fare.... only much better.

I highly recommend this place.... and just about any place that has Dogfish in the title.

Photo of gixxerman
4.58/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I have been here about 10 times and it never disappoints! Be sure to try the Randall, or at least inquire as to what they are pulling through it. Yesterday I had the Punkin through cinnamon stix and vanilla beans. I wasn't sure the Punkin could be improved, but it was damn tasty, the vanilla and cinnamon really added some complexity to this already well crafted offering.

The beer speaks for itself. Standard Dogfish offerings, with the limited runs mixed in. Maybe not exotic as Rehoboth, but always good beer. The food is also right on. I have yet to be disappointed, and I have tried most of the menu.

They have some swag for purchase in a small giftshop, and they seem to give a lot of it away as well. I guess I just hit it on the right nights or something, but I have scored a t-shirt, beer coosy, pint glass, and some kind of dogfish puzzle thing.

The staff is always OUTSTANDING. No matter how busy or hectic they are, they are always hustling and attentive, service with a smile.

TVs usually have the local DC sports, or national game on.

I will be back, and you should stop in, worth the trip.

Photo of agomega
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I was able to make it to the Dogfish Head Alehouse twice last month on business travel. On the first trip a friend and I had to kill several hours here since our flight was pretty late at night. This place is very bright and clean. It is basically half bar half restaurant with the bar taking up the central area of the alehouse. It gets a little loud around 7 or 8 since the place is so open, but hey its a bar. The entire staff seemed very friendly and there is a lot of joking around and even a little horseplay which is entertaining. The beer selection is pretty good with almost all of the standard Dogfish Head beers on tap. I was extremely fond of their Black and Tan which mixed 90 minute with Chicory Stout. In talking with the bartender it sounds like they occasionally get some of the more rare releases on tap such as Burton Baton, 120 Minute, WWS, etc. I wasn't that lucky on either of my trips and their prices for bottles of the more rare beers were a little exorbitant for my pocketbook. The food is as good as the beer and I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people in the area go there for the food with no thought for the beer. I had one of their wood fired pizzas on the first trip and a spicy plate of Jambalaya on my second trip and both were excellent.

The Dogfish Head Alehouse is highly recommended if you are in the area.

Photo of Tripphop
4.65/5  rDev +9.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This is my local watering hole. The place is great, I love the staff, they are always friendly and know me by name. The food is top notch and some of the best in town. The tap list struggles due to lame ABC laws that send the Dogfish beer to other bars, but they do well nonetheless. (equal distrobution) My only complaint is the pricing, it is not cheap eats or drinks, I try to only go during happy hour, unless I need that fix after work. The atmosphere is open and comfy, it's a great place to hang out, but be prepared do drop some cash.

Photo of engagechad
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

My wife and I went to this alehouse when we went to Ikea.. Guys.. it's a good trade off. "Honey can we go to Ikea???" "uh.. sure.. can we stop by the alehouse?" - score.

Parking lot was kind of weird but whatever. Walked in and it was decorated like an applebees and felt like an applebees. People were waiting and I was given a pager. It didn't really feel brewpubby, it just kind of felt like an american style grill/bar (applebees, ruby tuesday, outback, etc..)

There is a cool gift shop right in the front and they sell beer there, but there is a Total wine behind the place so why waste your money..

We were seated and were given service right away from a guy named "T". This guy loved his job and really wanted us to be happy. He gave me a sample of the WWS and brought me a pint of the 75 minute IPA.

Food was great, goood burger and awesome fries, but to be honest it was a little pricey for beers. I think it was something like $6 for one beer, and I understand that you get what you pay for most of time with craft beer but I thought that there would be a deal or something because we were kind of getting it straight from the source.. oh well..

It was a great experience and the service was spot on.

Photo of Bentgrass
3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3

Very much a chain feel, not awful - not really a brew pub either.
The staff was friendly but they did have kind of a smugness about them - you know that kind of everything on the menu is 'really good' and any beer you order is 'oh yeah that's a good one', kind of annoying to get a semi-condesending nod from a 22 year old psychology major. Food was decent but nothing at all to rave about - pretty standard stuff. Yes the beers were great, had the India brown ale, chicory stout, 90IPA and the palo santo. Don't think you can find that kind of selection anywhere in western ffx cnty. The only reason to go is for the beer, but that is the only reason I went there. A bit over-hyped, worth going to every now and then, can't imagine being a regular...maybe the bar area is much more fun.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.22/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

