The Brickskeller

The BrickskellerThe Brickskeller
The BrickskellerThe Brickskeller
Bar, Eatery

1523 22nd St NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20037-1005
United States

// CLOSED //

Notes: A new bar has moved into the location with a similar beer menu: Bier Baron Tavern Beer Bar.
View: Place Reviews
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CuriousMonk from District of Columbia

3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 3

After hearing about this place through locals and seeing that they have over 1000 beers, I was hoping that it would be wicked awesome and become my go-to pub as I don't really have one in the DC metro area. The beer list was a bit more mainstream of the more popular international brews. I was hoping for more rare gems, but that never happened. Maybe there's a brew or two on tap worth trying out. I didn't mind that the place looks like it is already closed by the way it is kept up and barely any lights on inside. The worst part though is the service. It seriously seems like everyone there either hates their job or just anyone that actually comes in and forces them to work. I look forward to checking out the Bier Baron for the first time ever and see how much this place has (supposedly) improved!

Feb 18, 2011
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GregKeith from Georgia

3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

I've been here a few times over the past several months and it's a mixed bag. First time - upstairs - was not impressed. Shabby and the waitress was slow and clueless on a slow night. Beer selection is extensive but not the 1,000 varieties they promise. I vowed to never go back.

But I was talked into it a few weeks later and it was a much better experience downstairs. The bartender - Eve - is about the most knowledgeable beer person I've ever met. I gave her hints about what I liked and she knew just the beer for me to try. She's a walking beer encyclopedia.

It's still shabby and the bathroom looks and smells like the toilet in Trainspotting. However, last time I was there I sat next to a man who claims he is part of an ownership group that has bought the place and will be refurbishing it. I told him to make sure they didn't overdo it and kill it's charm and - for God's sake - don't lose Eve. Apparently, she's getting a deserved promotion to Beer Director. Let's see how they do.

Dec 28, 2010
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bamojr from Virginia

4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5

I enjoyed this bar a great deal. Their selection is quite good. All of the drafts that I had were from well known companies and a very nice selection. The bottles are what most come for with their utterly huge variety. We did run into them being out of a few, and as I have seen from other people this tends to be a problem. It is understandable however that it is hard to keep that large a quantity in stock. The bartender was knowledgeable and fairly friendly. Overall, this is a great place and I will defiantly be back.

Nov 15, 2010
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decadance from Texas

3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Its a dirty bar, and the bathroom smells so bad it burns your eyes.

They do know their beer though. The selection is not fantastically stellar, and everything listed in the bottle menu is not available, largely because (according to my waiter/manager) they print the menu 3 times a year and keep seasonals on past their time. I knew I wasn't getting backwoods bastard, but I did get the Founder Breakfast Stout (which was not even on the menu).

Food was pub food. Service was decent. The prices are a bit nutsy for somethings (23$ for Maharaja bomber?!), but overall, this and RFD are where you should go in the DC area.

Sep 04, 2010
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Jimmys from Pennsylvania

2.65/5  rDev -29.1%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 1.5

The idea behind Brickskeller is genius. Over 1000 beers to choose from. Guinness World record holder for best selection.

Yah yah yah fuck you.

I know they made all those bottles available for sale to obtain this record and that it is unlikely for this record to be surpassed. However, during your visit to Brickskeller please plan for several choices whenever the wait staff decides to get around to taking your order. My latest strategy has been to decide on a brewery and ask the server which beers they actually have. Typically 50% of the offerings on the Beer List will be out of stock. Another fun fact is the potential to receive a bottle that has been in room temperature storage for months, that has been dipped in an ice water bucket to give the illusion of being chilled. Hooray selection!

Experience with the staff is hit and miss as I have had servers that knew what was in and out of stock before leaving the table and then bartenders that could care less about what I thought of the beer or even giving me the time of day to order. Also, they have food, but I would definitely spend your money elsewhere.

With so many new beer bars popping up throughout DC/NOVA I would definitely go somewhere else to lay down the bucks. My constructive criticism for Brickskeller is to make a new Beer List with what they ACTUALLY carry. You own the record, now own up to what you have become.

Aug 22, 2010
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socon67 from New York

4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5

Was here while catching a Nats game in DC.

