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Photo; Courtesy of The Bruery
Photo; Courtesy of The Bruery

Summer of the Sour Beer

Sour is the beer of summer. No, we’re not bestowing the varietal brew with this title simply for alliteration. When your body is being beaten down by 90-degree heat regularly, your taste buds don’t yearn for a malty ale, nor do they beg for a deep chocolate stout. Your tongue desires dry acidity in a beer, something with a lower alcohol percentage so you can return to the bartender or fridge again and again. You want a sour.

Now that we’ve discovered your heart’s sour desire, it’s time to figure out what factors contribute to a delicious sour beer. There are two popular methods to brewing sours: 1) the traditional fermenting process with equipment specifically suited for crafting a sour beer and 2) the kettle method, which allows brewers to sour unfermented wort in a few days by introducing a lactobacillus that transforms sugars into lactic acid, providing a tart flavor.

Many breweries handle the process differently. Some operate in two brewhouses to keep sours separate from their regularly offered varietals, and others just take extreme precautions to prevent contamination. Within these processes comes the additions of fruit flavors and other options that create the unique, tangy flavors that help quench thirst while providing a buzz.

Luckily for us, there are a number of breweries offering sours in the area using both techniques, and if you don’t buy what we’re saying about the summer belonging to sours, perhaps you’ll listen to them.

Photo: Rose Collins

Photo: Rose Collins

Bluejacket

Whereas most breweries lean one side or the other as far as the methodology for sours, beer director Greg Engbert says Bluejacket does both. With the need to keep sours on two to three taps at all times, the turnover of kettle sours is helpful. But the brewery still uses a mixed-fermentation, barrel-aged process for select offerings.

“We have a steady stream of delicious sours coming out at all times,” Engbert says. “Recently, we released a cherry-raspberry sour called Eighties Fan, and we also had a limited bottling of Mural, a sour brown ale aged 14 months in Napa Valley Cabernet Franc barrels.”

With this diversity, and the production of other “clean” beers, Engbert says the team at Bluejacket is extremely fastidious in their approach. To him, sour brewing is the most traditional practice when it comes to making beer.

“It embraces yeasts and bacteria known for producing wilder, often acidic flavors not typically associated with the cleaner styles created over the last few hundred years,” he says. “By once again involving some of the wilder flavors born of older forms of fermentation, we are enhancing and expanding the flavor possibility of craft beer today.”

Engbert says that hints of butter, candy corn and Cheerios represent items of flavor you don’t want in your sour, and even though that seems obvious, he assures it’s common.

“We consider a great sour to be one where all flavors are deliciously impactful, yet balanced. We seek to deliver a clean sour: one that is briskly tart, composted and aromatically inviting, with fruit and funk side by side in harmony.”

Bluejacket: 300 Tingey St. SE, DC; www.bluejacketdc.com

Photo: Courtesy of The Bruery

Photo: Courtesy of The Bruery

Bruery Terreux

Bruery Terreux, the sour sister brand of The Bruery, is a brewery in California completely tasked with crafting traditional sours and American wilds. Ethen Adams, the manager at Union Market-based The Bruery Store, says the brand became its own in 2005 when they decided to use two separate facilities to isolate all the diverse bacteria.

“We saw a need after having the experience of an infection issue,” Adams says. “There are a lot of breweries that are still brewing both in the same facility, and it can screw up really good beers. We learned the hard way early on, and since we had the space, we decided to segregate the two.”

This has spurred a friendly competition between Bruery Terreux and The Bruery’s brewhouses, with each offering radically different taprooms on the West Coast.

“The guys at Terreux have been making great sour beers, and figured out some new varieties to level the playing field.”

Nearly all of the sours touch oak at some point at Terreux, Adams says. And a majority of gallons run through their foeder, an 8,000-gallon barrel.

“We like the traditional, historical approach to our sour beers because the microbes take up residence in the wood and the beer sours on its own terms,” he continues. “We feel like there are more complexities and nuance with the traditional method, but a lot of breweries unfortunately don’t have the option.”

Popular Terreux products at The Bruery Store include goses, Berliner weisses and American wild ales.

“Sour and the Rye is an American wild ale, and you’re getting a different level of acidity with those labels,” Adams says. “They’ll still maintain complexities and be very approachable, but the acidity is very high and might pucker a newcomer to sour beers.”

The Bruery Store: 513 Morse St. NE, DC; www.thebruery.com/the-bruery-dc

Photo: Courtesy of Devils Backbone

Photo: Courtesy of Devils Backbone

Devils Backbone

With a Cranberry Gose offered year-round, Devils Backbone doesn’t do too much tinkering when it comes to sour beers. But the ones they do concoct offer a change of pace for the brewery as it shifts the order of operations for a few days, says production brewmaster Joshua French.

“It’s not a hassle,” French says. “We do kettle sours because of the precautions, and it’s interesting because we have to manipulate our one-way system in order to do one. It’s time consuming, because it sits in a mash kettle for 48 hours, and while it sits there you can’t do anything else. You have to rearrange the whole brew house.”

As for the difference between kettle sours and traditional sours, French says it’s generally a personal preference.

“It’s such a divided line in the industry,” he says. “With the kettle, you can take the acidity and start the process there, and it’s very controllable. On the other side, there’s the art and skill of blending different cultures and barrels to achieve the taste you want.”

French is all about the traditional Belgian sours because the taste provides nostalgic feels, but most importantly, he doesn’t want too much meddling in those old-school varietals. Too much of anything in a sour is off-putting.

“I don’t want to drink sour raspberry jam,” he says. “I still want the beer flavor and subtle lactic acid notes. I want subtlety in my sours – that’s what I prefer.”

Devils Backbone brews are carried at various locations throughout the DMV. Go to www.dbbrewingcompany.com for a list of spots to pick them up.

Devils Backbone Basecamp Brewpub: 200 Mosbys Run, Roseland, VA; www.dbbrewingcompany.com

Photo: Courtesy of Mad Fox

Photo: Courtesy of Mad Fox

Mad Fox Brewing Company

Bill Madden has been brewing sours at the Mad Fox Brewing Company in Falls Church since about 2014, but the first time was a complete accident. After bacteria jumped into a barrel batch of another brew, the team decided to blend and bottle the beer to keep the microscopic invaders from infiltrating the rest of the brewery. In order to sanitize the workspace, Mad Fox painted walls, cleared out the barrels and underwent a sour hiatus.

“Now we’re doing kettle sours because it controls bacteria better,” Madden says. “We’ve been doing that since last year, and we’ve done about half a dozen so far.”

Though he’s only been operating the kettle process for less than a year, Madden says he actively studied the method beforehand to ensure he was comfortable after the sour hiccup in 2014.

“Souring beer goes against everything I learned at brewing school,” he continues. “You’re always taught to keep those bacteria out. But once you invite them in, you have to control it because if they get into everything, it doesn’t fare well for a kölsch beer or pale ale.”

Mad Fox offers a Berliner weisse called the Humdinger year-round, and the brew showcases light stone fruit notes and tartness.

“We were so focused on getting our Berliner weisse right,” Maddens says. “We wanted to get that first one near perfect before we moved onto other sour beers. Patrons are asking for [fruity] versions, such as our cherry sour. I’m taking steps to slowly work through different styles, so we can perfect what we want out of the flavor profile.”

Mad Fox Brewing Company: 444 West Broad St. Falls Church, VA; www.madfoxbrewing.com

Photo: Right Proper

Photo: Right Proper

Right Proper

Right Proper’s Brookland Production House offers four different Berliner weisse sours including Jammy Smears, Convergent Worlds, Vol. 2, and Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne. Using the more traditional method of brewing sours with fermenter tanks and barrels, brewmaster Nathan Zeedner says the strict regimen that brewing sour beers calls is par for the course, as the mainstays haven’t changed radically over the years.

“How I usually explain it is we have one brew house and two breweries within these walls,” Zeedner says. “On certain days, we’re only using specific equipment, and we have it color-coded so we don’t mess up. We use very strict sanitation practices, so we don’t see any carry over. We’re very strict to our fermentation.”

Though the kettle sour method is popular because it requires less equipment such as fermenter tanks, Zeedner feels the taste misses out on the full fermentation process. While the acidity is there in kettle sours, there’s generally less character because of how quick the turnaround is.

“[The traditional method] takes longer, and [with the kettle method], you don’t have to segment equipment,” he continues. “And most people are worried about lactate jumping to other beers. But when we allow for our beers to undergo the longer process, you end up with a really beautiful fermentation character because the flavor compounds.”

Zeedner is proud of Right Proper’s family of Berliner weisse brews, saying the beers offer “a strong fermentation character and a pleasing tartness and dryness.”

Right Proper Brookland Production House: 920 Girard St. NE, DC; www.rightproperbrewing.com


Supplemental Sours

Oh hello, looking to skip the article and just find out where you can score some delicious sour beers near you? Well, we caught you peeking, but don’t feel bad. These delicious brews are worth a trip, and here are a few places in the DMV that will give you your fill.

