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Photographs from CatherineA on Flickr

Beer is the new wine. It’s the new coffee. It’s the liquid you want to learn more about—its origins, its aromas, its natural flavors highlighting specific foods. Forget the keg of Natty Lite in college; these folks take beer seriously. But then again, beer can never be too serious or pretentious. It’s basically just liquid bread.

Here's a round-up of favorite beer-loving bars and eateries in the Washington, D.C., area.


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Rustico

Address: 27 Slaters LN, Alexandria, VA
Phone: 703-224-5051
Website: rusticorestaurant.com
Chef Frank Morales is the beer king of the District area, constantly toying with ale soups and Guinness-spiked cupcakes. In the bar portion of his Alexandria neighborhood restaurant, he rotates 30 taps and in sliding door fridges behind the counters, 250 kinds of bottles.

Brickskeller

Address: 1523 22nd St NW, Washington, DC 20037
Phone: 202-293-1885
Website: www.lovethebeer.com/brickskeller.html
Located in convenient Dupont Circle, it’s part inn, part saloon. The menu is like an encyclopedia—a binder with laminated pages listing over one-thousand imported brews by global region, including a Czech microbrew called Herold. No wonder it’s listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the bar with most beers. Since stocking so many is tough, they’re notorious for running out.

Brasserie Beck

Address: 1101 K St NW, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-408-1717
Website: beckdc.com
All Belgian, and many of which are unfamiliar. Troubadour Stout, Bavik Pilsner and Campus Gold ale are three regulars. Flemish Chef Robert Weidmaier has a dozen taps and a bunch more bottles on his menu, including dessert brews like a cider-ish Floris Apple and cherry krieks. His rich cuisine of roasted pork tenderloin and beef stews underscore each beer, which are served in tall pint and chalice-shaped glasses, specific to each brewery.

Birreria Paradiso

Address: 3282 M St NW, Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 202-337-1245
Website: eatyourpizza.com/about_birreria_paradiso.php
Downstairs this upscale-ish Georgetown pizza hangout is a cavernous, cramped beer-appreciating world. They’ll serve wine too, but slightly begrudgingly. Nothing too obscure on tap, just friendly names like Duvel, Chimay and Allagash. Locals know to come on Tuesday or Wednesday for the awesome happy hour—only $3 for draughts.

Saloon

Address: 1207 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Phone: 202-462-2640
Walk down a few steps and pop into this U Street brick façade rowhouse, the only spot in the U.S. stocking a very potent Urbock 23 brew. Poured into a wine-like glass—since its 9.6% alcoholic potency shouldn’t be in anything taller—the rare Austrian beer is limited to only one per customer. It’s a sipping beer, and will get you happy much faster than any of their Brooklyn Brewery selections on tap.

Dogfish Head Alehouse

Address: 6363 Seven Corners Shopping Center, Falls Church, VA
Phone: 703-534-3342
Website: dogfish.com/eats/DFH_Alehouse,_Falls_Church/4/index.htm
The familiar shark icon is responsible for a few brewpubs in the D.C. ‘burbs. Though the 90 and 120 Minute IPAs are actually brewed at the not-too-faraway Delaware brewery, drinking here is still more fun than buying a six-pack from the liquor store.

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