The vibe is kinda college scene, but it does come off tacky. Lots of old beer cans along the walls, but it makes the place look cheap morew than trendy.

The service was impressive. I've seen some negatives in other reviews. I guess it depends on the server; ours was very knowledgable. The selection is insane, though they will be out of some so plan on a backup.

The food was "okay" I guess, but clearly you are here to drink. Don't expect great food. The pricing was higher than normal but you are paying for the beer options.

I thought it was cool, and worth the trek.

Aug 15, 2010
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IMZep from Maryland

3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

As a DC native, I often feel the need to defend this place but it gets tougher with each visit.

Old beer cans on the wall and various beer signage will give a brief smile to the beer-lover but overall the atmosphere is a bit dingy, probably still barely fitting into the "faux-dive" category. I tend to sit "upstairs," as I find it cleaner and less-crowded.

The fabled List is impressive, but isn't backed up by their store room very well, as others have noted. I often come prepared with backup choices that leave me with my third or fourth choice.

The service varies. I once had a waiter who seemed to know The List backward and forward and was well-equipped with suggestions and knew which beers they were out of, so no unhappy surprises after waiting 15 minutes to get the beer you ordered. On my recent trip, however, the waiter seemed completely clueless as to what was available and what wasn't; not even prepared to take backup orders on the spot. Then there's the waiting. Probably due to being such a popular place, even a good server can take a while getting your beer to you. I like to think that the wait times are due to them rummaging around for that last bottle of Schneider Aventinus, but I really can't say. And then you're left paying $7 for your third choice. They have the occasional $3-4 stuff, but why go to the Brickskellar for something you can find at your local grocery/liquor store?

Food is decent, but I'm not sure who goes to the Skellar for food.

If you're visiting DC, it might be worth stopping in to see what the fuss is about, but it's not the first beer bar I'd recommend.

Jul 30, 2010
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BARFLYB from Pennsylvania

2.34/5  rDev -37.4%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 2 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3.5

Visited here on a trip to DC.

This place stinks.. I mean it really smells bad. at least the downstairs bar. The atmosphere is dark and with an old time feel. Alot of old beer cans on the wall. Coolers full of beer and about 12 taps and a handpump I believe. A small bar with seating for 13 or so, an area in the back for larger parties and a kitchen you can see in o. I guess the lines are clean thats what counts, the rest of this place just looks drab. The service on my short visit was not very memorable. I looked at the tap menu and said hey this is a "pretty good" list and than I was called a snob in more words than one. I ordered a Southern Tier XXIPA, what I got was nothing but this, it was a weird wit, not the same beer. I looked at the bottle list and while big I could see that some of what was on there was not in the coolors in front of me. There is alot of beer here though. WORST BATHROOM EVER. It stunk and made me want to vomit. No need to order food here, I can hardly stomach the smell, no need to order more beer, I already got put in my place and got a nasty wit for a DIPA. No need to come back, I think I get the jist. The only reason I did not fail this place is because there is beer there that I want to rescue and give a loving home to. NEXT...

Jul 14, 2010
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brewman63 from Pennsylvania

4.72/5  rDev +26.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Stopped in here a couple of times while vacationing in DC over the weekend. Luckily it was within a short walking distance of where we stayed. This place has great ambiance. It's located in the basement where all us "skeller-dwellers" belong. The beer selection is fantastic. It helped me eliminate a couple of brews that have been on my "haven't found it anywhere yet" list. The only drawback was some of the beers I wanted to sample where temporarily out of stock. That can happen from time-to-time. The bartender is a walking encyclopedia of beer knowledge. Sit at the bar and talk to her about any beer they have and she'll probably be able to give you some kind of intelligible answer. We only had appetizers while we were there and they were okay, nothing special. But let's face it - you don't come here for the food.