3 Stars Brewing
With a rotating list and expansive distribution list, 3 Stars mentioned their American wild ales like Ricky Rose and Two Headed Unicorn, and the sour ale Saber Tooth Unicorn. 6400 Chillum Pl. NW, DC; www.3starsbrewing.com

Atlas Brew Works
The Ivy City-based brewery has a canned Blood Orange Gose brewed with blood orange and Himalayan pink salt, and Ugly & Stoned, an American sour with “ugly stone fruit.” 2052 West Virginia Ave. NE, DC; www.atlasbrewworks.com

Brookland Pint, Meridian Pint, and Smoke and Barrel
Beer aficionado Jace Gonnerman – also the beverage director at Brookland Pint, Meridian Pint, and Smoke and Barrel – told On Tap that he gets sours from all over the country. Despite that, and because of the great brewing culture in DC, he’s always rotating beers from local spots as well. For sours, he recommends Right Proper’s Silver Branch Convergent Worlds Vol. 2 and The Bruery’s Tart of Darkness with black currants.
Brookland Pint: 716 Monroe St. NE, DC; www.brooklandpint.com
Meridian Pint: 3400 11th St. NW, DC; www.meridianpint.com
Smoke and Barrel: 2471 18th St. NW, DC; www.smokeandbarreldc.com

City Tap House
In the mood for some variety? City Tap House has a variety of sours on the menu, and you can even partake in multiple at a time with a flight. 901 9th St. NW, DC and 1250 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC
www.citytap.com

Dacha Beer Garden
On the heels of their late-June celebration, Sour Liz, this beer garden is flush with remaining gallons of beer, so hurry before they run out for good. 1600 7th St. NW, DC; www.dachadc.com

Granville Moore’s
Granville Moore’s carries a variety of big format sours, whether bottled or canned, and routinely have at least one on tap. 1238 H St. NE, DC; www.granvillemoores.com

High Side
High Side offers a variety of sour beers including Old Ox Funky Face Margarita Gose, Collective Arts Gose with blackberry, black currant and lemon zest, and a number of others on draft and in bottles. 4009 Chain Bridge Rd. Fairfax, VA; www.highsideva.com

Roofers Union
Roofers Union in Adams Morgan offers multiple sour beers, including Sierra Nevada’s Otra Vez, Allagash’s Interlude and even a graft cider titled Fields & Flowers. And that’s only a touch of the expansive menu at this spot. 2446 18th St. NW, DC; www.roofersuniondc.com

Photo: Nicholas Karlin
Photo: Nicholas Karlin

What’s On Tap: Church Hall

After taking the dead space leftover from an indoor mall, Georgetown’s newest craft beer spot Church Hall is already turning heads with their robust selection of brews and delectable bar food. Opened in late March, this kind of spot was desperately sought after in the Northwest neighborhood by college students and residents alike. We checked in with assistant general manager Jessica Cooter to see how the new bar was fitting in on Wisconsin Avenue.

On Tap: I noticed a ton of DC beers in your rotating draft list, is that a focus for you guys to maintain a relatively local feel?
Jessica Cooter: We do like to have a focus on local beers, if we can, to highlight what people are doing in the area. That worked out well for us, our rotating menu changes pretty frequently, and some might only last a week or a couple of days. The frequency depends on the availability and how well it’s selling, and what our focus of the month is. Right now, we’re trying to do a bunch of sour beers, so it depends on what we can get and how much we can get.

OT: Being in Georgetown, in the midst of upper class people and college students, is there any difficulty to finding the right balance?
JC: Not really, most people tend to gravitate toward the same sort of selections. The college kids and older folks want to the same kind of things. A really popular order is to get a beer in a liter glass. We do that for our main draft beers, and everyone really likes to grab those. People like the look of them and just the simple fact that you can get a ton of beer at once.

OT: You have a robust craft menu, how much thought did you guys put into the menu when constructing it, and how much input do the patrons have?
JC: We sit down and do research on the kinds of beers we’re looking for. Distributors bring us samples as well, but we do a ton of that independently.

OT: I don’t know of many craft places in Georgetown before. Do you guys feel like you’re filling the craft beer void in the neighborhood?
JC: Hopefully! We like to think we’re filling that void. It’s nice to offer such a wide variety in the neighborhood and it works out for us. We’re happy to be the one fulfilling the need.

OT: How has the response been in the last three months?
JC: I would say it’s been what we expected. We’ve seen happy hour groups come in and people just responding to the look and feel of the space; those things are always nice.

Church Hall: 1070 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.churchhalldc.com


Greetings, beer nerds! As you likely know, there are a number of fantastic spots in the DMV where you can grab a pint, and their menus are always evolving and adapting to your tastes. If you’d rather avoid the guessing game, check out what’s coming up at a few of these fine establishments.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 4

Brau, Brats and Freedom 4th of July Party
Join the crew of DC Brau at Dacha Beer Garden as they celebrate with Brau, Brats and Freedom. DC Brau will be on special and Dacha will be serving up some delicious Fourth of July fare. There will be games in the garden and plenty of chances to win prizes and DC Brau swag. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Free to attend. Dacha Beer Garden: 1600 7th St. NW, DC; www.dachadc.com

City Tap House’s 4th of July Beer-BBQ Battle
The City Tap House patio will feature breweries like 3 Stars Brewing Company, Evolution Craft Brewing Company and the Center of the Universe Brewing who will battle it out while serving up barbecue samples, potato salad and coleslaw. The brewery with the most guest votes will be crowned with the title. For more liquid delight, there will be a la carte frozen John Daly’s and beer floats. City Tap House Penn Quarter: 901 9th St. NW, DC; www.pennquartersportstavern.com

THURSDAY, JULY 5 and THURSDAY, JULY 19

Beer and Board Games at Sugar Shack
A little beer, a little sugar, classic board games and a few of your friends – it’s the perfect casual weeknight hang out every Thursday at Sugar Shack Arlington. On alternating Thursdays they’ll have a new craft brewery in house to talk beer and take over the three taps for two weeks. Flights, pints, beer glazed donut hole pairings and more. 4:30-9 p.m. Free to attend. Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee: 1014 S. Glebe Rd. Arlington, VA; www.sugarshackdonuts.com

SATURDAY, JULY 7

5th Annual Old Town Pub Crawl at Port City Brewing Company
The annual Pub Crawl returns for the 5th time on the streets of Old Town. The Port City team will be at nine local restaurants, near the Alexandria waterfront, stamping pub crawl passes and handing out swag. Complete your Pub Crawl Pass by 5:30 p.m. and get a limited-edition pint glass. 2-6 p.m. Free to attend. Old Town Pub Crawl: Various locations in Alexandria, VA; www.portcitybrewing.com

MONDAY, JULY 9

A Superbly Off-Centered Beer Dinner at Chatter
Join for a 5-course Dogfish Head Beer Dinner with Calvert Woodley Wines and Spirits. The event includes multiple food items including grilled peach caprese salad, fried green tomatoes, crab benedict, chicken fried short rib and an espresso panna cotta. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tickets $65. Chatter: 5247 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC;
www.chatterdc.com

TUESDAY, JULY 10

The Bluejacket Beer Dinner at Rustico Slaters
On this night, Rustico will offer five exceptional beers from Bluejacket alongside a specially designed menu by Chef de Cuisine Aaron Wright. Don’t miss this opportunity to try some deliciously rare treats from this very special Navy Yard brewery. Greg Engert, beer director for both Bluejacket and Rustico, will be back at Rustico as the host for the evening, sharing stories behind the beers, the brewery and more. 7-9 p.m. Tickets $55. Rustico: 827 Slaters Ln. Alexandria, VA; www.rusticorestaurant.com

FRIDAY, JULY 13 and FRIDAY, JULY 27

Brewmaster Tours Featuring Atlas Brew Works
Includes an hour-long guided tour of the museum and a local craft beer tasting. Receive one beer flight per person, featuring 4 ounce pours of three local beers, and experience the Brewmaster’s Castle with a drink in your hand. After the tour, guests are welcome to mingle in the Conservatory and purchase full beers if they wish. 5-6:30 p.m. Tickets $30. Heurich House Museum: 1307 New Hampshire Ave. NW, DC; www.heurichhouse.org

SATURDAY, JULY 14

Mad Fox Brewing Company 8th Anniversary Party
Come join the fun as Mad Fox celebrates eight wonderful years with eight exceptional beers at their Brewpub in Falls Church. In honor of this special occasion, they are releasing some new beers and some rare editions of their favorite beers. There will be live music and the annual Anniversary glass giveaway. Oh, and cake too. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Free to attend. Mad Fox Brewing Company: 444 West Broad St. Falls Church, VA; www.madfoxbrewing.com

TUESDAY, JULY 17

44 Beer Comedy Showcase
With some of the best beer in DC, what’s a better pair than comedy? Well on top of some of the lowest prices for craft beers in DC, during the show, you can also get an additional $1 off every beer. The show features five comedians, each performing 10-minute sets with their best material. 8-10:30 p.m. Tickets $10-$20. The Heights Taproom: 3115 14th St. NW, DC; www.theheightstaproom.com

Taco Beer Dinner at Gordon Biersch
Come join at Gordon Biersch Rockville for a taco beer dinner. They’ll be pairing limited-release tacos that you won’t find on the menu with a curated selection of in-house beers. 6-8 p.m. Ticket information available soon. Gordon Biersch: 200 E. Middle Ln. Rockville, MD; www.gordonbiersch.com

