I’ll be in the Baltimore/DC area in mid-June, and haven’t been to either place in well over 5 years. A few questions:
- Any new can’t-miss hot spots that might not have many reviews here yet?
- Are Max’s Taphouse and Churchkey still they can’t-miss places they were a decade ago?
- Any good bottle shops to pick up recent IPA releases?
Thanks in advance!
More of a regional perspective. I would also go to The Soverign. DC IPA bottle shop recommendations: Dominion and Norms. Baltimore IPA bottle shops: The Perfect Pour.
Churchkey and the Sovereign are owned by the same person. Churchkey is still awesome, and the Sovereign carries that awesomeness over to a more Belgian inspired location. Different feels to each place, but both are world class, as you will find out when you see the bill at the end.
I would add that I go to Right Proper every time I visit DC, which is pretty often lately. They have two locations, but the Brookland one is more out of the way, so it will be less busy. Neither should be slammed if you go before 7pm. I also really like Atlas. It’s is on the NE edge of DC, and is more of a bar, so no food except for a food truck maybe. Lots of DC ticks though.
Right Proper is definitely on my list for DC. I went last time I was in DC and loved it. I’m thinking a Friday afternoon stop in will be perfect.
Also consider Bluejacket, owned by Churchkey guy… but a brewery. If you go to the VA suburbs there are tons of breweries there too.
For DC, Churchkey is still superb. Definitely hit up Right Proper on a Friday afternoon…perfect time to go there IMHO. Haven’t been to the Sovereign, but looks amazing.
I’ll add another vote for Bluejacket. Plus they are canning now, and their IPA game is really on trend and on point at the moment. A bit of a stretch, but I pop in every so often is the Partisan. More of a cocktail driven bar, but it’s owned by the Neighborhood Restaurant Group (Churchkey, Sovereign, Bluejacket) and they usually have 4-5 interesting sours on tap and have a local IPA focus. Not expansive list, but very quality.
It’s tougher to get releases from the VA breweries making great IPAs within the city beer stores. As others have mentioned, you’ve go to look to the Nova burbs for those (Aslin and Ocelot being the best from Nova, though Solace is easier to find and quite good for hazy IPAs as they distribute cans. Ocelot and Aslin are brewery only and of course on tap in bars)
I’ve not been since last year, but Max’s was still fantastic when I went. I went to Diamondback brewing as well, and thought they were worth the trek to that side of town. Of Love and Regret was pretty cool when I was there a couple of years ago, and they have a small shop for takeaway beer that also includes non-Stillwater selections.
The wedding I’m going to is actually at Bluejacket, so I’ll definitely be there
About a month ago I visited Baltimore and picked up a large number of cans from The Wine Source. Recommendable
Hey just seeing this. Churchkey continues to adapt to times - if you haven’t been in five years, then it’s changed a little to have more of a local focus than 5 years ago, mainly because the local Nova IPA game has gotten so on point. So now the IPA list at churchkey is usually dominated by Veil, Aslin, Commonwealth, Ocelot, Triple Crossing unless someone else has been through on a tap takeover recently. We also now regularly get HF and Tired Hands on tap there. As mentioned, Sovereign rocks the Belgian styles more.
Unfortunately Meridian Pint closed recently, though their other sister places Smoke and Barrel and Brookland Pint are still around. Right Proper and Blue Jacket are the best breweries in DC - Atlas is harder to get to and definitely a far cut beneath those two these days I’d say.
Ping me when in town if you want to bomb the CK or Sovereign taplists - I’m usually down for such shenanigans and we may be able to convince @radagast83 @DCLawyer @GenDV138 and @nimbleprop to make appearances. It’s been a while since we bingo’d the CK taplist - it usually takes a few of us.
And if you have a car, Ocelot is worth visiting but Aslin isn’t a sit down place - you can only swing by and buy whatever they have in 4 packs due to a long odyssey of shitty license situations and failed attempts to move.
Definitely look at tap lists for places in DC if you can. I’ll echo that Churchkey is actually still a thing, though maybe not nearly as unique as it once was since there are so many more craft beer bars. Tap list is still great, food has changed a few times, but I haven’t been disappointed any of the times I’ve been there.
There are a few Pizzeria Paradiso locations that often have some good stuff on tap, but it’s not a large tap list at any of the locations.
Just a few miles to the west of DC is Falls Church VA, which has a number of great places worth checking out if you can make it out of the city.
Dominion Wine and Beer often has a number of Aslin, Ocelot and Veil beers on tap, this may save you a longer trip out to Aslin or Ocelot. You can get crowler fills of most of the beers on tap, but it’ll be a bit pricey. Dominion also gets a lot of Commonwealth cans, which are super worth looking into.
Just a few blocks further down the road is Spacebar, which often will have a large Virginia taplist, though their draft list isn’t always impressive.
And another block down the street is Mad Fox Brewing Company. They brew their own beers. Not mind blowing all the time, but solid to style with a few gems every once in a while. Good food.
Definitely interested in something like this. I have a lot of family obligations over the weekend, but I’ll definitely shoot a message closer to that weekend. Friday afternoon is probably the easiest for me.
Cool man. I have a “loose” work schedule, so can bring my computer and leave it in a corner if something requiring my feigned attention pops up. @radagast83 , @GenDV138 @nimbleprop , @DCLawyer , @noodleuser @Iphonephan if you’re still in town around then, any of you guys down? Been a while since we conquered Churchkey. Basically since @Travlr moved out and stopped herding all us cats together at beer events. What’s Alejandro’s ratebeer name again?
Alejandro is ajax25g, I don’t think he gets on here often (hasn’t logged in since September), but one of us can always shoot him a message since I have his cell number.
@solidfunk @radagast83 , @GenDV138 @nimbleprop , @DCLawyer , @noodleuser @Iphonephan
Current plan is to hit ChurchKey at around 2PM on Friday. Happy to meet up and split some ticks if anyone is available!
Hey! Churchkey doesn’t open until 4pm on weekdays. I may be able to meet you there a little later