Jun 09, 2010
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pzrhsau from District of Columbia

3.1/5  rDev -17.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4.5

Atmosphere: Well you can sit in the upstairs area which has tables and the main bar. The downstairs area is a little darker and tends to be a bit darker but a bit more casual. The whole area has a nice brickwork setup with tons of beer memorabilia lining the walls.
Quality: I have been going there for a while so I have gotten the good and bad days but you can usually find a decent beer to enjoy with friends. My problem is that you cannot sit in the downstairs area and still get tap beer.
Service: Sometimes good sometimes bad but that usually has to do with the weekend crowds. Wait staff generally knows what they are doing and gets you everything when they can.
Selection: This place says it has the largest beer selection, and I think that most beer people will agree that they go there and have to request several beers before receiving one that they want. Also, the tap menu has gotten really pedestrian. they usually had 12 beers from different areas. Small number of taps but they knew how to get the most out of them. Now it is really commercial with only 3/4 different breweries. I think we can all agree, if you are going to advertise this robust menu, please have what you list.
Food: I like the food (probably more of what keeps me going back). Good pub food, nice wings, not too expensive for DC.
Value: Hey, you can try a really nice bottled beer for generally less than you would pay for a light beer anywhere else. Fun place to start your beer education but really lost some luster for me over time.

Feb 21, 2010
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camiam from District of Columbia

1.2/5  rDev -67.9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 1 | service: 1 | selection: 1 | food: 1

The last time I visited, I vowed I would never return. Unfortunately I was talked back into it by a friend, as we were in the area and looking for some reasonable food and a nice beer.

I spent about an hour and 45 minutes here last night, and all I ordered (or tried to order) was a reuben and a beer.

First off, the food. I was with five other people. Only one of those people got what they ordered the first time (a bread and cheese plate). Every single other member of my party had to change their order as the kitchen simply was out. All told, the kitchen was out of: guacamole, cheese, bacon, bison burgers, fish and chips, onion rings, sweet potato fries and potato salad. Now I understand shortages and bad deliveries, but what irked me was the fact that the server didn't tell us any of this before hand. In fact, she told us about each of these issues one-by-one, so my friend ended up ordering four different meals, only to have her come back time and time again to say they were out of it.

Now the beer, as many other reviews have noted, their menu is an absolute misrepresentation of their products. They probably have half of what is on their menu, and that doesn't even speak for the quality. My friend ordered a nice German pilsner, and was handed a bottle of what tasted like vinegar. It had clearly spoiled long ago, indicative of a lack of turnover and quality control on the part of the restaurant. No one got the bottle they asked for the first time around. Few the second time around. One of my friends didn't find a beer that he wanted that they had until we had all but finished our beers. My friend and I ordered the same dopplebock, somehow I was given a dopplebock and he was given a helles. Would it be so difficult to simply list the beers they have?

We asked to speak to the manager at the end of our meal to complain about our terrible experience. The manager arrived about 20 minutes later and had an attitude from the start. He was standoffish, agressive and didn't accept responsibility for any of the problems of the restaurant. I would say he was the worst manager I've ever experienced. He blamed all of the problems on the owner. He also made the bold claim that the beer menus were updated every 2 weeks. I almost last it at this point, as the torn, faded and sauce covered menu in my hand was certainly not two-weeks-old. I proceeded to point him to the advertisement inside reading "Brickskeller: 1957-2007, Celebrating 50 years."

This time I will definitely never come back. Pizzeria Paradiso, RFD and Churchkey are examples of bars that can actually provide a fantastic assortment of beers without sacrificing service. Go there.

Feb 12, 2010
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andrewm190 from North Carolina

1.73/5  rDev -53.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 1.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 1 | food: 2

Be warned: this is not what they advertise. Yes, you can possibly find some beers available that you would struggle to acquire elsewhere. But the reality is that you will request likely 4 or 5 beers off their list before you find one that is actually available. My experience was extremely frustrating. I will admit to being easily frustrated by bait and switch tactics, and that is what I found here. Further, what is available is veryh highly priced. The waitress my party dealt with didn't know what beers they actually had (which isn't really her fault; it apparently changes constantly and only a small percentage of the list is ever available), and she had no knowledge of beer generally. I don't typically expect the waitstaff to be beer knowledgeable, but in this case, it just aggravated the feeling of bullshit I generally had about the place.

Jan 17, 2010
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ultrasupergenius from England

1.56/5  rDev -58.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 1.5 | service: 2 | selection: 1

It hurts to see so many people talk about the big beer list, and then come to the conclusion that they just happened to run out of those beers on that night... or it was just bad luck that they didn't seem to have the first six beers that they wanted to try.

As a former DC native, I can tell you that it wasn't just bad luck, that one time. It wasn't an off night. They did not just run out. They have a big LIST of beers. That is all it is. A big list.