THURSDAY, JULY 19

Brew at the Zoo
Drink beer, save wildlife! Join friends of the National Zoo at DC’s best beer festival. Enjoy great times and great brews with unlimited beer tastings from more than 70 breweries, exotic animal encounters, live music and entertainment, and fare from popular food trucks – it’s a unique after-hours zoo experience. Proceeds benefit the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s mission to save species. 6-9 p.m. Tickets $65. Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute: 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; www.nationalzoo.si.edu

THURSDAY, JULY 19

Yoga, Beer and BBQ at the Backyard Barbecue
Hill Country Barbecue Market is excited to revive the Backyard Barbecue, a summer pop-up at the National Building Museum (5th and F Streets). Backyard Barbecue is the place to chow down on authentic central Texas-style barbecue and enjoy live music. Enjoy a one-hour yoga class suitable for all levels, followed by a pint of beer from DC Brau, and dinner from Hill Country Barbecue. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tickets $20. National Building Museum: 401 F St. NW, DC; www.nbm.org

SUNDAY, JULY 22

Shark Week Paint and Brew
Kick off Shark Week with a flight of four beers and follow step-by-step instructions to complete a Shark Week-themed painting. All supplies will be provided. 1-3 p.m. Tickets $35. Forge Brew Works: 8532 Terminal Rd. Lorton, VA; www.forgebrewworks.com

WEDNESDAY, JULY 25

Maryland Blue Crab Feast at Mad Fox Brewing Company
Say hello to summer by enjoying a family style all-you-can-eat Crab feast. Happy Hour pricing will be extended until 9 p.m. for the special occasion. Menu includes all you can eat Maryland blue crabs steamed in Mad Fox beer and Old Bay, butter poached corn on the cob, panzanella salad and famous Old Bay potato chips. 6:30-10 p.m. Tickets $55. Mad Fox Brewing Company: 444 W Broad St. Falls Church, VA; www.madfoxbrewing.com

SATURDAY, JULY 28

Riverside Beer Garden Silent Disco
Nestled between the Anacostia River and Nationals Park, home to the Washington Nationals, is the Bardo Brewery. This riverside beer garden in the Navy Yard district is about to be taken over, quietly. In true Quiet Events fashion, there will be three DJ’s creating the soundtrack to your night and hundreds of party-goers drinking and jiving. Come out, grab a beer (or several) and party under the bridge. 9 p.m. – 1 a.m. Tickets $5-$20. Bardo Brewing: 25 Potomac Ave. SE, DC; www.bardo.beer

Photo: Courtesy of Sababa
Photo: Courtesy of Sababa

Fired Up For National Grilling Month

On any given day in July, you can walk pretty much anywhere in the District and sniff out the smoky aroma of grilled brisket, hot dogs or corn on the cob. Summer heat is nearing its highest this month, but the grill is even hotter.

It’s National Grilling Month, and if you haven’t yet been invited to a backyard barbecue or don’t feel like you have the expertise to do it yourself, there are plenty of new spots in the DMV that offer that satisfying, charred taste with unique flavors and even some smoked-to-perfection vegetables.

Take Cleveland Park-based restaurant Sababa’s pomegranate marinade, for example. The seeds drip a tart yet sweet red juice once bitten into. This juice is combined with labne, a thick yogurt, to douse Sababa’s salmon kebabs. The labne “insulates the salmon from the heat from the griddle, [creating] a crust so that the salmon can stay moist,” says Ryan Moore, executive chef of the newly opened spot.

Moore, who’s been formally trained in Middle Eastern cuisine, uses pomegranate to sweeten the fish. Sababa’s Israeli-inspired menu includes the fruit in multiple dishes, like their chicken liver, which the chef is always encouraging more visitors to try.

“It’s one of those things that most people get squeamish about,” he says. “I sweeten them with pomegranate molasses so they have this amazing, amazing flavor.”

Moore recommends folding the rich liver into Sababa’s soft pita for a DIY sandwich with a hummus spread he makes in-house himself every day.

“I will not relinquish that [recipe] to any of my cooks. I am very proud of my hummus.”
Smoking Kow BBQ, open since April, tries to keep a sweet and savory flavor combination in their barbecued meats.

“We use a few unusual ingredients in our spice rub that accentuate the sweet notes while contrasting with the robust flavors of brisket and pork,” owner Dylan Kough says.

The food truck turned Duke Street brick and mortar’s signature spice includes cinnamon and chipotle powder.
“I definitely prefer a bit more complexity,” he says.

Kough adds that the moist brisket and baby back ribs are the two most popular meats on the menu right now.

“Don’t be afraid to eat brisket fat! It’s my favorite part of the cuisine.”

Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster BBQ in Old Town Alexandria also boasts fast-selling black angus beef brisket and baby back ribs. The restaurant uses the four-time World Barbeque Champion’s techniques – known as the “Mixon Method” – for consistent smoked flavors. Their water smoker is fueled only by wood, with a fast-burning fire for a cleaner smoked flavor.

Along with using the same award-winning rubs and sauces Mixon uses during competitions, the pitmasters wrap the meat “once they have taken on the desired smoke flavor and color,” according to pitmaster John Bennett.

“If you’re not wrapping, then you’re not winning.”

Another technique for flavorful meat is to soak some of them in brine before being smoked.

“The brine helps with locking in the flavor of the meat, keeping it moist and allowing for a deeper smoke ring,” Bennett adds.

The materials chefs use to grill meat impact flavors, too. Momo Yakitori, a new Japanese barbecue joint in Northeast DC’s Woodridge neighborhood, primarily serves grilled chicken (yakitori) smoked over binchotan charcoal.

Binchotan “burns at a higher temperature,” says chef and co-owner Andrew Chiou.

“The charcoal itself doesn’t smoke up. The way they make it, they take a lot more of the impurities out of it. It’s more about quick cooking rather than the slow methods. It’s definitely not like Texas flavors.”

Vegetarians dining with their meat-loving friends won’t miss out. Momo Yakitori’s menu has a vegetables subsection grilled with the same high-heat, smoky flavor. Chiou and co-owner Masako Morishita work closely with farms like Hickory Ridge in Columbia, Maryland to grow mushrooms more optimal for the grill.

“Our shiitake mushrooms are almost twice the thickness of normal shiitake mushrooms,” says Chiou, adding that the farm also increased the water content for their oyster mushrooms. “Because we work with them so closely, we get really great vegetables that are very suited for our style of grilling, which is really high temperature. Most vegetables just burn up normally.”

Federalist Pig’s “Faux Que” sandwich (pronounced like the letter “Q,” not like the Spanish “que”) lets their smoked veggies shine as a main dish as well. The BLT version of this vegetarian sandwich is stuffed with delectably smoked tofu along with heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, vegan pimento cheese and a vegetarian bacon-like ingredient.

Owner Rob Sonderman says that in any big city, there’s almost a 100 percent chance that at least one of your friends will be vying for a vegetarian option when dining out in a group.

“A lot of the time, they’re going to be the one who’s going to be making that make or break decision on where they end up going,” he says. “Having options for those people to be able to get that whole group in is really why we wanted to have more expansive options.”

The BLT is just one of many iterations of the Faux Que, which changes every week or two. Other fillings include smoked portobello mushrooms, shredded jackfruit and smoked spaghetti squash, which imitates the texture of pulled meat.

Whatever your stomach desires, you’ll want to venture to some new barbecue pits for National Grilling Month. Maybe even order some to-go and impress everyone at your summer party. After the compliments flood in, you can let them know about the local grilling establishment that deserves a second taste.

Learn more about these grilling spots below.

Federalist Pig: 1654 Columbia Rd. NW, DC; www.federalistpig.com
Momo Yakitori: 2214 Rhode Island Ave. NE, DC; www.momoyakitori.com
Myron Mixon’s Pitmaster BBQ: 220 N. Lee St. Alexandria, VA; www.myronmixonspitmasterbbq.com
Sababa: 3311 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; www.sababauptown.com
Smoking Kow BBQ: 3250 Duke St. Alexandria, VA; www.smokingkowbbq.com


Grill and BBQ Picks

DCity Smokehouse
With delivery available via Amazon, you can order a family platter (rib tips, brisket, smoked chicken wings and three large sides) for your next house party. 203 Florida Ave. NW, DC; www.dcitysmokehouse.com

District BBQ
Try a specialty sandwich like the Okie Joe, stuffed with smoked beef and pork, and chopped and layered under a tangy sauce. 2670 Avenir Pl. Vienna, VA; www.districtbbq.com

Hill Country Barbecue Market
Treat yourself to their tender brisket and Texas pecan pie for dessert. 410 7th St. NW, DC; www.hillcountry.com

Garden District
Come for the satisfying smoked meat in their sandwiches and grab a seat at the beer garden while you’re there to try one of their brews. 1801 14th St. NW, DC; www.gardendistrictdc.com

NuVegan Café
Their natural ingredients are meant to satisfy the soul. Don’t miss their totally vegan barbecue roast served with rice. 2928 Georgia Ave. NW, DC; www.ilovenuvegan.com

Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company
Don’t be afraid of The Belly Buster – the ribs, sausage, quarter chicken, brisket and potato roll are worth sampling, or sharing with a buddy. Various locations in DC and VA; www.rocklands.com

Sloppy Mama’s
This food truck doesn’t go small – their meat plates come with two sides. Try the barbecued chicken or the beef or pork plate, served with vegan “Happy Chana” and soft cornbread. www.sloppymamas.com

Smoke & Barrel
Vegans, don’t feel left out. Their vegan sampler includes vegan wings and spare ribs, and sides include vegan coleslaw and chili. 2471 18th St. NW, DC; www.smokeandbarreldc.com

Texas Jack’s Barbecue
Add any of their smoked pulled meats to the Two-Door ‘87 Cutlass Supreme Nachos for a delectably cheesy meal with classic Texas flavors. 2761 Washington Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.txjacks.com

Yechon
Share a plate of Korean BBQ and shrimp tempura at this 24-hour, Japanese-Korean fusion spot. 4121 Hummer Rd. Annandale, VA; www.yechon.com

Photo: Courtesy of 2 Birds 1 Stone
Photo: Courtesy of 2 Birds 1 Stone

Drink In Style: 10 Instaworthy Bar Designs

Most people judge a bar based on the quality of its drinks and selection of liquors. But that is just one aspect of the experience. Design plays an influential role in making a bar memorable, with an impact rivaling that of the taste and service. DC’s list of visually stunning bar spaces includes everything from restored Irish architecture direct from Dublin to Wes Anderson-inspired cocktail lounges. Here are 10 of our favorites across town.


