The Washington Post
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(Linda Davidson - The Post)

Best beer selection

Fritz Hahn  |  Updated 01/15/2013

Need a cold, refreshing brew? These bars move beyond the usual mass-market taps and are perfect for beer hunters looking for something new.


The Big Hunt

Washington, DC

Though it's best known as a Dupont happy hour spot, the Big Hunt has 27 drafts, which feature an interesting selection of American and Belgian craft beers. Ask about the rotating taps and a special list of large-sized bottles.


Birch & Barley and ChurchKey

Washington, DC

The multilevel beer bar offers 50 drafts that rotate constantly -- D.C.'s largest selection -- plus 500 bottles and five traditional English-style cask ales. There can be nightclub-length lines to get in at peak times on weekends, but the experienced staff is worth the wait.


Birreria Paradiso

Washington, DC

One of the coolest beer bars around has an esoteric, rapidly changing list of 16 drafts and 80 bottles to go with the restaurant's gourmet pizza. It also has the most bar space of the three Pizzeria Paradiso locations.


Black Squirrel

Washington, DC

An extensive selection of bottled beers and frequently rotating craft brews on tap help the Black Squirrel stand apart in Adams Morgan. What clinches the bar's position on this list are its special events and theme weeks featuring out-of-town beers. Past highlights include a a range of hard-to-find micros from North Carolina and an appearance by Colorado's Fat Tire.


Galaxy Hut

Arlington, VA

Though it's best known as a neighborhood hangout with indie-rock bands, Galaxy Hut has a strong selection of beers flowing from its 20 taps, including Belgian ales, Virgina microbrews, West Coast IPAs and various seasonal offerings, with nary a macrobrew in sight.


Lyon Hall

Arlington, VA

You might expect Lyon Hall, an Alsatian-inspired brasserie from the owners of Clarendon's Liberty Tavern, to have a Euro-centric beer menu. But this list -- 20 drafts, four times that many in bottles -- is better than expected, starring rich Belgians, satisfying traditional English ales, German lagers and a solid mix of American craft brews.


Magnolias at the Mill

Purcellville, VA

A turn-of-the-century mill is a picturesque setting for a bar with many interesting craft beers and frequent beer dinners.


Meridian Pint

Washington, DC

The 25 taps and one cask-conditioned ale at Meridian Pint only pour American beers, helping the Columbia Heights bar stand out from competitors focusing on Belgian or British imports. Keep an eye out for special beers made by Meridian Pint's staff in conjunction with local breweries.


R.F.D. Washington

Washington, DC

Just down the street from the Verizon Center, R.F.D. -- which stands for Regional Food and Drink -- has dozens of beer on tap, hundreds in bottles and big-screen TVs for sports viewing.


The Red Derby

Washington, DC

Here's a novel idea: An all-can beer list that ranges from cheap domestics (Natty Boh!) and American microbrews to imports from England, Belgium and Russia.



Alexandria, VA

More than 250 ales, lagers, ciders and stouts are on the menu at this neighborhood spot, and beer dinners and special events are always on tap.


Smoke and Barrel

Washington, DC

Rich porters and stouts join funky Belgian ales and American IPAs on the 24 taps at this Adams Morgan barbecue joint. There's also a long list of microbrews in cans.


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