Quick DC Visit, Which Establishment to Visit

Discussion in 'US - South' started by MrTopher, Oct 4, 2012.

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  1. MrTopher

    MrTopher Initiate (0) Aug 27, 2009 California

    Wife and I are going to be in DC Oct 7th - 10th, won't have a vehicle and won't have much time (I'm guessing) to bottle hunt. But wanted to know, which would be a better establishment to get engulfed in the local beer culture. We're going to be staying at the Courtyard on 9th St NW.
    Churchkey and RFD, which is a must over the other?
    Both of these seem to be the cream of the crop for the DC market. Looking at one vs the other, its hard to determine after reading some of the reviews.
    In addition if one has a better Wild Ale and IPA selection over the other, that could just make the decision a done deal.
    Or if there is another that I should consider, please feel free to make a case for it.
     
  2. CommanderOfAwesome

    CommanderOfAwesome Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2012 California

    Bier Baron, Used to be called brickskeller and Churchkey for sure. Two best bars in the city.3rd best bar IMO is Meridan Pint. They have tons of DC Brau's on tap.

    Not an RFD fan, expensive and touristy. Plus the selection is decent, not great. Lived in DC for over 3 years, if you want a place to buy bottles let me know and I can give you the run down on that as well.

    Edit: If you're deciding between the 2, I'd say Churchkey as they have more taps and better food. Plus the longest bar in the district. Bier Baron has an incredible bottle selection, but only about 12 taps I think. Both are great, Churchkey on the weekends can get quite busy.
     
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  3. jjboesen

    jjboesen Meyvn (1,345) Feb 1, 2002 Maryland

    Churchkey is the primo beer destination in the city. Incidentallly, there is a Gordon Biersch right in this hotel - see my most excellent reveiw. Your are also around the corner from District Chophouse, an upscale cousin of Rock Bottom as well as Iron Horse Tap Room, which offers superb Happy Hour prices that compliment a decent beer selection. RFD has a great selection; however, it is burdened with a horrific sports bar atmosphere, drunken fratboys and hit-or-miss service.
     
  4. CommanderOfAwesome

    CommanderOfAwesome Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2012 California

    Agreed, RFD sucks.
     
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  5. MrTopher

    MrTopher Initiate (0) Aug 27, 2009 California

    I'll add Bier Baron as an option, but still leaning towards Churchkey.
    I can get Gordon Biersch here in California, but I never do.
    I also see that Iron Horse is pretty close to the hotel, so we might hit that up and District Chophouse maybe also. And I'll just cut RFD off my list, the beer list looked decent, but for the money it seems like Churchkey is it. Plus the fact that Churchkey has cask and 5 (what the website and BA says) at that, makes me more eager.
    Thanks for the info!

    CoA - BM me your thoughts on bottleshop, never hurts to have them, just in case. Also preferably close to our hotel.
     
  6. RocketFrogDavid

    RocketFrogDavid Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2010 Virginia

    Somewhat new on the beer bar scene is District of Pi, VERY close to your hotel, here is their beer list. http://www.pi-dc.com/beer-menu/ according to google maps is 46 feet from your hotel. ChurchKey is my Favorite. I think Smoke and Barrell is supposed to have a great list as is the Black Squirrel, both in Adams Morgan.
     
  7. CommanderOfAwesome

    CommanderOfAwesome Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2012 California

    Also if you go to Bier Barron, go to Pizza Paradiso. Best pizza I've ever had, its a phenomenal spot with great beer list. Also a great (though a dollar or more expensive than other places) bottle shop right across the street.
     
  8. jacewg

    jacewg Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2012 District of Columbia

    RFD is an interesting one. They aren't quite on par as a "beer bar" with the Meridian Pints and Churchkeys of the world. On the other hand, it is more of a sports/popular bar to me than a beer bar. That being said, they get rare beer, and it tends to stick around longer than at the other places. I've had Bourbon County, Black Note, KBS and a ton of other great beers there. They also have some vintage stuff that is worth trying. Aged Avery, Dogfish Head, Gouden Carolus stuff that I can remember.

    I think RFD is worth hitting. Otherwise, try Smoke and Barrel, Black Squirrel, and Pizzeria Paradiso (tons of Cantillon/Drie Fonteinen/Fantome) if in the Dupont/Adams Morgan area. Churchkey is a must try of course. As is Meridian Pint.

    I haven't been in Bier Baron in a long time, so I can't really give any insight there.
     
  9. jacewg

    jacewg Initiate (0) Jan 7, 2012 District of Columbia

    In my experience, it's been $5-$10 more expensive.
     
  10. CommanderOfAwesome

    CommanderOfAwesome Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2012 California

    Yeah I didn't do most of my shopping there, but they do have a fantastic selection. Some prices are on par, others are way out of wack. For example every Lost Abbey bomber they have is around $30. Don't see them anywhere else in the city, least used to not. They're $10 here in California. Best bottle shop I came across was 18th and U right at the bottom of Adams Morgan, and 13th and U once they reopened after the fire. Both great places, though 18th and U has a more knowledgeable staff.
     
  11. r0nyn

    r0nyn Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2009 New York

    ChurchKey is kind of a hike from the nearest Metro stop, but it's worth the travel. Selection is great and the food is pretty good, as it's from the same kitchen as the hoity-toity resto downstairs. Bartenders are knowledgeable and friendly, so I'd definitely recommend it.
     
  12. CommanderOfAwesome

    CommanderOfAwesome Initiate (0) Aug 30, 2012 California

    15 min walk tops from the U Street metro or Dupont Circle, or a $5 cab ride. Wouldn't call that a hike by any stretch.
     
  13. Stinger80OH

    Stinger80OH Initiate (0) Nov 11, 2011 Ohio

    Churchkey..that is all.
     
  14. RocketFrogDavid

    RocketFrogDavid Initiate (0) Apr 29, 2010 Virginia

    Or McPherson Sq, just head up 14th and around the circle to N.
     
  15. Smakawhat

    Smakawhat Poo-Bah (8,313) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Society

    Easy walk from McPherson Square metro...

     
  16. MrTopher

    MrTopher Initiate (0) Aug 27, 2009 California

    Thanks everyon!
    Since Pi is so close we'll have to check it out.
    And I'd be willing to cab it to Churchkey.
     
  17. kcillini77

    kcillini77 Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2004 Kansas

    ChurchKey by a landslide. Nothing wrong with RFD, but it pales in comparison.
     
  18. kcillini77

    kcillini77 Initiate (0) Nov 26, 2004 Kansas

    Oh, and walk from McPherson Square. Easy walk. I stayed at the Hyatt just around the corner last time I was there and walked to ChurchKey every night.
     
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