Photo: Courtesy of 2 Birds 1 Stone

Photo: Courtesy of 2 Birds 1 Stone

2 Birds 1 Stone
Mismatched glassware and hand-drawn menus welcome thirsty customers at 2 Birds 1 Stone. The underground cocktail haunt features a brick-backed bar accented with white cabinetry and chairs. White brick walls line the rest of the space, which has various seating nooks and benches for groups large and small. It feels lively and intimate all at once, as if you’re hanging out with a drink at your best laid-back friend’s house. 1800 14th St. NW, DC; www.2birds1stonedc.com


Photo: Courtesy of Chicken + Whiskey

Photo: Courtesy of Chicken + Whiskey

Chicken + Whiskey’s Speakeasy
There’s whiskey – lots of it – behind the decoy refrigerator door at this Latin American kitchen on 14th Street. Swing open the door and you’ll be met with dozens upon dozens of bottles of brown liquor from around the word, all lined up behind the long wooden bar. Another wooden ledge for perching drinks encompasses the cozy space and makes for easy, hands-free conversation. A chalkboard displays the selection of cocktails, beer and wine while vinyl on the speakers completes the lowkey experience. 1738 14th St. NW, DC; www.chickenandwhiskey.com


Photo: Farrah Skeiky

Photo: Farrah Skeiky

Cotton & Reed
The team at CORE architecture and design used industrial elements like exposed pipes, a large garage door window and baby blue metal shelving to make Cotton & Reed fit right in as a modern member of the Union Market neighborhood. The big design feature is the bar top, which is covered in wooden hexagon tiles featuring realistic sketch-style artwork of all types of flora and fauna. That artwork alone is Instagram worthy – and it pops even more when paired with one of the bar’s signature rum cocktails. Guest can also gaze back into the distillery and production space. 1330 5th St. NE, DC; www.cottonandreed.com


Photo: Andrew Cebulka

Photo: Andrew Cebulka

Dabney Cellar
This underground hangout – an offshoot of James Beard Award-winning chef Jeremiah Langhorne’s The Dabney – is an ideal spot for sipping wine with seasonal, local food. Edit Lab at Streetsense oversaw the design, which includes a spiral staircase and large chalkboard used for writing the day’s menu. Additional touches like the reclaimed wood bar and shelves and custom-made iron racks for wine and firewood add to the space’s intimate and rustic feel. 122 Blagden Alley, NW, DC; www.thedabney.com


Photo: Courtesy of the Left Door

Photo: Courtesy of the Left Door

Left Door
Each Left Door experience starts by entering its unmarked door off the corner of 14th and S and ascending the narrow staircase that leads to the bar. Drinking at Tom Brown’s speakeasy is a close-quarters affair, whether you’re chatting under vintage lighting at the bar or nestled in velvet arm chairs in the corner. It’s a fitting ambiance for the menu of both innovative and classic cocktails. 1345 S St. NW, DC; www.dcleftdoor.com


Photo: Courtesy of Morris Bar

Photo: Courtesy of Morris Bar

Morris American Bar
This airy cocktail bar from David Strauss is worlds away from dimly-lit speakeasies and underground hangouts, as you won’t find any leather couches or Edison bulbs here. Morris Bar’s two-level space was designed by Swatchroom with inspiration from director Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. Those visual cues come in the form of pastel shades of blues and greens throughout the room and local DC artwork from Dana Ellyn and Nicolette Capuano. The bar is seated only, leaving plenty of breathing room for enjoying a cocktail and the whimsical décor. 1020 7th St. NW, DC; www.morrisbardc.com


Photo: The Watergate Hotel

Photo: The Watergate Hotel

The Next Whisky Bar
Retro Washington vibes and modern styling come together at the Watergate Hotel’s Next Whisky Bar. The centerpiece here is a curving wall of shimmering liquor bottles that wraps around the lounge area and glass bar top. The gold color pops against the red chairs and area rugs, giving a contemporary touch to one of DC’s most notable addresses. 2650 Virginia Ave. NW, DC;
www.thewatergatehotel.com/the-next-whisky-bar


Photo: Courtesy of Nocturne

Photo: Courtesy of Nocturne

Nocturne
Shades of dark indigo, pink and blue join pops of vibrant neon in the dimly-lit Nocturne, the 17-seat basement spot hidden beneath Sugar Shack Donuts in Shaw. The bar concept was inspired by “The Abandoned Night in Paris,” which was one of the original cocktails at Nocturne’s Alexandria-based sister bar, Captain Gregory’s. Fittingly, Nocturne’s entrance is themed as a Parisienne salon, with the main bar designed as a garden under the night sky. Nocturne’s table and bar tops shine bright white, illuminating the flight-style cocktails. It’s a stark contrast with the rest of the room, which feels like stepping into a sleek, futuristic party after dark. 1932 9th St. NW, DC; www.nocturnebar.com


Photo: Courtesy of Delucchi Plus

Photo: Courtesy of Delucchi Plus

Rí Rá Georgetown
It’s more than just the beer and whiskey that are Irish at this Georgetown pub. Many aspects of the Victorian-style main bar – including the back bar – originated at Gerry Nangles Pub from Summer Hill, Dublin. Upstairs, the cozy whiskey room features bars and cabinets that were restored from Maddigans Watchmaker and Jeweler on Ellis Quay, Dublin and paneling from the Dublin branch of the Royal Bank of Ireland. 3125 M St. NW, DC; www.rira.com/georgetown


Photo: Courtesy of Tilt Bar

Photo: Courtesy of Tilt Bar

Tilt at Black Jack
Pass through the doors at the rear of Black Jack to find the colorful, graphic bar top and walls of the pinball-themed Tilt. There aren’t any physical pinball games here, but the feel is evoked through the pinball artwork on the bar taken from actual machines. The rest of the space is similarly vibrant and features nearly wall-to-wall posters and artwork, including the “Tilt” name illuminated in large-scale letters. 1612 14th St. NW, DC; www.tiltdc.com

Photo: Courtesy of Continental Beer Garden
Photo: Courtesy of Continental Beer Garden

Beer Garden Season

As the sun finally shows its face in the District and the temperature begins to rise, everyone is taking to the streets in search of ways to enjoy the sunshine and quench their thirst in the process. And with the area’s brewing game steadily growing (80-plus local breweries and counting across the DMV), it’s no surprise that beer gardens have become popular gathering spots.

“People want to be outside in the city,” says Ryan Roller, general manager at The Brig. “It goes to show when there’s one weekend in January when it’s 60 degrees and we have people calling to make sure we’re open; we’re open year-round.”

Since opening in 2016 in the thriving Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, The Brig has become a local favorite. The massive outdoor beer garden serves up a variety of 23 brews on tap – along with a Tito’s cocktail available this summer – and is able to seat over 200 and nearly 300 standing outdoors (think an entire section of Nationals Stadium!)

“With beer gardens, as long as you offer something for everyone, they are going to work,” Roller says, noting that he tries to keep beers on tap for everyone’s palate, whether they are looking for a light lager, traditional IPA or testing the waters with something stronger.

“I’ve got this delicious, unfiltered, raspberry sour IPA that literally pours pink out of the tap, and people see that pink coming out and they’re like, ‘Wow!’”

Over on Georgia Avenue, entering Midlands Beer Garden feels much like an escape, with a welcoming outdoor space of communal picnic tables and wooden trellises decorated with lighting to take you away from city life for awhile.

On any given evening or weekend, you can find groups gathered to enjoy one of the 22 beers on draft, including a fair share of local brews, East Coast favorites, and German and Belgian varieties. A limited menu serves up giant pretzels and sandwiches, including a tasty bánh mì, but guests are also welcome to bring in their own food or order delivery.

The popularity of beer gardens in an urban environment like the DMV can also be attributed to the neighborhood feel they provide. Over in the Arlington neighborhood of Rosslyn, Continental Beer Garden does exactly this, with a large open space of high communal tables, lounge chairs and patio sofas along with bocce courts, creating a fun, recreational outlet among the high-rises and busy street traffic.

“We often heard that Rosslyn was missing an outdoor space,” says Katie Smith, Continental’s general manager. “A term I’ve heard is a third place – not a home or work – but another place that people will spend a lot of time. Our vibe is so relaxed even though it’s in the middle of so much activity. We’re an oasis that’s around the corner versus having to travel to enjoy being outdoors.”

