The Washington Post

Fill your belly with clams and beer at happy hour

A box of fried whole-belly clam strips and a can of 21st Amendment Hop Crisis beer cost $10 during the daily Cans and Clams happy hour at Freddie's Lobster + Clams in Bethesda. (Fritz Hahn/The Washington Post)

The daily happy hour, which runs from 4 to 7, is $1 off the dozens of bottled and canned beers, which puts most in the $4-$5 range. You’ll pay more for fancier microbrews (Flying Fish’s Exit Four Tripel becomes $6) or fancier European imports ($7 for a half-liter bottle of Moorehouse’s Black Cat Dark Mild still feels like a steal).

But look beyond that to the Cans and Clams deal: $10 for any can of beer on the menu and a cardboard box of fried whole-belly clams. They arrive in a light, crunchy breading, piled so high that they’re spilling out of the grease-spotted box. Chewy, sweet and mixing meat and a bit of brine, they’re just what I was looking for. (As my bartender said, “Sometimes people expect to get clam strips, so I have to warn people that these have a different flavor.”)

Wash them down with some some great American brews, including the robust, hoppy G’Knight from Oskar Blues, Anderson Valley’s easy-drinking Summer Solstice seasonal, or the ridiculously rich and delicious Hop Crisis IPA from San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery. One box of clams can feed two people, so bring a friend to make the most of the deal.

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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