A big list that gets them written up in magazines that are looking to do a shtick article on the best beer bars in America. They don't stock those beers.

A big list that got the tourists to show up, and overpay for the beers that they finally settled on after attempting to order three or four times and being told they just ran out.

Their glassware is old and quite frankly unhygienic. The entire basement area is borderline disgusting. The taps upstairs are constantly in need of a cleaning.

Dec 23, 2009
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LordAdmNelson from Ohio

3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 2.5

Not a bad place at all. The reason to go here is the beer list--it's huge! The problem, however, is that they run out of a lot of the brews on the list... but they still have a ton of great brews to choose from. It's a bit cozy, but definitely a fun place to go, service was ok, although not exceptional. Food is kind of crappy, but not terrible, just nothing special. As far as pricing goes, it's reasonable for a bar, but expensive if you're comparing to buying the bottles at a liquor store. Honestly, I'd rather it be a liquor store with a great selection because there's nothing too special about drinking it at the place. Worth the visit, though.

Dec 01, 2009
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Travlr from District of Columbia

3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The first real beer joint in DC in the modern age. It's in a big old house, and the drinking areas are large, but you wouldn't know it at first glance. The beer drinkers are mostly downstairs. Large long bar, then a bunch of tables in alcoves. Definitely a bit scruffy. Menu is a waste of time, they're out of everything. I used to order 4 beers at a time, in the hopes that they'd have one. Even that didn't work. So now I just look at what's in the fridges, and then point. Or I'll ask the server what's new, and they'll usually have a good recommendation. Defintely worth trying if you're in DC, and then go around the corner to Pizzeria Paradiso to compare and contrast. Greg, the beer manager there, spent his college days at the Brickskeller.

Nov 18, 2009
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wspscott from Kentucky

3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

Stopped here with a local friend after dinner on a Friday around 10pm. We randomly decide to go downstairs a whim. We had to wait briefly while the door guy found us a table. Atmosphere is somewhat lacking, a long skinny room with a bar when you first walk in and a somewhat large room (~20 tables) off to the side. Did not feel crowded, but did not offer much in ambiance.

When seated, we found a huge beer list, I promptly looked for something special that I can't get in KY. I settled on a west coast beer (probably IPA, can't remember exactly) and talked my friend into trying Oscar Blues Gordon. Our server showed up after giving us plenty of time to decide and told us that they were out of both of our choices, but they had Ten Fidy and Old Chub, so we started with those. Damn I love Ten Fidy :) Had a couple more different beers and decided to call it a night. The beer list is by brewer vs. style which makes it very hard to compare and contrast within styles. It would be awesome if they had a cross listing by style.

All in all, the brickskeller is a great place to visit, but I am not sure I would make it a habit if I was a local. I will probably stop in the next time I am in town assuming there is not a metro trip involved. Worth trying for the huge beer list.

Nov 13, 2009
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KalH from North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Visited the Brickskeller in DC on Sunday and ended up having to wait for a bit til they opened at 6pm. It was dead inside once we came back and sat down. No one came in really until around 8 when we left. The beer selection was more vast than I could have imagined and the inside is decorated with thousands of old beer cans from past decades. Our bartender, Rachel, was extremely helpful and went the extra mile for us. She brought out beers in certain styles and never gave any attitude. The beer listings are alphabetical, as is the beer behind the bar, and assorted also by the country it was imported from. Plenty of aged bottles there as well, including a 2008 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine we bought. We didn't have any of the food there, aside from the freshly baked bread - definitely worth a try. The place is a bit of a dive, but its charm and selection will win most beer lovers over. Go check this place out.

Nov 11, 2009
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BeerSingh from India

3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

It was imperative that I visited the mecca of beerdom stateside during this visit (Sept 09). It was Friday early evening and the place was quite crowded..mostly office goers starting their weekend. The jukebox kept playing something other than what I'd requested, maybe the queue was too long. Not a big deal anyway. The beer selection was simply amazing - I was confused and I ended up ordering a Samichlaus. The burger and the cheesy wedges were decent. It was pretty hot and stuffy, and the place kind of smelt musty. The other thing was that the waiting staff were hurrying you up, so that kind of took away the luxury of enjoying your order / ordering at a relaxed pace. But I guess they way the crowd was swelling up, it was expected. Anyway, the legend of The Brickskeller remains intact. Good place.