Open seasonally when the temps rise above 60 degrees, Continental offers up German Weihenstephaner beers, as well as local craft varieties. A colorful mural by artist Jason Woodside brightens up the outdoor space, while lights strung around create a warm ambiance for when the sun goes down.

Also located in Arlington, Westover Market and Beer Garden is another outdoor beer drinking location to check out. Westover opened in 2009, and happens to be the DC area’s first-ever beer garden. While the market is renowned for its in-house butcher and incredible beer selection, the outdoor garden space has grown in popularity for its unique personality and neighborhood vibe.

The gated stone patio has several picnic tables, surrounded by lush green trees and plants, with live music when the weather prevails. During the summertime, they also offer up tasty barbecue along with burgers and sandwiches, all utilizing local, grass-fed meats. Be sure to chase it down with the variety of beers offered in the garden, including a highly recommended (and refreshing!) mango white ale for the summertime.

Learn more about these area beer gardens below. Cheers!

The Brig: 1007 8th St. SE, DC; www.thebrigdc.com
Continental Beer Garden: 1901 Fort Myer Dr. Arlington, VA; www.continentalpoollounge.com
Midlands Beer Garden: 3333 Georgia Ave. NW, DC; www.midlandsdc.com
Westover Market and Beer Garden: 5863 Washington Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.westovermarketbeergarden.com

Photo: Courtesy of Cortez
Photo: Courtesy of Cortez

Where the Cocktails are as good as the Views

Views of grand monuments, quirky rowhouses and historic streets make Washington’s outdoor bars endlessly alluring. This summer, there’s a new crop of rooftop and patio watering holes to explore across the city, each perched high above the hustle and bustle. And it’s not just the view that makes them worthwhile – several of the city’s best outdoor spaces also feature excellent cocktail programs. Here are six new spots to check out this season.

Calico

Calico’s urban backyard is proof you can create an oasis right in the middle of one of DC’s hottest neighborhoods.

“We’re this hidden escape in the middle of Blagden Alley,” says Calico’s co-founder, Greg Algie, whose secluded bar opened in the fall of 2017.

Now that the warm weather is here, Algie says to expect a new slate of summer activities, including cookout-style meals and outdoor fitness classes like yoga and pilates on weekends. A selection of frozen cocktails will join the bar’s popular (and dangerously crushable) “adult” juice pouches.

In addition to drinks, Calico’s chef Nathan Beauchamp is turning out some nostalgic comfort food like Philly-style tomato pie and the Italian-style Blagden hoagie.

50 Blagden Alley, NW, DC; www.calicodc.com

Colada Shop

Colada Shop’s new rooftop garden has made it even easier to get into the spirit of Cuba and the Caribbean. The space is designed to appeal to groups large and small, and is open for everything from morning coffee to evening drinks.

“We really wanted the rooftop to just look fresh and lighthearted, really taking inspiration from Little Havana,” says Mario Monte, Colada’s food and beverage director.

The rooftop cocktail menu has a tropical inspiration that’s entirely separate from the downstairs café. Highlights include a few variations of pouched cocktails (they’re calling them Havana Sippers) along with pitchers of mojitos and sparkling pineapple sangria.

Swing by on Thursdays throughout the summer for special “Havana Night” deals of $6 cocktails and $2 empanadas paired with Caribbean tunes from 4 p.m. to close. Monte also expects to use these evenings as a way to experiment with some new menu items.

1405 T St. NW, DC; www.coladashop.com

Cortez

Baja-style fare and drinks are the go-to items at Cortez in Shaw. The colorful Mexican bar and rooftop opened in March and offers views of the colorful rowhouses and businesses of the surrounding streets.

“It’s really meant to be a transformational experience for the guests,” says owner Ryan Seelbach. “It’s a very relaxed but lively atmosphere – a playful atmosphere – on our rooftop.”

The drink menu at Cortez includes classic and passionfruit margaritas along with choices like a pineapple daiquiri, a twist on a Paloma and more. There’s also a frozen margarita available exclusively on the rooftop. Food focuses on lighter options, all made in-house, such as fish tacos, chips and salsa, and street corn. Cortez offers rotating happy hour specials from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and a $10 beer-tequila-and-taco special Friday and Saturday nights after 10 p.m.

1905 9th St. NW, DC; www.cortezbardc.com

Fix Bar at Morris

Inside, Morris American Bar is a seated-only lounge for enjoying expertly made craft cocktails. But for a more casual experience, grab one of the refreshing, crushed ice “fix” drinks from its new patio, aptly named the Fix Bar.

“A fix is a nontraditional sour cocktail served under crushed ice,” says owner and mixologist David Strauss. “It’s one acid, one sweetener, one spirit – that’s it. It’s one of my favorite categories of classic cocktails.”

The Fix Bar is dog-friendly and encourages standing and mingling with your friends and neighbors. The cocktails are expected to rotate through the year and include items like a Bourbon Honey and a Bramble with gin, lemon and blackberry.

1020 7th St. NW, DC; www.morrisbardc.com

Truxton Inn

Despite its name, there are no rooms available for the night at Truxton Inn. Rather, this Bloomingdale neighborhood spot deals in riffs on classic cocktails in a comfortable lounge atmosphere. The year-old bar unveiled its patio earlier this spring, nearly doubling its capacity.

“Much like all of us, I’m glad we’ve got some outdoor space so we can enjoy the weather after that whirlwind of a winter,” says Brian Nixon, Truxton’s bar manager.

Nixon recommends sipping on the Delano in a White Suit, a combination of bourbon, Giffard Abricot du Rousillon, simple syrup and lime. Truxton Inn plans to roll out a tiki-inspired menu later this summer, and that should make the patio all the more welcoming.

251 Florida Ave. NW, DC; www.truxtoninndc.com

Whiskey Charlie

Located on the top of District Wharf’s new Canopy Hotel, Whiskey Charlie offers a panoramic bird’s eye view of DC from the Capitol dome all the way to the Tidal Basin and Arlington. The vista at this Wharf destination rivals any in the city – though that’s far from the bar’s only attraction.

“We also have a really eclectic, approachable drink menu that has something for just about everyone,” says lead bartender Donnavon Lalputan. “Come for the sunset, stay for the drinks!”

House cocktails include the WC Mainstay, made with whiskey, amaretto, lemon, sugar and egg white. With summer approaching, Lalputan recommends the Sundress Season, which mixes crema de mezcal, habanero tequila, grapefruit juice, demerara, lime juice and a splash of soda. The bar also serves a selection of savory snacks and finger foods like crab cakes, short rib sliders, warm soft pretzels, and a cheese and meat plate.

975 7th St. SW, DC; www.whiskeycharliewharf.com

Photo: Erich Morse
Photo: Erich Morse

World Cup Spots: Best Soccer Bars to Catch Games

The tables have turned – the bar tables, that is. From June 14 to July 15, local sports bars will be playing footage recorded live from Russia: the 2018 FIFA World Cup. And there are no secrets here. We caught up with eight of the DC area’s best soccer bars about their food and drink specials and programming, so you can pick and choose where to watch the games and grab some grub.

Across the Pond Restaurant & Pub

This will be Across the Pond’s first full summer open in Dupont Circle, and the restaurant and pub is quickly establishing itself as the go-to for watching soccer. Catch the early games with their $10.99 breakfast special: scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, home fries, toast, and tea or coffee. Add a Heineken with your meal for $5 or enjoy a $4 pilsner, $4 Bloody Mary or $4 mimosa. Beyond the fried favorites, expand your palate with the pub’s chicken pot pie, cottage pie or chicken curry – all popular dishes on the menu.

“Our owners have grown up playing and watching soccer on both sides of the pond,” says owner and partner Gerry Feeney. “And while we may have our personal allegiances to Liverpool and Manchester United, we enjoy watching and following the sport.”

Feeney adds that he’s excited to have Soccer & Beer TV, hosted by retired New Zealand player Duncan Oughton, film an upcoming episode at Across the Pond soon.

1732 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; www.acrosstheponddc.com

Babylon Futbol Cafe

Founded specifically for watching international soccer, Babylon Futbol Cafe Owner Paul Hecton says his bar supports all major sports, but its “heart and soul is world football.” Babylon will offer draft beer specials throughout the World Cup, and dishes ranging from Ethiopian sega tibs (marinated beef with peppers, onions, garlic and tomato) and the best-of-both-worlds option mar y tierra (steak, shrimp and fries), plus familiar comfort foods like burgers and pizza.

After eating, you can have shisha (hookah) while watching the games. Babylon isn’t supporting a specific team since the U.S. didn’t qualify, but Hecton says he has a strong customer base of South American and African supporters.

“European powerhouses always bring a good crowd,” he says. “Babylon wins when there’s good soccer.”
Babylon shows games in various languages, depending on the carrier and the majority of the audience watching in the restaurant.

3501 S. Jefferson St. Falls Church, VA; www.babylonfc.com

Dock FC

After Ari Gejdenson retired from playing soccer professionally, he returned from Europe to his hometown and eventually opened soccer bar Dock FC in Ivy City. For World Cup season, his bar is offering a food and beverage package that’s great for a group that wants to enjoy the spot’s communal-style seating, or for the dedicated solo fan who wants to munch from morning games all the way to late-night. It includes a pitcher of beer, Cholula chicken wings, nachos and churros for $50.

