The Washington Post

Celebrate Belgium’s National Day with strong beer and late-night parties

On July 21, 1831, Leopold I was declared the first king of the Belgians. Today, July 21 is celebrated throughout the country as Belgium's National Day, with parades and concerts. Washington's Belgian restaurants are happy to get in on the act: Belga Cafe, Brasserie Beck and Et Voila! all have special prix-fixe Belgian dinner menus tonight as part of Belgian Restaurant Week, but there are some special events for fans of Belgian beer, too.

Celebrate Belgian independence with happy hour at the bar at B Too. (Scott Suchman/Courtesy of B Too)

Pizzeria Paradiso
Through Friday night, all three Pizzeria Paradiso locations are turning every tap over to Belgian and Belgian-style drafts. At Georgetown's Birreria Paradiso, for example, you'll find traditional Belgian options from Chouffe and Duvel alongside Ommegang's Game of Thrones-inspired Fire and Blood spiced ale, which is brewed in New York, and Boulevard's funky Saison Brett, which comes from Kansas City. The individual tap lists are on the Paradiso website.

Belga Cafe
Looking for something to do after a dinner of mussels and frites? Belga Cafe's Pink Elephant National Day party kicks off at 10 p.m., with DJs and five Delirium Tremens beers on tap. Tickets are $10, which includes two beers or two glasses of wine. After that, drafts are $9 each.

B Too
Can't stay out late? Try B Too's happy hour, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m. Deals include $5 Hoegaarden drafts and Grimbergen bottles, $5 glasses of cava, merlot and sauvignon blanc, and $7 Kir Royal and Belgian Mule cocktails.

Mussel Bar
The Bethesda branch of Mussel Bar offers an all-night happy hour on Mondays, which means $2 off every beer and $7 wines by the glass. If you don't need to celebrate Belgian independence tonight, you can still sign up for Wednesday's beer dinner, which features courses paired with Chimay beers. All-inclusive tickets are $65, and available by calling 301-215-7817.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.



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