Nov 09, 2009
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Ralphus from Canada (ON)

3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
vibe: 2 | quality: 2.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

I hit the Brickskeller on a Saturday night while visiting DC. I had just come here from Pizza Paradiso which is just a block away and although I tried to remain objective, I must admit that I was not terribly impressed.

You enter a doorway that leads to two doors on the right hand side. Both have advertisements on them and as a first timer it's not clear what is going on.. are they different bars? The same? I entered the first and after showing ID to a bouncer, found a tightly fitted bar full with people. I inquired about upstairs (deducing that the 2nd door must have led to more space) and went up. On that floor another bouncer another bar, this one with more space and large seating area behind it. I took a table facing the bar and ordered a beer off the tap menu (they did not have any cask).

I remember clearly how red everything was. Red carpet, red walls, red seats, red table cloths. And we're not talking vibrant red - a faded stained looking red is what you should imagine. I saw a sign for Duvel green and thought they might have it - they didn't. I looked through their menu. It's extensive.. a thousand beers apparently.

Despite the list, this is not an upscale place by any stretch. The music was blaring Aerosmith Angel when I arrived and it swung from worse to slightly better every 3 minutes. The clientelle was a total shotgun mix of university students, confused couples and single but recently semi professional frat boys. I say confused couples because you could tell the guys were beer geeks, the girls wanted nothing to do with the place, and as a result there was an odd mix of men staring at menus and girls looking at their watches.

Should you go? If you're in the area - definitely. Will you love it. I guess that depends on what your looking for. I left after 2 beer. Pizza Paradiso, just a block away was far better.

Oct 17, 2009
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UDbeernut from Florida

4/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 3

About 3-4 blocks north of George Washington University, this bar has two floors available to enjoy. The down stairs has a fairly long bar and a good sized area of tables. Never got upstairs, but I know there is another bar.

All beers were served in clean and proper glassware for the style. I looked at the beer bottles I ordered, and they were fresh. The bathrooms were a bit dirty.

The waitress we had was attentive, and entertaining. Much better than I had expected based to the previous reviews here.

The selection was phenominal... I almost did not know where to begin. Beers from almost every corner of the world. I would advise to have 2 or 3 selections as they don't always have everything. The waitress did make some suggestions and they were excellent.

Food was ok, mostly basic pub food. Nothing special.

Cost, for me having lived in the midwest for the past 5 years, I though it was very expensive. However, considering the neighborhood and that DC is just plain expensive, it was probabl a decent value.

Oct 14, 2009
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drabmuh from Maryland

3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 2

I just went back to this place and I have to say that it is much better now that there is no smoking. My wife and I had 6 beers, all were available (also unlike our first experience there). The staff was pretty responsive, except our waitress disappeared and left me dry for several minutes. You go to Brickskeller for the selection, clearly. They boast 1000 beers. Its probably more like 800 beers based on outages, but that's REALLY impressive. Ranging from several different countries and nearly every state in the union, there is surely something there for everyone. Navigating their menu is daunting, but there is plenty of information so you can make an informed decision about region and style.

The interior is interesting. The whole place is decorated with antique beer cans and bottles. Kind of cool from a Breweriana point of view. It wasn't too crowded or loud, there were some loud drunks near us but they left. Most people there were chill and just there to enjoy the place and some conversation. I'll definitely go back. I wish they had taps, but I guess their sister bar does. I'll check that place out soon.

Aug 22, 2009
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nickd717 from California

4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Decent place. Went on Saturday night with a bunch of people the night before my friend's wedding. Only about 10 taps, but the bottle list probably weighs in in the quadruple figures. Of course I've heard they don't always HAVE half of what's on the list, but it's still impressive. Atmosphere is pretty cool, like a brick cellar but decently lit with dart boards and lots of tables. Prices are reasonable in general but some bottles run a bit steep. Food is pretty average, but hey, it's food, and they serve it late. Since they don't always have everything on the list, make sure to have second and third choices in mind. In case you don't, something like this may happen...
You: "I'll have the (insert beer here)."
Server: "Oh sorry, we're out of that. What else would you like?"
You: "Oh damn...let me think..."
Friend: "Come on, just order one, you beer snob!"
You: "No! This isn't happening! Ok, I'll just point to one randomly. Here goes...I'll have the...Natural Light!"
Server: "Sure thing."
You: "Wait, no. NOOO!!!! What have I done? I just ordered Natty Light at a bar with 1000 beers on the menu! Why, God, why have you forsaken me? My life is ruined! WHYYY???"