Director of operations Teija Staples says the Dock FC team will be rooting for Argentina during the tournament “because Lionel Messi is a gentleman.” Spanish commentators will be displayed on the bar’s TVs, as well as English, and visitors opting out of the special food and drink package can still choose from a variety of good eats cooked by two adjoining restaurants: La Puerta Verde and Ari’s Diner. Plus, sweet tooths can enjoy all-day breakfast options like the brioche French toast.

1400 Okie St. NE, DC; www.dockfcdc.com

Fadó

This Irish pub has no allegiance to a specific soccer team. The team at Fadó will be rooting for all countries while offering buckets of Bud, Bud Light, or Mich Ultra 16-oz. aluminums (five for $25). Goose Island IPA, Goose Island Summer and Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat 12-oz. bottles, plus buckets of Harp or Guinness Blonde 12-oz. bottles, are also available at five for $25. If you’re not a beerhead, enjoy $4 mimosas or Red Bulls, or a Bloody Mary for $8.

According to assistant general manager Kevin Bernard, the space will be decorated for the World Cup and you’ll be served by a staff that deeply cares about the games. Talk soccer with the servers while ordering dishes inspired by Dublin’s best pubs. For dessert, try their Fadó brownie with Guinness ice cream. It’s big enough to share!

808 7th St. NW, DC; www.fadoirishpub.com

Lucky Bar

Enjoy a Russian breakfast while catching the early soccer tournaments at Lucky Bar. Russian food specials will also be available during lunch, as well as Russian-themed cocktails and beer. The bar is dedicated to the sport year-round and the Lucky Bar team will ensure you’ll be surrounded by staff who are “dedicated to the beautiful game,” whether it’s a relegation battle in the lower division or the World Cup Final, says owner Paul Lusty. When Colombia plays on June 19, there’s a good chance you’ll find some live entertainment via Colombian DJs and musicians who come out to party and dance – win or lose.

“We pride ourselves on bringing every available game that is technologically possible to our screens from every corner of the globe,” Lusty says.

Lucky Bar offers Spanish and English commentary, depending on the matchups on the day. If you’re still fiending for that soccer-loving atmosphere after World Cup, this bar is dedicated to the sport year-round.

1221 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; www.luckybardc.com

The Pug

This summer will mark the first time that The Pug will be serving food, just in time for the World Cup games. Through a partnership with Toki Underground’s kitchen, bite-sized bar offerings will include watermelon radish crudo with furikake (a Japanese dry seasoning typically used over cooked rice) and lemon. Named after owner Tony Tomelden, you can also try the Uncle Tony’s Lumpia, a fried pork and vegetable egg roll with xie xie sauce.

The H Street spot’s fried chicken or cauliflower steamed buns are other unique dishes packed with Asian flavors like Japanese mayo, sweet chili sauce and Thai basil. Since they’re small plates, you may want to have a hearty dinner beforehand and come by afterward for a drink and to catch the late games with your friends.

1234 H St. NE, DC; www.thepugdc.com

The Queen Vic

This British pub (supporting England in the World Cup, of course) has specials daily – just check the chalkboard when you walk in. And during the tournament, Queen Vic will offer 20-oz. Carlsbergs for $5 while each game is on.

“We have been a soccer bar since we opened and have watched it grow as a sport in DC over the past seven years,” says co-owner Roneeka Baghotra. “We have a license that allows us to open earlier than a lot of other places throughout the year and will always try to open early or show a match if a guest requests it.”
Share a plate of Ploughman’s Lunch with fellow fans; the appetizer includes grilled bacon, goat cheese-stuffed dates, cheddar, mustard, pickles, apple salad and bread. Or if you want something all to yourself, try the chicken tikka masala – chicken in spiced tomato sauce served with rice and handmade naan.

1206 H St. NE, DC; www.thequeenvicdc.com

Summers

Summers Restaurant is chalk-full of HDTVs that will be streaming the World Cup games all day, every day via satellite. Early games can be viewed during the Courthouse-based sports bar and soccer pub’s weekend breakfast and brunch hours. Breakfast options include pancakes, omelets and a classic British-style breakfast, to name a few.

This soccer-centric bar has no specified World Cup specials, but you can enjoy the Monday burger and fries special all day for $6.49. Summers also has all your favorite guilty pleasures available for dessert – including a molten lava chocolate cake. So head to Arlington and swing by Summers during your weekend bar hop to catch a World Cup game.

1520 N. Courthouse Rd. Arlington, VA; www.summers-restaurant.com

Learn more about the 2018 FIFA World Cup at www.fifa.com.

Photo: M.K. Koszycki
Photo: M.K. Koszycki

Behind the Bar: Hummingbird, Succotash and Farmers Fishers Bakers

Celebrate warm weather this June with boozy treats by the water. This month’s roundup will keep you hydrated no matter what neighborhood you find yourself enjoying the sunshine in, so read on for our top picks.


[Pictured above]

Chris Sollom
Bartender, Hummingbird

On Tap: Your slush cocktails were in high demand last summer. What makes them so popular?
Chris Sollom: We use fresh ingredients – fresh coconut water, fresh
coconut milk. It has the typical sweetness that people think of with slushes, but I think it takes people by surprise how refreshing and boozy they are.

OT: Based on last summer’s popularity, are you making any changes to your slush menu offerings?
CS: We have two different slushes this year: the frozen aperol spritz and a Painkiller, which is similar to a piña colada, except it includes fresh orange juice for a bit of a different twist.

OT: What’s your top food pick to enjoy while sitting outside sipping on a slush?
CS: The crab cakes are phenomenal. They’re all jumbo lump crabmeat from right here in Maryland. We’re also bringing softshell crabs back when they’re in season. The octopus is great as well.

OT: What drinks do you recommend behind the slush?
CS: I created a drink called Thinking of Summer. It’s a draft cocktail similar to a rum punch. It has coconut rum, dark rum, light rum, passion fruit, orange juice and cranberry, and it’s on draft, which puts CO2 through it for a bit of a different taste. We’ll have that on draft all summer long.

Photo: M.K. Koszycki

Photo: M.K. Koszycki

Chris’ Pick
Thinking of Summer
Lemon
Cranberry
Passion fruit
Orange juice
Coconut, dark and light rum

Hummingbird: 220 S. Union St. Alexandria, VA; www.hummingbirdva.net


Photo: M.K. Koszycki

Photo: M.K. Koszycki

Darlin Kulla
Beverage Director, Succotash

On Tap: Whiskey seems to be the liquor of choice on your menu. What’s your top whiskey-based drink to enjoy now that warmer weather is upon us?
Darlin Kulla: We are a Southern-inspired restaurant, so bourbon is our big draw. We carry over 100 different whiskies. We love the Belle’s Punch, which is one of our most popular drinks. It has mango-infused vodka and a little bourbon, plus ginger and peach. We finish with bubbles. You get the booze, but also sweetness and spice from the ginger and the peach. It’s a refreshing, easy drink.

OT: You offer four distinct flight selections, some showcasing local ryes and even a collaboration with Maker’s Mark. Tell me more about these curated selections.
DK: We went with a really bold, spicy flavor profile, and finished with a French cuvée for our Maker’s Mark Private Select. Maker’s Mark is usually one of the first bourbons people will try. It’s really interesting to try different iterations alongside the tastes we are going for.

OT: What beer selections do you suggest at Succotash?
DK: We carry different seasonal selections, things that are really bright and citrusy for summer. The one beer we [offer] in both of our locations is a rye beer, which has a hop backbone to it in addition to that rye bitterness. It’s very balanced, because our food is really bold and flavorful.

Photo: M.K. Koszycki

Photo: M.K. Koszycki

Darlin’s Pick
Belle’s Punch
Mint
Peach
Ginger
Bubbles
Jim Beam bourbon
Mango-infused vodka

Succotash: 915 F St. NW, DC; www.succotashrestaurant.com


Photo: Aja Neal

Photo: Aja Neal

Jon Arroyo
Beverage Director, Farmers Fishers Bakers

On Tap: What’s your favorite drink from Farmers’ extensive tiki menu?
Jon Arroyo: The Zombie is the king of tiki cocktails. I would suggest either the 1964 or the 1968. I would kick off your tiki experience that way!

OT: Many of your drinks are available in bowls, so what would you suggest as the best option to satisfy different palates?
JA: The scorpion [bowl], for sure. The cool thing about scorpions is that they can feed half a dozen people easily. Send out a of couple bowls to a party of 12, and that’s a great way to get a fast drink or quench your thirst while you’re waiting for your zombie.

OT: How does using your own Founding Spirits liquor affect the recipes you put together for your menu?
JA: Our spirits are showcased along with some other projects I’ve worked on in the past. We have the amaro daiquiri and the negroni swizzle, just to keep these drinks in the fun vein of tiki. Every time I make a drink, it always goes back to, “Does this fare well with our food [and] our overall guest experience?”

OT: What do you offer beyond cocktails?
JA: We have a rosé that we call Our Virginia Vines. It’s a project that I work on closely with Ben Jordan of Early Mountain Vineyards in Virginia. We’re happy and very proud to be using a local vineyard to partner and produce this rosé with.

