Friday, April 06, 2018

What is a DC beer garden? (Beer Blogging Friday)

The Session: Beer Blogging Friday is a monthly event for the beer blogging community, begun in March of 2007 by Stan Hieronymus of Appellation Beer and Jay Brooks of the Brookston Beer Bulletin. On the first Friday of every month, a pre-determined beer blogger hosts The Session, choosing a specific, beer-related topic, inviting all bloggers to write on it, and posting a roundup of all the responses received.

For The Session #134, today, I am that pre-determined host and my topic is ... Beer Gardens.

Keith Chamberlin, a non-blogger in Washington, D.C., kindly sent in a report on beer gardens there. I've posted it here.


DC Beer Gardens

In pursuit of what is a DC beer garden, I checked out several places. Of course, the most obvious one is Biergarten Haus at 1355 H Street. The manager claims it to be a German beer bar with an American twist. They can handle up to 700 patrons, 500 being outside. They have TVs for sports in a covered outdoor area, a rooftop deck and only German beer, except during special occasions like Dyngus day. The beer selection has a good variety of German suds including Salvator dopplebock, Weihenstephaner hefeweizen and Kostritzer schwartzbier, among others utilizing 12 taps. The look of the front bar reminds me very much of a woody German beer hall and I have eaten in the beer garden in good weather and the food is authentic with the red cabbage being excellent. It is popular and a treat for DC beer goers.

A newcomer that has been around for about 1 year is the Midlands Beer Garden at 3333 Georgia Ave. Their claim is an American craft beer garden. The place looks inviting with roll-up doors with approximately half their occupancy indoors with picnic tables outside for a total of about 250 people. They have 7 static taps, 7 local rotating and 7 imports that rotate. The imports are mostly German and Belgian while the 7 locals are small local beers and are typically not the most common ones to find.

Garden District beer garden is a small patio beer garden that doesn't open during inclement weather as most of their seating is outside. There is a little inside but it is tight! They only have German beer and American craft beer, about 8 taps, and their food is focused on good bbq. The seating seems to be enough for 100-150 people and is a good location around other restaurants and bars as well as the Black Cat music venue.

Another DC beer garden that is not quite in DC is Denizen's Brewing Company. I include them because it is a brewery and a unique place. Close to the Silver Spring Metro they are open year round but the beer garden only in good weather. The beer garden also has beer service on the patio when busy as well as two indoor bars. The food is decent and has rotated with different vendors a couple times since opening. Inside there is an upstairs and downstairs bar with the brewery on the lower level. The outdoor seating with 24 large tables, each holding about 8 people and there is cornhole for adults and kids. They like to be called a local watering hole and their slogan is 'unified by beer', socially bringing people together.

DC and the surrounding metro area has many other rooftop beer patio and gardens that are worthy of a visit with the local craft beer scene being about as good as it ever has been. Come for a visit!

— Keith added that he is a DC homebrewer and beer advocate who's an engineer during the day.

Thank you, Keith!


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