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14 Great Beer Gardens to Check Out In & Around Washington, DC
Sip your suds in the sunshine and take in the vibes at these brew-centric beer gardens in and around the District.
DC’s booming food and drinks scene has helped to propel a buzzworthy beer community. Check out these open-air beer gardens in and around Washington, DC offering suds, snacks and convivial settings for downing a cold one alfresco.
This dog-friendly brewtopia now has two locations in the District – you can sip suds at the original Shaw beer garden underneath a glamorous mural of sultry movie star Elizabeth Taylor or visit the new Capitol Riverfront location, which is home to a full-service restaurant and spacious beer garden – offering German, Belgian and American suds served in boot mugs. Chow down from a food menu peddling modern takes on beer garden classics like monster pretzels with stout beer cheese and bratwurst with pickled slaw and paprika ketchup.
Try steins of German brews and hearty food (sausage platters, sauerbraten) in this rustic indoor-outdoor bar and restaurant on H Street NE. The best seats are on the raised outdoor deck, where you can warm up with space heaters in milder temps. Frequent events include a weekly trivia night, European soccer matches on a jumbo-screen TV and seasonal doggie happy hours.
Wunder Garten brings an outdoor brew patio with pop-up vibes to the NoMa ‘hood. The beer menu sports local brews as well as German and Austrian flavors, and you can also order up wine, cider and snacks (chips or pretzels). The mod plaza is dotted with turf, potted trees and rough-hewn wooden tables, along with a fire pit that features a make-your-own-s’mores station in the colder months.
It’s one big party at Hook Hall, a 13,000-square-foot space near Petworth where you could spend all day eating, drinking and playing games. Outside you’ll find a turf-lined beer garden with more than 30 draught lines, a rotating cast of food trucks and vendors, Adirondack chairs for relaxing and private cabanas available for rent. Make sure to check the events calendar for the latest happenings at this unique space.
When the weather's nice head to the snug cement patio at Garden District for German and American beers on draft, barbecue and a hopping social scene — especially on weekends, when 14th Street bustles with brunchers. Besides its trademark pulled pork and brisket, the spot also serves up fried sides including half-sour pickles, buttermilk onion rings and addictive hush puppies.
At the two-level German Sauf Haus Bier Hall & Garden in Dupont Circle, you can get your rooftop fix while also immersing yourself in beer garden heaven. A young, boisterous crowd shows up for brews on tap or in bottles, Bavarian fare like enormous pretzels and TVs tuned to big games. It all goes down in a smart-looking space with long, communal tables and exposed brick accents.
Located in Park View, The Midlands is outfitted with a host of picnic tables for you to settle in and bond over brews. The draft list features German and local beer, with rare bottles also available. Wine and cocktail lovers can also rejoice, as choices are plentiful. Snacks are offered, but you can bring your own food, too! The indoor portion also includes TVs and projection screens, for those wanting to check on a game.
Located on Barracks Row, The Brig goes all out, as a beer garden should. From its selection of 20-plus taps (including German and craft brews) to its giant mugs to its spacious environment to its 25-foot projector screen (great for watching can't-miss sporting events), you will be left wanting for nothing when you visit this outdoor haven. Pets are welcome, so gather up the troops for a big night at The Brig.
Suburbia is as distinct as pop-up beer gardens get. Picket fences and picnic tables segment off this slice of paradise, with draft beers, frozen mixed drinks and draft cocktails served from an airstream trailer, all crafted by mixology experts. You can also order up a bottle of rosé, and if the kids are along, they can sip on delicious lemonade. Before or after, make sure to peruse the incredible offerings of Union Market.
This funky outdoor beer complex located at 25 Potomac Avenue SE offers a bevy of brewed-in-DC ales, riverside picnic tables and cornhole sets in a no-frills atmosphere. Lots of bicycle parking (plus an onsite repair shop), a dog park and a sandbox for kids gives it wide appeal among a diverse set of suds fans, while its proximity to Nationals Park makes it a favorite pre- and post-game spot.
This Shaw neighborhood hot spot provides an off-the-ground garden-like atmosphere year-round, teaming up with its industrial look for a truly memorable bar experience. Of course, there’s plenty of beer to go around at Takoda, with two dozen American drafts available in the rooftop beer garden.
A quick trip to Clarendon in Virginia can get you to the seasonal beer garden at Spider Kelly’s, a large patio with picnic tables, benches, bar stools and a fire pit in the fall. Grab a bucket of imported, canned beers or sip on sangria and wine by the glass.
A short trip to Silver Spring, Md. will bring you to Denizens Brewing Company, which sports a 200-seat dog-friendly beer garden. Choose from a wide variety of brews made by Denizens, and wash them down with their delectable bar food selections. The spot also frequently hosts live music and DJs, if you’re looking to amp the night up a notch.
This beer garden is a favorite in Arlington, Va., a quick commute from DC proper. Six draft lines are situated outside, and you can also order delicious hot sandwiches made from the butcher shop inside. Surf the ‘net via the on-site WiFi, except when you’re jamming to one of the weekly live music performances. Westover also frequently hosts tap takeovers and beer tastings.