Photo: Aja Neal

Photo: Aja Neal

Jon’s Pick
Negroni Swizzle
Swizzled and served in a tiki glass
Lemon
Campari
Cinnamon
Founding Farmers Gin
Founding Spirits Arroyo’s “Never Bitter” Amaro

Farmers Fishers Bakers: 3000 K St. NW, DC; www.farmersfishersbakers.com

Photo: Courtesy of The Peoples Drug
Photo: Courtesy of The Peoples Drug

New and Notable: Church Hall, The People’s Drug and More

On Tap keeps locals in the know about the hottest new food and drink spots around town and the top culinary happenings of the month. Read on to get the inside scoop on what’s new and notable in the DC area.

NEW

Church Hall
Open: March 30
Location: Georgetown
Lowdown: Remember that indoor mall in Georgetown with a food court? These are fast-fading memories as Georgetown gets cooler and makes an effort to keep up with the action further down the waterfront. So ICYMI, Church Hall seized the dead space and turned it into a massive, festive, friendly beer hall. The new spot might remind you of its sister bars (Penn Social, Big Chief, Franklin Hall, Highline RxR). Like the rest of the family, Church Hall is geared toward sociability with long tables, long sofas and games like Cards Against Humanity ready at your beck and call. We heart the 30-plus beers on tap (many local), booze slushies and cocktails on draft, as well as the upscale fairground food (we never say no to a funnel cake). 1070 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.churchhalldc.com

Magnolia Kitchen & Bar
Open: April 10
Location: Dupont Circle
Lowdown: The closing of Dupont Circle’s Circa was the end of an era. But we’re totally happy with the new spot that’s taken its place: Magnolia Bar & Kitchen. Magnolia comes from the same folks behind DC stalwarts Scarlet Oak and Southern Hospitality, featuring a busy menu of American fare with a little lux thrown in (think steak tacos with avocado or lamb Bolognese). And don’t overlook the cocktail menu – this is as much a place to grab a drink with friends after work as it is a dinner destination. We particularly like the Scarlet Buzz (sparkling rosé, Giffard pamplemousse, fresh squeezed grapefruit), topped with a Szechuan bud, which imparts the same tingly, mouth-numbing heat found in Szechuan Chinese cuisine. Also a winner: Birch Please (Birkir birch schnapps, blood orange juice, simple syrup, angostura bitters). The restaurant retains the patio and lots of televisions, so you can catch the big games while you enjoy those fancy cocktails. 1601 Connecticut Ave. NW, DC; www.magnoliadupont.com

The Peoples Drug
Open: May 11
Location: Alexandria
Lowdown: Old-timers might remember Peoples Drug Store, the pharmacy chain from another era – just imagine if CVS or Walgreens had a lunch counter and soda fountain where you could order a root beer float. Or maybe a Cameron’s Kick (Pig’s Nose blended scotch, Bushmills Irish whiskey, lemon juice, orgeat), in the case of this homage to a bygone time. The Peoples chain is long gone, but this cocktail bar has resurrected its memory with some mighty fine cocktails and a delightful menu of fresh, thoughtfully prepared sandwiches and burgers. 103 N. Alfred St. Alexandria, VA: www.thepeoplesdrug.com

Tastemakers
Open: April 21
Location: Brookland
Lowdown: Anything Captain Cookie and the Milkman does is fine by us. The masterminds behind the popular food truck have opened a marketplace and incubator in a former mayonnaise factory – and it’s going to be the hit of the summer. Skip the now-overcrowded Union Market and hang here with the cool kids before this location also gets overrun. We’re totally loving Benjamin’s on Franklin, the hall’s cocktail bar, with its menu of both classics and inventions featuring local liquors. Order a Junto (Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin, aperol, Shrub District pineapple allspice, simple syrup, egg white) while you figure out whether to get meatballs or tacos from the other stands in the hall. Or both. If you are in the mood to learn, there are classes held weekly, focused on everything from “Beginner Knife Skills” to “Dinner in Thailand.” Tastemakers is also an incubator and commercial kitchen, which means that shopping and eating here supports an ecosystem of local businesses and gets new ones on their feet. 2800 10th St. NE, DC; www.tastemakersdc.com

NOTABLE

Loves Me Not
Open: April 21
Location: Adams Morgan
Lowdown: Mellow Mushroom has transformed its upstairs dining room into a haunt for hard-drinking artists and the people who love them. Filled with artwork that Everyman can afford and second-hand furniture, this is AdMo as a grownup. It is still gritty and a little rough around the edges – but jumbo slice is a distant memory and the music is a lot better. The bar menu is the brainchild of Younghyun You, who made a splash at Nocturne. Here, the menu is shorter and there are fewer fireworks, but it still wows, with cocktails named for songs and poems and books. We loved Fear and Loathing (Wild Turkey 101, green chartreuse, gunpowder tincture, demerara), while all the bloggers are swooning over All the World Is Green (mezcal, becherovka, avocado cilantro puree, lime, honey syrup). We also appreciate the “Starving Artists Menu,” which features reasonably-priced classics. 2436 18th St. NW, DC; @lovesmenotdc

The Wing
Open: April 12
Location: Georgetown
Lowdown: Sorry, gentlemen – this one’s just for the ladies (but we’re happy to tell you ALL about it). The Wing is a members-only coworking space that champions the “professional, civic, social and economic advancement of women through community.” The powder room has bottles of Chanel perfume, and there’s a lactation station and a meditation room, all housed in a canal-adjacent rowhouse that was once home to DC’s first all-female architecture firm. In terms of style, think Jean Harlow meets Geraldine Ferraro meets Amal Clooney, with lavish displays of art and books by women. In terms of edibles, look for local, women-owned businesses highlighted at The Perch, the club’s in-house café and bar. The women of DC’s Republic Restoratives stock the bar and run the cocktail menu, which features drinks like the Notorious RBG (vodka, orange, lime, sage simple syrup, cranberry) and The Filibuster (matcha, Rodham Rye, lemon juice, honey). Other women-owned suppliers on the café menu of toasts, salads and ’wiches include Baked and Wired, Vaughan Cheeses and Woolf Lavender Farm. Now ladies, you have a choice: join up, or figure out which of your friends are members (they can bring guests). You know you need that Notorious RBG cocktail in your Insta feed. 1056 Thomas Jefferson St. NW, DC; www.the-wing.com

Photo: Courtesy of Supreme Core Cider
Photo: Courtesy of Supreme Core Cider

What’s On Tap: Supreme Core Cider Opens Taste Room in District

The story of Supreme Core Cider comes with cider love at first sight – or something close to that. After meeting on a message board and bonding over their adoration for niche cideries on the Left Coast, Will Sullivan and Kyle Crosby figured they’d bring the craft beer aesthetic with a twist to the District. After three years of hard work, architectural investigations and a ton of science experiments involving apples, Supreme Core Cider opened the doors to its taproom on May 12. Just weeks after they began welcoming cider diehards and neophytes into their Ivy City location, we caught up with Sullivan to discuss all things cider.

On Tap: How did you and Kyle meet? When did the idea of a cidery come up?
Will Sullivan: We actually met on a local cidermakers’ chat forum – basically, a place where weirdos hang out and make ciders, and talk recipes, equipment and procedures. I put it out there that I was going to start one in DC, and we started chatting and got together. He ended up having a similar vision, and we had a good alignment there. We’re both craft beer guys at heart, and we wanted to approach cider like craft beer is approached. Our mission is [to use] available input to put out high-integrity, all-natural ciders. We try to source locally. We use real fruits, and our barrel programs are all from local producers.

OT: What do you mean by “real stuff” when it comes to cider?
WS: I’ll start by saying that the cideries we look up to are in the Pacific Northwest in Washington and Oregon, like 2 Towns Ciderhouse and Schilling Hard Cider. They come from a great craft beer culture, and they’re making really great products. Our goal is to hit the sweet spot and work with orchards throughout the season – be less like a winery and more like a brewery, in terms of how you feel when you’re inside and the palate we’re carving out.

OT: What can people expect from the drinks you offer? How did locals respond to your official opening?
WS: People really seemed to like it. We’ve been in the market since September, producing offsite while we waited for the taproom. The fact that we’re hitting the market with something that just wasn’t here – people are excited about that. We’re not for you if you’re into super sweet, but we’re the guys who are making cider without a crazy reliability on sugar. We’ve participated in a bunch of events. We did Snallygaster and different cider festivals. We were involved in a big festival at Nats Park. We do a ton of tastings to introduce people to our ciders, neighborhood by neighborhood.

OT: Now that you’ve accomplished opening the tap room, what’s next for you guys?
WS: Total and complete global domination [laughs]. We’re lucky to get in the market and interact with people. Our goal is to get people to our facility, and a big part of what we’re doing here is educational and cultural. We’re always going to have more than what’s on our website at the taproom. We want people to come and see our crazy experiments. Cider can be a cool beverage, but it can also anchor a culture like craft beer does.

Supreme Core Cider’s taproom is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-8 p.m. Follow them on social media at @supremecorecider.

