A trip to Biergarten Haus during Oktoberfest also counts as a bicep workout. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

Outdoor Drinking

Biergarten Haus
It’s always Oktoberfest at this Bavarian beer paradise, thanks to a dozen or so Deutsch beers on tap and a sprawling patio packed with benches, bar stools and bier guzzlers. Beware the heavyweight on draft, Spaten Optimator Doppelbock, which tips the scales at 7.2 percent alcohol and might tip you over after a liter, too. M.S.
1355 H St. NE; 202-388-4053, biergartenhaus.com.
2nd: Cantina Marina, 600 Water St. SW; 202-554-8396, cantinamarina.com. (Waterfront)
3rd: Poste, 555 Eighth St. NW; 202-783-6060, postebrasserie.com. (Gallery Place)

Happy Hour

Hank’s Oyster Bar There’s no need to shell out much for happy hour at Hank’s, where you can brine on dollar bivalves or slurp a $2 oyster shooter, a boozy concoction that marketing director Shane Mayson likens to “an adult protein shake.” Come back at 10 p.m. to partake of the half-price raw bar at the Dupont and Capitol Hill locations. M.S.
Multiple locations; hanksoysterbar.com.
2nd: The Bottom Line, 1716 I St. NW; 202-298-8488, thebottomlinedc.com. (Farragut West)
3rd: Ghibellina, 1610 14th St. NW; 202-803-2389, ghibellina.com.

Sports Bar

Penn Quarter Sports Tavern
The main attractions here are the 32 screens, positioned so patrons can see at least four to five TVs at once, general manager John Scherr says. Saturday college football, Sunday NFL, plus basketball, baseball and hockey are staples at PQST, where flocks of Texas A&M, University of Miami, Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks fans gather regularly. Not a good night for your team? Find solace in the menu’s winning contingent of such all-star pub grub as Old Bay crab pizza, macaroni-and-cheese balls or hand-rolled chicken taquitos. R.M.
639 Indiana Ave. NW; 202-347-6666, dcsportstavern.com. (Archives)
2nd: Nellie’s Sports Bar, 900 U St. NW; 202-332-6355, nelliessportsbar.com. (U Street)
3rd: Penn Social, 801 E St. NW; 202-697-4900, pennsocialdc.com. (Gallery Place)

Gay Bar

Nellie’s Sports Bar
Readers have now named Nellie’s Best Gay Bar for five years in a row (and two of those years Nellie’s won Best Sports Bar, too). Besides games on the telly, good company and booze — plus a slushie bar! — Nellie’s earns its customers’ ardor with consistently fun daily activities. Texas Hold’em on Mondays kicks off the week, which concludes with a drag brunch on Sundays. Amateur athletes of every stripe take victory laps at Nellie’s, so you might end up rubbing elbows with D.C. flag football’s hottest player and not even know it. R.M.
900 U St. NW; 202-332-6355, nelliessportsbar.com. (U Street)
2nd: Cobalt, 1639 R St. NW; 202-232-4416, cobaltdc.com.(Dupont Circle)
3rd: Town Danceboutique, 2009 Eighth St. NW; 202-234-8696, towndc.com. (Shaw-Howard U)

Dive Bar

The Big Hunt
This jungle-themed pillar of the Dupont bar community is dark and filled with an eclectic clientele — what good dive isn’t? Best known for its happy hour specials (20-cent wings on Tuesdays, for example) and wide-ranging beer selection, it also has pool and Skee-Ball tables, a trivia night and free stand-up shows on Wednesdays and Fridays. R.S.
1345 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202-785-2333, thebighunt.net. (Dupont Circle)
2nd: The Bottom Line, 1716 I St. NW; 202-298-8488, thebottomlinedc.com. (Farragut West)
3rd: The Pug, 1234 H St. NE; thepugdc.com.

chocorayto (VIA FLICKR)

Founding Farmers
The founding father of Founding Farmers, Dan Simons, believes in our right to pursue quality cocktails. Both locations boast ambitious mixologists who ably shake up drinks off the extensive cocktail menu (you definitely won’t regret sipping the slightly sweet, herbal Last Word). They’re also more than capable of concocting something on the fly. R.S.
1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202-822-8783 (Foggy Bottom) and 12505 Park Potomac Ave., Potomac, Md.; 301-340-8783, wearefoundingfarmers.com.
2nd: The Passenger, 1021 Seventh St. NW; 202-393-0220, passengerdc.com. (Mt Vernon Sq)
3rd: The Gibson, 2009 14th St. NW; 202-232-2156, thegibsondc.com. (U Street)


Alex Bookless of The Passenger
Can you find the perfect Manhattan in D.C.? Yes, if you dip into The Passenger, where head bartender Alex Bookless crafts classic cocktails along with rotating specials — just glance at the chalkboard for the night’s offerings. But Bookless’ true specialty is making a drink to suit your mood. Feel like gin or bourbon? Sweet or sour? Bookless will whip up the perfect cocktail of the moment. E.M.M.
1021 Seventh St. NW; 202-393-0220, passengerdc.com. (Mt Vernon Sq)
2nd: Jackie Beasley of Founding Farmers, 1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; 202-822-8783, wearefoundingfarmers.com. (Foggy Bottom)
3rd: Paul Martinez of Bar Charley, 1825 18th St. NW; 202-627-2183.

Trivia Night

JR’s Bar and Grill
This Dupont gay bar is usually full of people enjoying drinks and music (and show tunes every Monday night!). On Wednesday nights at 8 p.m., regulars hunker down to play some trivia. Emcee Jay Ray’s questions keep teams on their toes, while the specials, including $2 JR’s drafts and $4 vodka drinks, keep people in their seats. M.P.
1519 17th St. NW; 202-328-0090. (Dupont Circle)
2nd: Fado Irish Pub, 808 Seventh St. NW; 202-789-0066; fadoirishpub.com/washington. (Gallery Place)
3rd: Nellie’s Sports Bar, 900 U St. NW; 202-332-6355; nelliessportsbar.com. (U Street)


Sunday nights are the worst: They feel like a weekend but are actually school nights. Wednesdays aren’t that much better: Friday is so close and yet so far! Beat both sets of blues with Cobalt’s Sunday and Wednesday karaoke nights, starting at 10 p.m. Be prepared for a heavy dose of cheesy pop, and remember: You can never go wrong with “Love Is a Battlefield.” K.P.K.
1639 R St. NW; 202-232-4416, cobaltdc.com. (Dupont Circle)
2nd: Hill Country Barbecue, 410 Seventh St. NW; 202-556-2050, hillcountrywdc.com. (Archives)
3rd: Muzette Karaoke, 2305 18th St. NW, basement; 202-758-2971, muzette.com

Written by Morgan Schneider, Rachel Sadon, Beth Marlowe, Marissa Payne, Kristen Page-Kirby (Express) and Becca Milfeld (For Express)