This place is a bit further from my home alehouse in Falls Church. The clientle is quite the same but maybe a fewer younger people too. I don't come here unless I'm meeting up with a buddy who lives in the area. That being said, the menu is really nice. They have something for everyone - tons of appetizers, probably 8-10 salad options, pizzas, pastas, burgers, sandwiches, etc. Everything was delicious and VERY generously sized. It's basically all standard American fare. I usually order the Alehouse BBQ burger with grilled asparagus instead of fries (though they are good!). I've had BBQ wings (very good), pizza (very good too), and chicken sandwich (not too shabby). The DFH classics are always available such as 60 minute, 75 minute, 90 minute, midas touch, lawnmower man, etc. I'd recommend going during happy hour for $1 or $2 off beers plus appetizer specials. Monday I think is the burger special and Weds/Thurs is the pizza special. Check on their website before trekking over. I personally like eating at the bar area to people watch and watch tv off their flat screens. I particularly enjoy their DFH ale on draft which arent available in bottles anywhere. Can't go wrong with Immort, Burton Baton, 90 minute, 120 minute, and WWW! However go easy since they price their beers way above what they retail for at Whole Foods or Total Wine.

Photo of gabedivision
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Was there over the past year. Beers were nice and fresh waiter knew everything there was to know about every beer. Selection was good had the usual's that made me me happy, there was the Alehouse 75 that stole my heart, wow so f'n good. The food was decent i got a chicken sandwich, was above av for a beer pub. Everything was more than reasonably priced, we had a good time and did not spend and arm and a leg. Atmosphere however, was terrible, it was great at first, then the band played. It was seriously so loud i couldnt have a conversation, for a little place they were way too loud, actually made me leave. With the exception of the waaayyy toooo loud band, i had a great time and ill def visit again.

Photo of sympleesmshn
4.08/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

So I have been a couple of times and am just now getting around to reviewing it. This is without a doubt the best place to get Dogfish Head in the area. The of course always have the freshest Dogfish and have quite a wide selection. I went to a premier of Brew Masters party there. They served Bitches Brew at show time and had a randall hooked up with their Chicory Stout and coffee beans. They have a wide variety of beers, far from the number at the Dogfish brewpub. They also do not carry any of the brewpub only beers there (the Alehouses are licensed by Dogfish, not owned by them). The Alehouse also carries a selection of vintage bottles. Just the other day they had vintage bottles of 120 min. If you are a fan of Dogfish, this is a can't miss, especially if you can't make it to the brewpub all the time. Overall the food was disappointing, but not bad.

Photo of ferrari29
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

The moment I found out there was a Dogfish Head Alehouse in the DC area, I had knew I had to head out there. Being a fan of the 60-min and 75-min IPA's how could I pass up an opportunity like that? The vib was great, the staff was knowledgeable and knew the menu like the back of their hand. I quizzed them a bit on food/beer pairing and I was surprised to see that they were correct on all of them. They also had Bitches Brew on-tap. Had to try it, I was impressed. It was just a really good drink. Besides having pretty much every beer Dogfish makes on-tap (along with two to three seasonal brews), they also had mixed drinks if you're not in the mood to drink a brew. I don't know why you would be there though if you didn't want to try a beer. The food reminds of your basic bar food, with some additional ingredients (e.g., calamari w/ banana peppers). I had the Ahi Tuna and wasn't that floored by the style in which it was presented. Vegetables were a bit bland with no spices or flavoring added to them.

Its kind of in a hidden area of the mall, buried a bit behind some front-facing buildings so if you're not careful you might miss it. Its big inside and filled with happy beer drinkers, how could you not have a good time? They also have a great collection of Dogfish gear and souvenirs. Pick up a shirt while you're there.

Photo of Seanibus
4/5  rDev -5.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Very much the same vibe as the original pub in Delaware, though maybe a bit more open and airy. It has the same dark wood feel, but with more brick. The building is only a year old, but it was designed and executed for feel like a much more lived-in hole in the wall. You'd never think you were in a faceless suburb of DC.

The beer list is just the same as the home brewpub, of course, and the menu is similar but, if anything, better. It is a little more of a traditional brew pub menu, but well executed and enjoyable. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable, the place was clean and fun, the beer was good, and what else can one ask?

Photo of ZluvDbeer
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

If i could go here every week i would. I love the food, everything is home made not your ordinary bar food. The beer selection rotates and sometimes it doesnt have as much as i would like but when it does its heaven. It can be a bit pricey but mostly its reasonable. I really love their beer.

The brewpub in Rehoboth is better because it has more beers and exclusives but dont knock the alehouse as it holds its own and the food is actually better than the brewpub...

If you like DFH beers at all then you must give this place a try.

Photo of ledemie
3.25/5  rDev -23.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 2

I was in DC over the weekend and decided to go and experience a ale house by one of my favorite beer maker.

