Best Bars With Local Liquor And Brews In Washington DC

July 11, 2013 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

DC is a drinking town that likes to keep it local. Since the ban on brewing in the district was lifted a few years ago and the ban on growlers has now been removed, DC’s brewing within the borders is in full swing. Check out these top five places to get local brew and local liquor from DC- and Virginia-based distilleries.

Iron Horse Tap Room
507 7th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 347-7665

Iron Horse is a Gallery Place go-to destination for Washingtonians looking to relax at the end of the day with some of the best local brews. Iron Horse features a great selection of beers on draft that change out regularly. It carries Maryland locals like Flying Dog and Evolution Craft Brewing Co.; the District’s own DC Brau, Hellbender Brewing and 3 Stars Brewing Company; and Virginia’s pride Port City Brewing Co, Devils Backbone and Lost Rhino Brewing. Grab your draft and head over to the many games including shuffleboard and skee ball.

Meridian Pint
3400 11th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 588-1075 

This cozy Columbia Heights bar is one of the hottest spots to get local draft on tap. Its draft list covers two pages of the menu and changes out very frequently. Oftentimes you’ll find Devil’s Backbone on the menu as well as Flying Dog, 3 Stars Brewery and the Delaware-based local favorite Dogfish Head. Meridian Pint focuses on local in everything that it does. Its cuisine features local ingredients, it is ecofriendly and if you’re into home brewing, stop by for its recycled beer bottles to use for your own batch.

Red Derby
3718 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 291-5000 

The Red Derby is a cozy, hipster dive bar in Columbia Heights with a killer rooftop bar and tables. Known for being a “can” bar, it serves up tons of canned beers from all over the nation, but features many of the local brews. So skip the Nattie Boh and go straight for the local brews. It also offers a full bar with local liquors like the Catoctin Creek from Purcellville, Virginia. Be sure to bring cash, but if you can’t, there’s an ATM in the downstairs bar.

Related: Best Late-Night Activities Beyond Bars In The DC Area

810 7th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 289-2030 

RFD, which stands for Regional Food and Drink, boasts the largest tap list in DC. It loves beer so much that it’s incorporated into the food. Some of the local beers from its 300 or so beer list are the Clipper City and Heavy Seas brews out of Baltimore and Dominion and Tuppers from Virginia. This popular Gallery Place destination gets packed at night, so be sure to come early. For an entertaining evening, check out its Thursday open mic comedy night.

The Passenger
1021 7th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 393-0220

The Passenger in Mount Vernon is well known for its craft cocktails, but offers local brews on draft like the Port City, DC Brau, 3 Stars Brewery and Lost Rhino. On the cocktail side, it focuses on local with the DC-based Green Hat gin and New Columbia Distillers, as well as Virginia’s own Catoctin Creek distillery that focuses on a well-balanced rye whiskey. For a taste of local in DC’s own native cocktail, try the Rickey, which highlights Green Hat gin, lime and mineral water over ice.

Related: Best Bars For Foodies In Washington, DC 

Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isnt enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamie’s traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at

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