Beer Bars DC: Dupont Circle

Dupont Circle fountain.

Dupont Circle fountain. Credit: NSinDC

Best Bar: Golden Brown Delicious (1323 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC)
Best Current Draft: Stone Enjoy By 4.20.14
Food Pairing: Fried Drumstick

Anyone who’s ever talked to me about DC bars could have called this pick. Golden Brown Delicious (also known as GBD) meticulously curates a short but impressive beer list. Their offerings are updated frequently—and sometimes daily—so act fast if you see that one beer you’ve been reading about for months.  The service and ambiance are stellar. Waiters at GBD have near-perfect memories and bartenders are extremely knowledgeable about the ales they peddle, while the playlists are pure indie/classic/90s rock bliss.

Oh, and the happy hour. Don’t even get me started on the happy hour. Every day (yes, even Saturdays and Sundays) between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM, three specialty beers are on special for $3, $4, and $5. That’s right, you could enjoy a full-pour Stone Enjoy By for $4.  The only caveat is that the happy hour changes daily. You’ll need to check the Twitters for updates.

Order your Stone IPA or Boulevard Tank 7 or anything else with a fried drumstick or an off-the-menu, made-to-order glazed donut, and you’ll be in wonderful shape.

Honorable mentions: Big Hunt, Pizza Paradiso, Bier Baron

Awoid: Front Page. Wait, is Front Page just a warp zone to Clarendon? Why is everyone drinking Corona? WHAT’S HAPPENING.

RIP: Cafe Japone

 

Beer at GBD with daily happy hour menu on the right.

Beer at GBD with daily happy hour menu on the right.

 

Beer Bars DC: Adams Morgan

18th Street NW in the Adams Morgan neighborhood.

18th Street NW in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. Credit: Mr. T in DC (unaltered)

Best Bar: Black Squirrel (2427 18th St NW, Washington, DC)
Best Current Draft: Goose Island Matilda
Food Pairing: Poutine Fries

The Black Squirrel offers over 50 draft options with a focus on American craft brews. Amazingly, despite such an extensive beer list, the bar boasts a laid-back atmosphere without a hint of beer-snob pretension.  The food’s not bad either. I mean, they have poutine, which is gravy and cheese and fries. It’s basically a trump card in the wide world of bar food.

Honorable Mentions: Mellow Mushroom, Roofers Union

Avoid: Grand Central. Is the beer supposed to taste like soggy bar smell?

Next up: Dupont Circle

Black Squirrel facade. Credit: mgg (unaltered)

Black Squirrel facade, second from right. Credit: mgg (unaltered)

Beer Bars DC: A New Series

The most DC of beers.

DC Brau: The mark of a great beer bar. Credit: Backwards Bill (unaltered)

Now that I’ve put an incredibly busy couple of months behind me, and warmer weather is around the corner, what better way to celebrate than by launching a  beer-centric post series? Aside from a Nats World Series title, I can’t think of anything.

DC has seen an explosion of restaurants and bars in past couple of years, but only a few emphasize a beer list comprised of unique and out-of-market drafts. I’m constantly extolling my favorites to anyone who will listen. More often then not, these stump-speeches are met with eye rolls, followed by a “So can we go to Front Page now?” Woe is me.

Anyway, I figured, instead of boring real people with esoteric beer recommendations, why not put this IPA-fueled stream of consciousness into writing? Behold: a post series of best DC beer bars by neighborhood. First up is Adams Morgan, followed by Dupont and then Shaw.

Leave any suggestions for neighborhoods or bars or both in the comments. Stay tuned!

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Dark Sunset Over the National Cathedral

This is a picture of a DC sunset.

Dark moon, high tide.

Last night, I snapped this shot of a near-finished sunset over the National Cathedral. I liked the contrast between the remaining light in the sky and dark city streets below. Alright, introspective photography post over. Enjoy.