I felt like DFH ale house is more of franchise type of restaurant then actually a brewpub, should have give it away was that there is no brew equipment on site , I was not impress by the food the quality, it was average, I got a sampler, and the 60 IPA had to be old; where was the hops... the Midas, 90 , and 75 were really good, I had the Chicory has well, well made but not my type of beer (that is why I got a sampler to try other style from DFH). for the food nothing to be exited about it looks good, tasted ok, nothing out of the ordinary.

I would recommend anyone to try it and make there own judgment, but personally I think the Sweet Water tavern (even if a little more expensive) would be a better experience in the Northern VA.

Photo of devilben02
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

The unassuming exterior masks what is truly a little gem within the local strip mall. The interior nautical theme is overt but not over the top, and although the t-shirt stand and signs for beer to-go sales are a bit tacky, they convey the idea that this is not merely an everyday brewpub that happens to be run by Dogfish Head, but an extension of the brand and thus a way to increase awareness beyond the "off-centered people" who are already fans. In that sense, it's working since the group that brought me here includes a Coors light aficionado, his wine-drinking wife, and her father who is curious about craft beer but isn't knowledgeable.

The food is solid, with nice variations on common brewpub fare, and the service was great. Our server was attentive and knowledgeable, and she was happy to let us sip a sample of the big beers that we were curious to try but not curious enough to order a full pour. The beer selection was terrific, despite being entirely one brand, with a wide range of draft selections and bottles, including vintage bottles of cellar-worthy selections from past years. Overall, this is a great showcase for the Dogfish brand, and I wish there was a location near me.

Photo of MQ4188
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Great atmosphere and fantastic service. Nice sized place that is not too loud even when full of happy hour crowds.

Dogfish Head draws a nice crowd of beer aficionados and pleasant folks enjoying themselves in a likable atmosphere.

The food was good and served in an atmosphere unlike the brew pub chains that advertise 50 beer selections and then run only 5 when they have 20 available taps. I don't get that!!!

The Bartenders and servers are very knowledgeable on the beer selections and are anxious to provide samples until you find what you like.

I have only beer once and was very impressed and will definitely go back.

Photo of doppelmeup
4.63/5  rDev +9.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Stopped here for dinner (and came back the next night for beer again!) while on a trip to Fairfax.

Had a great server, and the rest of the wait staff was excellent as well. The server spent a lot of time with us describing all of the different and specialy beers available to us, giving us great descriptions of those beers, especially the extreme brews.

Nearly all the DFH brews were available, though not on all on tap. Draft beers were pricey at $6.75, and some bottles were quite expensive ($18 for WWS, for example). Also, some beer you could only get on tap (75 Minute and Black/Tan) at the brewpub as they are not bottled. My favorite was the 75 minute. Please bottle this and sell it!

6 4oz samples for $9, but only the basic offerings available and no mix/match.

Food was very good; two of us had large salads and one had a Cajun dish. All was good, but $15 for a large salad is a bit pricey, IMO.

Overall, the ambience was great, the beer was fresh, food was good and service excellent. Aside from being a bit pricey, it was a great night out and I would highly recommend the place.

Photo of mklinger
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Went here with my in-laws on New Years Day. We had a party of 10. The put us in the private party room which was great given that we had 4 teens/kids with us and we wanted to all be able to talk with each other across the table.

They brought us a few small 1 oz tasters to help figure out what beers every one wanted. I ordered the Alehouse 75 which is purportedly a mix of 60 Minute & 90 Minute IPAs (mixed at the time of serving). Mine tasted like it was probably light on the 90 minute -- not so different from the 60 minute. I also had a Raison D'Etre that was nice. I was surprised that there were no casks beers here & the waiter had never heard of a randall, so clearly that wasn't possible. The beer was good but I was hoping for a more interesting beer experience. What was available was pretty much what is commonly available in bottle. It was nice to taste the Palo Santo Marron & World Wide Stout on draft, but it wasn't really much different than the bottled version, so the beer was fine & what you'd expect, but not anything special.

The food was excellent. In our group we had fish & chips, burgers, pizzas, salads, nachos, etc. It was uniformly very good in quality. My in-laws all said that the next time we all got together in VA, we would definitely be going back.

The service was very helpful throughout. Overall, a very nice place.

Photo of advill88
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

I went here on Sunday night for a couple of pints with the parents before I went back to school. Atmosphere is very nice; I really appreciated the fact that this is place is smoke free, so good place to take the family, and it makes it a better beer tasting environment. I found the servers to be quite attentive and knowledgeable, and the service was quick. I went here primarily for the beer, but the food was great too. There were a lot of taps of DFH's regular and more extreme stuff, and we liked every beer we tried. I liked how they provided some free tasting samples, as well. Overall I'd say that this place is a bit on the pricey side, but well worth it for the occasional trip. I plan on returning sometime in the near future.

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Dogfish Head Alehouse in Fairfax, VA
94 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.