Supreme Core Cider: 2406 T St. NE, DC; 202-215-5029; www.supremecorecider.com


Greetings, beer nerds! As you likely know, there are a number of fantastic spots in the DMV where you can grab a pint, and their menus are always evolving and adapting to your tastes. If you’d rather avoid the guessing game, check out what’s coming up at a few of these fine establishments.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6

The Reverie Beer Dinner
Join Rustico Ballston for an unforgettable evening of beer and food with their friends from Reverie Distribution. Taste featured beers from five different breweries from Reverie’s portfolio alongside a specially designed menu by chef de cuisine Stephen McRae. 7-9 p.m. Reservations are required. $55. Rustico Ballston: 4075 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.rusticorestaurant.com

THURSDAY, JUNE 7

Beer and Board Games at Sugar Shack
A little beer, a little sugar, classic board games and a few of your friends – it’s the perfect casual weeknight hang out every Thursday at Sugar Shack Arlington. On alternating Thursdays they’ll have a new craft brewery in house to talk beer and take over the three taps for two weeks. Flights, pints, beer glazed donut hole pairings and more. 4:30-9 p.m. Free to attend. Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee: 1014 S. Glebe Rd. Arlington, VA; www.sugarshackdonuts.com

FRIDAY, JUNE 8

Lagunitas Beer Dinner
Join Wildfire for a summer beer dinner when Wildfire’s executive chefs prepare a four-course custom menu paired with craft brews from Lagunitas Brewing Company. William Stanfield of Lagunitas Brewing Company will join as guest speaker for the evening. The dinner begins with a reception of passed appetizers and the first pairing at 6:30-8 p.m. $60. Wildfire at Tysons Galleria: 2001 International Dr. 3rd floor, McLean, VA; www.wildfirerestaurant.com/mclean

Tinner Hill Blues, Brews & BBQ Block Party
Join as Mad Fox closes the Market Square, fires-up the smoker and kicks-off Falls Church’s Tinner Hill Blues Festival with their inaugural Blues, Brews and BBQ Block Party. They will have live Blues music, great food and award-winning Mad Fox beer. 4-10 p.m. Outdoor Block Party ends at 10 p.m. but the restaurant will still be open for even more fun and beer. $7-$10 (beer and barbecue not included). Mad Fox Brewing Company: 444 West Broad St. Falls Church, VA; www.madfoxbrewing.com

FRIDAY, JUNE 8 and JUNE 15

Brewmaster Tours
Spend your evening like a brewmaster! Admission includes an hour-long guided tour of the museum and a local craft beer tasting. Receive one beer flight per person featuring 4-oz. pours of three local beers, and experience the Brewmaster’s Castle with a drink in your hand. This month, the tours will feature a special tasting of Aslin beer. Guests must be 21+ to attend. 5-6:30 p.m. $30. Heurich House Museum: 1307 New Hampshire Ave. NW, DC; www.heurichhouse.org

MONDAY, JUNE 11

Dynamic Duos Aslin and Southern Grist: 20 Rare Drafts
ChurchKey welcomes Aslin Beer Company and Southern Grist Brewing to pour 20 different beers from the two incredible breweries. Rarely available in DC, Southern Grist has sent an unbelievable lineup of beers, including their collaboration with Aslin, Pushing Buttons. This Sour IPA was brewed with oranges, lemons, limes, lactose, vanilla and Jasmine tea. Not to be outdone, the friends at Aslin have sent a slew of specialties, including Cotton, an Imperial Pastry Stout finished with vanilla beans, cocoa nibs, coffee, coconut flakes, marshmallow and macadamia nuts. All Aslin and Southern Grist beers will be priced individually. 4-11 p.m. Free to attend. ChurchKey: 1337 14th St. NW, DC; www.churchkeydc.com

THURSDAY, JUNE 14

The Decadent Ales Showcase
ChurchKey welcomes the fine folks from Decadent Ales with pours of seven hard-to-find beers from the upstate New York brewery and host founder Paul Pignataro. Located in Mamoraneck, New York, Decadent Ales is known for brewing juicy, hazy IPAs and rich, dessert-inspired pastry stouts. Only recently available in the DC metro area, we can’t wait for you to taste these incredible beers. 4-11 p.m. There is no admission fee for this event. All Decadent beers will be priced individually by the glass and in 4-oz. tasting pours. ChurchKey: 1337 14th St. NW, DC; www.churchkeydc.com

The Power of Positive Drinking
The Power of Positive Drinking is back with more great, free comedy featuring some of the best up-and-coming comedians in the DMV. All performers pair nicely with Port City Brewing Company’s delicious craft beer. They will be offering beer in pitchers, so you and your friends won’t miss the show. Doors at 6:30 p.m., event from 7-9 p.m. Port City Brewing Company: 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.portcitybrewing.com

FRIDAY, JUNE 15 – SATURDAY, JUNE 16

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival
Get ready for two big days of beer sipping, bourbon tasting, music listening and barbecue eating. Your admission buys you a sampling glass so you can enjoy an all you can taste samplings of beer and bourbon. Some of the best barbecue vendors will be onsite if you get hungry, in addition to enjoyable seminars in the tasting theater and live music all day. Featuring 60-plus beers, 40 bourbons and tons of barbecue. 6-10 p.m. on Friday, 2-6 p.m. on Saturday. $45-$120. The Plateau: 300 Waterfront St. National Harbor, MD; www.beerandbourbon.com

SATURDAY, JUNE 16

Bluegrass and Crawfish Boil with Rare Craft Beers
For those who haven’t experienced the fine tradition of a Southern Lowcountry boil, this is just the event for you. Join in the outdoor courtyard, where Rustico Ballston’s own chef de cuisine Stephen McRae will be serving up a feast of fresh Louisiana crawfish, Andouille sausage, corn on the cob and red potatoes. No crawfish boil is complete without a cold beer in-hand, so four Virginia breweries will be there to make sure your glasses don’t go empty. Enjoy everything from lawn games to live bluegrass performances from The Grandsons and Jonny Grave. 12-7 p.m. Free to attend. Rustico Ballston: 4075 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.rusticorestaurant.com

Pedals ‘N’ Pints: June Short Ride
Are you a bicyclist who loves beer and lives in the DMV? Be a part of Port City’s Pedals ‘N’ Pints June Short Ride. Come gather for coffee and donuts before departing for a ride, then return to plentiful brews and The Big Cheese food truck. It will be a little more than a 10-mile route from the front door of the tasting room out to the park, up to Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) and back. 10:45 a.m. – 12 p.m. Port City Brewing Company: 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.portcitybrewing.com

THURSDAY, JUNE 21

Heavy Seas Beer Tasting
Be the first to the fiesta with a tap takeover with Flying Dog Brewery. Each ticket grants you three different tastes, complimentary house-made chips and more. Additional beers can be purchased for $5 during happy hour until 7 p.m. After, draft beers are $7. 4-10 p.m. Station Kitchen & Cocktails at The Embassy Row Hotel: 2015 Massachusetts Ave. NW, DC; www.destinationhotels.com/embassy-row-hotel

SATURDAY, JUNE 23

Beer 101 at Mad Fox Brewing
Learn all about your favorite craft beers from production to taste characteristics at the Mad Fox Beer 101 class lead by CEO and executive brewer Bill Madden, who is a veteran of the brewing industry. The ticket price includes a brewery tour with a Q&A, a beer sampler handpicked by the brewers themselves, a discussion and a bar snack. There are only 20 slots available for each class. 4-5:30 p.m. $15. Mad Fox Brewing: 444 W. Broad St. Falls Church, VA; www.madfoxbrewing.com

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs: Derecho Party
Celebrate the return of summer and Derecho Common with a party in the Port City parking lot and fundraiser for Friends of Puerto Rico. Port City has also invited Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation to host a pet adoption from 2-4 p.m., so grab a pint and go home with a six-pack and a puppy (please only adopt a puppy if you have time and a loving home for them). Starting at 5 p.m., enjoy live music all night from Levi Stephens and Rabid Flash MoB and friends. Two food trucks will be onsite to satisfy your hunger, Rocklands BBQ and DC Slices. 12-10 p.m. Port City Brewing Company: 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria, VA; www.portcitybrewing.com

MONDAY, JUNE 25

Nama’stay for Beer
Roll out your mat on a deck overlooking the DC horizon for an exhilarating yoga experience under the beautiful sky. You will spend your first hour moving and breathing mindfully in a vinyasa flow, then walk to the tasting room of Heritage Brewing Co. at Market Common for post-class libations. Meet on the top deck of the Fillmore St. Parking Garage (across from Heritage) by 6:45 p.m. to set up your mat. 6:45-8:30 p.m. Each ticket includes an all-levels yoga class and your first drink after class. BYO mat. $20-$25. Heritage Brewing Co. Market Common Brewpub & Roastery: 1300-1398 N. Fillmore St. Arlington, VA; www.heritagebrewing.com

SATURDAY, JUNE 30

Red, White & Brew Festival
Show your patriotic colors while you kick back with friends, food, tunes and a sweet selection of reds, whites and brews. There’s no better way to raise a flag (and a toast) to Uncle Sam than by drinking in America’s fruits of the vine and amber waves of grain. Every ticket purchase gives you unlimited full pours of American beer, unlimited tastings of 100-plus wines, craft beers and ciders, plus access to area food trucks, a local artisan market, live music and entertainment all day. 1-9 p.m. (Session 1 from 1-4 p.m. and Session 2 from 6-9 p.m.) $29-$89. Akridge Lot at Buzzard Point: 1926 2nd St. SW, DC; www.rwbrewfest.com