Tuesday, September 06, 2011

American Tap Room taps flow in Clarendon

ATR outside

The American Tap Room opened its third area location today in the restaurant-booming Clarendon district of Arlington, Virginia.

50 taps, numerous bottled beers ... and wine and a full bar, of course.

ATR inside

I sat at the bar, and ordered an American Tap Room Pale Ale, brewed for the restaurant by Heavy Seas Brewing, of Baltimore, Maryland: refreshing with a restrained slug of grapefruity American hops. The fellow sitting next to me asked the bartender if it were "high or low caramel," pronouncing the final word in two syllables. To the bartender's credit, he responded well. Good staff training.

There's lots of wood and plenty of natural light through large windows ringing the restaurant, which helped to lighten the mood, so to speak, on a very wet day. And, there are plenty of TVs. And, there's even more light: the menus, both for the food and beverages, are back-illuminated with LEDs when opened. Very cool.

ATR LED beverage menu

ATR is NOT a vegetarian restaurant, so I was pleasantly surprised to find a vegetable sushi plate. Tasty. Carnivores, fear not. There are indeed many, many more non-veggie options.

ATR lunch veggies

Bar manager Jayson Kostyk plans to serve cask ale. The installation of two beer engines and a cask refrigerator at the bar is ongoing. When the system is operational, ATR will be only the second restaurant in Clarendon/Court House to have a permanent cask system. Fire Works is the first; Galaxy Hut offers occasional cask tappings.
[UPDATE: The two beer engines went 'live' on 23 September; the restaurant is now pouring cask ale.]

On may way out, I ran into Noreen Burns, columnist for on-line Ballston Patch. She may have been a couple of Metro stops away from home, but she was there to write her own review of American Tap Room.

Caveat lector: As a representative for Select Wines, Inc. —a wine and beer wholesaler in northern Virgina— I sell the beers of Heavy Seas.


  1. Is there anything worth drinking? My prior (years-ago) experience with ATR in Reston encouraged me not to bother again. With 50 (?) taps, there must be something interesting, right?

  2. A FEW of the drafts that I noticed on the List: American Tap Room Pale Ale, Loose Cannon IPA, Lagunitas Little Sumpin Sumpin & IPA, Highland Gaelic, Victory Prima Pils, Allagash White, Starr Hill Northern Lights, Breckenridge Lucky IPA, Bells Seasonal, ... Bottle selections also, and when the two cask lines are operational: initially Heavy Seas Peg Leg Imperial Stout, and Oliver IronMan Pale Ale.

  3. I never had a chance to visit the place, sounds very interesting to me..

  4. just went after a year of them opening! it was fabulous, i was pleased with the quality of the food and the beer. your selections about are great, i dug that they had a few belgians too


Comment here ...