Fire Sky Sunset in DC

I was down on 17th and U Streets NW tonight and was lucky with the sunset timing here. I guess there’s an upside to a frigid cold front moving through DC.

DC Sunset

That right there is why I love this city.

A Four-Year Anniversary and Change in the District

20140116-094838.jpg

M stands for Metro and millennial.

This post appeared on UberOffice’s blog as part of their #betterbiz2014 series.

Four More Years

A few days ago I realized I had hit my four-year anniversary mark as a DC resident. Though it feels like only yesterday that I left the Midwest and moved into my first dirty apartment on Capitol Hill, the changes the city has undergone during my time here have been swift and tremendous.

The Millennial Growth Spurt

According to data from the U.S. Census, my observations are not just another Russia House-induced hallucination. From 2000 to 2010, the millennial population in DC grew 23%, and from 2010 to 2012, the DC region saw an average annual net gain of 12,583 of people age 25 to 34–the largest among cities in the United States. In the past 10 years, the region added 26,000 new apartments and condos. From 2001 to 2011, 709 new restaurants (a 50% increase) opened up in the area. The numbers don’t lie. Young people are flocking to DC, and they’re leaving profound change in their wake.

The Impact

The entertainment and housing markets aren’t the only areas that have responded to this influx of young go-getters. More workplaces are embracing dynamic structures to meet millennial demands of flexibility on the job. For instance, the rise of co-working spaces in DC–like UberOffices–have made it possible for small businesses to rent workspace that provides a physical location without the constraints of a stuffy office culture. With small businesses such as PerformYard, Nice Laundry, and Veenome, UberOffices is making face-to-face collaboration possible, while maintaining the level of flexibility that all the new millennials in DC crave.

2014, Year of the What?

The DMV makeover isn’t by any means over. Real-estate authority Urban Turf has already dubbed 2014 the Year of the Renter at New Buildings. New restaurants, bars, and tech startups continue to pop up almost every day. However, with innovative companies like UberOffices laying down a foundation for flexibility and collaboration, change in the Washington area is continuing down the right track.

Companies of all sizes looking to improve their business in 2014 should consider these demographic shifts and adapt accordingly.

Look out for more millennial-run tech companies, startups, and small businesses. It’s the next frontier for DC.

Chicago Expats Rejoice: Ivy and Coney is Open

CHICAAAAAAGO DOG

Bonus points if you can name all the ingredients.

Finally. It’s finally happened. After four long years of living in DC, a Chicago bar is here and it’s not Union Pub and it’s glorious.

This past weekend I checked out Ivy and Coney in Shaw. This place was everything I was hoping for and more. No sign on the door. Cash only. Goose Island 312 on tap, and the Hawks on TV. (Speaking of teams, there was no Sox paraphanalia to be had. I mean, that’s pretty much just the icing on the cake.) Chicago-style hot dogs were served until 3:00 AM. Even when the crowds started packing in, the bartenders made time for food orders, which was awesome. There were also plenty of free peanuts at the bar.

In addition to Chicago-style everything, the bar has a Detroit theme as well. There are Coney dogs and signed pictures of Eminem, the Motor City’s only celebrity ever poster boy. Stroh’s was on sale by the can but was depleted shortly after I arrived. Worry not, however. The bartenders were ready with High Life in its stead.

The vibe was extremely laid back, which can be credited mostly to the decor and the layout. In the main room, there’s a bar with stools that look like they were plucked straight from some dimly lit hole three blocks from the Metra station in Cicero. Farther back is another, smaller room with antique-style furniture, a filing cabinet, and a coffee table. Despite a look that harkens back to somewhere people watched the ’85 Bears win it all, the TVs are actually quite nice. All in all, the proprietors pretty much had everything exactly as it should be.

Regardless of whether you’re from Chicago or Detroit or Alexandria, I highly recommend heading over to Ivy and Coney. Order a hot dog and 7 or 8 beers and stay awhile.