NOTE: They actually do have Natty Light on the menu, so this exact scenario could happen to you.

Aug 08, 2009
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morebeergood from Massachusetts

3.2/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

Stop number four on our DC pub crawl. Upstairs looks like the dumpiest dive bar you've ever been in. Downstairs, it's like a brick beer cellar with an entire wall of beer coolers. The pulley dumb waiter between the two was unique. The decorations grabbed me more downstairs, which seemed like it had the better atmosphere. Our waitress seemed to have that "don't care" attitude, not too friendly. Selection was pretty extensive, but of course the one beer that I ordered was not available, so the bartender just got me a different beer by the same brewer. Maybe ask if I have a different choice next time? Prices were all over the place. Pricey drafts all the way down to some cheap beer bottles. I can see how this place was maybe amazing at one point in history but other better beer bars in the US I have been to far surpass this old relic.

Aug 07, 2009
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guild337 from Virginia

4.59/5  rDev +22.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

I feel as though I have to judge each trip to the Brickskeller as a completely different animal each time. Sometimes it's too hot and crowded, and sometimes they have nothing I am looking for. But it can be equally great, with the right server who clues you into something special that they have at the time.
This past Friday was luckily one of the good trips, and on my birthday of all days. I had a great server who was determined to get us exactly what we wanted, as quickly as possible. I started out looking to have a Saison of some type, and asked the waitress what their best one was. She stated that the only ones they had were an Avery 16, and a Ommegang Hennapin. Not what I was looking for. Then I asked for something special in the IPA/DIPA category. She suggested the Oaked Arrogant Bastard. I hadn't tried it yet, so I had it and loved it.
Next, I spotted a short list of Nogne O bottles...all were rather pricey, but hell, it was my birthday after all. Unfortunately, she stated that they were out. But I guess I looked dejected, because she said she would go into the fridge personally and look. Sure enough, a few minutes later she came back to the table with a Nogne O Pale Ale, and a #100 Barley Wine Style Ale. I had to have the Barley Wine...and it was one of the best beers I have had in a long time. So I give this particular trip high marks. Just go into each visit here with an open mind, and use your server...they are there to help.

Aug 04, 2009
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bernardus from Virginia

4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Have visited this place no less than half a dozen times and despite some faults, still remains one of my favorite bars anywhere. Easy to find and very close to Dupont Circle Metro station. Upon walking into the building it's in, you can either go right downstairs where there's a series of rooms and lots of tables, or you can go up (where the taps are) to find a more open setting. There's usually around 10 taps with domestic and imported offerings. I've seen everything from Unibroue, to Southern Tier Creme Brulee, to ones I havn't seen anywhere else like Sierra Nevada Brown Saison.

Then there's the bottle list. Several reviews have commented on the fact that you should have a backup choice in case your first is sold out and there's definitely no denying this. I find the staff to be knowledgable enough (generally speaking) that they can recommend a suitable backup for you in case you don't have one that is close enough in style to the beer that was your first choice. The quality of the staff can vary greatly though as I've had servers who seemed to know their stuff and others who must have just started working there.

Despite being out of several beers from time to time, the selection is still very impressive. Tons of American craft brews and solid lists from England, Germany, and Belgium, among other countries.

The atmosphere gets really high marks just because this place has a great bar feel while still managing to be pretty big. The old and new beer advertisements all over the walls are great as well.

The food is your typical bar food, but if you stay a while (which is easy to do), a plate of the cheese fries is perfect.

It should be noted that this place does a good job of rotating stuff out and updating the menu. On my most recent visit, I saw 4 or 5 Duck Rabbit offerings, as well as the Bruery, both of which came to the area very recently.

Overall, this place should be on everyone's radar while in DC. Even if they don't have your first choice, they're bound to have a beer you'll enjoy in a great setting.

Aug 04, 2009
The Brickskeller in Washington, DC
Place rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 187 ratings