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The Big Hunt


40 Reviews
The Big HuntThe Big Hunt

Type: Bar, Eatery

1345 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20036-1801
United States

(202) 785-2333 | map

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Added by BeerAdvocate

Place Score:
View: Place Ratings | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 40 | Ratings: 55
Reviews by dauss:
Photo of dauss
2.93/5  rDev -17.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 2

Cheater Pints! All the beers are served glasses with extra thick bottoms.

So I was here to meet some friends last week. I walk in and the place is a lot bigger than I had expected. Tables that go all the way to the back, and there is another side with pool tables, another bar, and even more seating.

I was able to walk up to the bar and get a beer almost immediately, even though the bar was full. Their selection was pretty good, even having some stuff from Baltimore that I don't see and Bell's.

We had a big table and the server was pretty good in the beginning, until it got later and apparently she was the only server for the entire bar. By the time we left, she was like a chicken that had their head cut off. She told us that she couldn't separate out our bill because she was too busy.

It also was a Wednesday and they had a dinner special, a burrito. I ordered it and it arrived about 15 minutes later, room temperature. It wasn't even slightly warm.

Would I come back? Probably not. The service was sub-par, the food wasn't even warm, and again, cheater pint glasses. When you have to pay $6 for 12-13oz. of beer, plus tax and then tip on that, it is very expensive.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of osickeym
4.36/5  rDev +23.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of stevoj
3.66/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5

A bit frayed around the edges, bordering on being a dive, but in an excellent location. Small but good tap list, noisy, busy, bustling, nearby. Neighborhood bar vibe.

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Photo of costanzo_mike
4.15/5  rDev +17.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of DerekCarruth
3.9/5  rDev +10.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

This place is nothing special, unless you're looking for great beer. Selection was great and the beers were clearly fresh and tasty. If you're looking for a solid selection of good beer this place has got it.

 210 characters

Photo of djhowell
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

Photo of CB2maltygoodness
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%

Photo of MMarkMelly
4.75/5  rDev +34.2%

Head Here W/ Bro In Law for Beer & Burgers. What More Could You Want?

69 characters

Photo of Casterbridge
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of bigred89
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of tpeters
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Shootpassbeerme
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of DavidHume
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of HuntDaddy540
3.36/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Photo of cj8311
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of Storning
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of seanchai
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped in for a bite to eat and a beer while in the area. 30 or so drafts, mostly craft selections from some of the larger breweries like Allagash, Stone, Schlafly, Oskar Blues. The cask was not working, so no go for any cask ales. Bar food was pretty good. I had a cheeseburger and fries. Dimly lit and a bit of a dive appearance. Staff was friendly and service was fine. A decent bar, but I don't feel compelled to return.

 425 characters

Photo of Mantooth
4/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

This place is way underrated here on BA. We hit it last night after many hours at the amazing Churchkey and it was just what the doctor ordered. Churchkey has an upscale vibe, The Big hunt is more of a dive bar, but with a short list of world class beers. We found a spot right in the center of the copper bar and had a great conversation with a beer-smart bartender. You can say a lot of great things about Churchkey but the word "fun" doesn't come to mind. This place is fun. A great little neighborhood pub with lots of character and good beer. If I lived in the area I'd likely become a fixture at The Big Hunt.

 615 characters

Photo of Hotlanta
2.54/5  rDev -28.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 3 | selection: 2.5

Visiting DC and were in the area with some friends. It was her recommendation and she thought it was closed when we walked up. Turns out it was just dark and dingy.

I have been to a number of bars that look crappy from the outside (and inside) that turn out to be real hidden gems, diamonds in the rough, or other cliches. This falls short.

I ordered a "pint" of Racer 5. The "pint" arrived quickly, and I quickly realized that my "pint" was more likely 14 oz. given the inch thick glass bottom. I refused to order another given this discovery. If they had just said "14 oz" on the menu I probably would have had ordered another beer. But I don't like being lied to. Prices are decent for a true pint, but a little high for the short pour.

The was not quite right. I have had Racer 5 before and this barley tasted like it. I would have to guess that either the beer was quite old or the lines were dirty. Not impressed. DC is a long way from CA so maybe it was not handled well en route. I usually give a bar the benefit of the doubt and order another beer, but I was not interested (see above).

Probably not a bad option if you are in the area in looking for a quick beer. But, it is not somewhere I would frequent often if I lived in the area.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.14/5  rDev -11.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Was here while in D.C. for a conference. Went with my advisor and some other old graduate students of his.

This is definitely a dive bar. Dirty, old, and crumbling with a dingy bar, dingy stools, and dingy lighting. Kind of homely but exactly somewhere you'd bring a date.

Quality was decent except for the fact that their imperial stouts were served a bit too warm and everything seemed to be served in pint glasses. Lost points for lack of attention to glassware.

Service is decent. There was one waitress and only 1 bartender when we were there so there was a bit of a wait considering the place was pretty crowded. However, considering how packed it was, there's not much to complain about.

Selection is pretty solid. About 10-15 items on draught as well as a some bottles. It seemed like they also brewed their own beer? Which is interesting even though I didn't end up ordering any of the house offerings.

A decent place and one that's quite lively and homely if you're into the Dive bar scene. I went with people who knew the area quite well so maybe there's some sentimental feelings there but overall this is a place I'd recommend, just don't make it the first bar you visit in D.C.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.68/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Tap list isn't too bad, lot's of decent choices from the region, and few beers brewed specially for the bar as well. I was able to try a Founders CBS on tap. I believe they had KBS too! I enjoyed my time at this establishment. From the door, the place looks very small, very dark, and very smoky. It is, however, two and a half flights, the ground floor bar is the largest and most crowded, the second floor consists of a smaller bar (both with many regional and seasonal beers on tap) and a pool table, also gets crowded, and half a flight up is a deck that is open year round with large tables and open skies. Service is decent.

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Photo of jjboesen
3.96/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

Like the late Brickskeller, the Big Hunt has been in the D.C. area for years - not as long as the former, of course. Located about a block south of DuPont Circle, you couldn't miss it if you tried with its' stripped awning and jungle motif beckoning.

As soon as you enter, there is the obvious appearance of a dingy, dive bar, dark and foreboding. It is that. On the left, is a long and battered copper bar that has probably seen more than anyone could imagine. On the right, along a grubby wall, are torn and tattered booths splattered with stains and patched with duct tape. All the while, one could be distracted away from the safari atmosphere. Bwana beer? Venture towards the back for additional wonderments.

Step up to the bar and hop atop the wobbly stool, which has seen more asses than a retired proctologist. (Assman, where are you with Kramer's tags?) The surly bartender approaches: "Waddle ya have?" Scan the beer menu; lo and behold, it is amazing! There are sixteen taps holding some very excellent crafts, a majority being porters and imperial stouts. For my jungle adventure, it was to be a Bell's appropriately named Expedition Stout; then, as an added extra attraction, there was Schlafly Coffee Stout. Not bad at all.

Basically, this is an impressive beer bar that bears many scars and has many flaws - like the typical D.C. douchebag atmosphere on weekends. Still, check it out if in the neighborhood or if the nearby Pizzeria Paradiso (See My Review) is too crowded.

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Photo of jdense
4.3/5  rDev +21.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Visited during DC beer sojourn with the ever-knowledgeable John Michaelsen, I totally agree with John that this place is rated far too low.

If you are looking for highbrow beer atmosphere, this ain't the place to visit, brother. World class dive bar, from the ultra-dark stinky atmosphere to the torn vinyl upholstery on the booths. Am in in Toronado East? The bar staff ranged in helpfulness, the older gentleman was a bit, errr, surly, but his demeanor was more than made up for by the young bearded chap who reminded me of the Horse Brass' awesome King C., ready to make sure these two beer geek fellows left happy campers. Prices were above average for DC area. We paid $10 for small nonic glasses of rare beers and were happy to pay that amount for what we got.

The selection was absolutely mind boggling, in large part due to visiting two days after a Founder's tasting. While we missed out on KBS, we were able to try Backwoods Bastard (good) and Devil Dancer (don't bother). Given John's immense beer knowledge, I let him order for us, and we were bummed to find that the keg of Canadian Breakfast Stout had just blown. However, when he saw the dejected look on our face, he went to the back and pulled out another keg. Big snaps for service. I'd be leery of trying the food, everything I saw looked like frozen pub fare. Given the fine restaurants in the area, you'd need to be really desperate or in search of 'authentic dive bar grub' to sample this fare.

Other than the Founders products, they had Green Flash IPA, and a number of other high quality brews that to be honest I don't remember. There was about 20 taps, good stuff from Great Lakes, Smuttynose, etc., and a few special bottles (Bruery) at pretty high prices. All in all, a very memorable beer experience. While this will never be a world class beer destination, BAs would be foolish to not check this place out. If you are in the DuPont Circle area, I'd suggest putting pretentiousness and expectations aside and give this place a try. I'm really glad I was able to experience this place.

EDIT- Upon reflection this was one of the key stops on my 2010 beer sojourn. When you look up "seedy dive bar with world class beer selection in Washington, DC" a picture of the interior of this place should pop up. A truly amazing beer experience. Thanks again, John!

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The Big Hunt in Washington, DC
82 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.
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