DC Beer
Uncategorized

Find good beer: Arlington, VA Beer Guide

Arlington has a bevy of quality brews to choose from. Though many on this list are in the Clarendon neighborhood, there is frequently craft beer around every corner if one looks hard enough. This list should steer you from the Westover area down by Ballston and eventually on to Courthouse. Prost!

View DCBEER.COM – Arlington Beer Guide in a full screen map

BARS & RESTAURANTS

Galaxy Hutgalaxy hut
Many Arlington residents equated the death of Dr. Dremos to Galaxy Hut being “the last good-beer dive standing.” While comparisons are inevitable one risks robbing Galaxy Hut of its originality. This bar has consistently kept good beer on draft, carrying many left coast offerings as well as Midwestern and North Atlantic staples. It’s typical of Galaxy Hut to offer pilsner, stout, porter and a lambic all at once. Galaxy Hut has also carried (when Rogue was keeping up to date) a rotating selection of John’s Locker Stock, a rotating “special brew” selected “every so often” by Rogue’s Brewmaster John Maier. At one point in time, Galaxy Hut’s constant renewal of John’s Locker Stock made them the only bar in the Mid Atlantic (or the East Coast for that matter) stocking the rare kegs.
Galaxy Hut
2711 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA

Restaurant 3restaurant 3
Restaurant 3 features several good beers on draft. While it can be crowded during Happy Hour, they boast a solid discount for those in need of an attitude adjustment. A beer lover can always find a suitable microbrewed beer on draft. Their bottled beer menu features geocentric titles breaking the beer into four categories: The West, The Midwest, The Northeast, The Mid-Atlantic and South, The Imports and The Belgians. Come here for Bell’s Hopslam bottles during January, February or March and find this seasonal release at a reasonable price.
Restaurant 3
2950 Clarendon Boulevard
Arlington, VA

Liberty Tavernliberty tavern
The Liberty Tavern has a decent draft selection including some solid American beers: Brooklyn Brewery, Bell’s Brewery, Oskar Blues Brewery, Speakeasy Ales and Lagers (just one actually, the Prohibition Ale). The restaurant also has a fairly sizeable bottle selection featuring Delerium Tremens amongst other solid European Ales.
Liberty Tavern
3195 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA

Northside Socialnorthside social
This coffee shop/wine bar is referred to as “the lemonade stand” by Stephen Fedorchak and his co-owners. Recently opened in the beginning of April, Northside Social has a fantastic selection of coffees. Beyond that, their beers are impressive. They carry a solid amount of Belgians and some top-notch American micros. Beyond bottles and cans, they have a three keg system with rotating drafts. Their draft-list originally consisted of an Austrian Pilsner (Schloss Eggenberg), a Belgian Witbier (St. Bernardus Witbier) and an American IPA (Founders Centennial IPA). While the last two brews remain on tap, St. Bernadus and Founders, the Eggenberg Pils has been changed to Highland Brewing Company’s Oatmeal Porter. Brewthusiasts should also take note of their solid collection of Coronado Brewing Company’s 22s. They have bombers of the Coronado Islander IPA, Idiot IPA and their Mermaids Red Ale. It would be easy for a hop lover to make an evening sampling the phenomenal Centennial IPA on draft and take two of Coronado’s best beers the Islander and their intense (3 pounds of hops per barrel) Idiot IPA.
Northside Social
3211 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA

Lost Dog Cafélost dog cafe
The Lost Abbey. Hair of the Dog. Dogtown Pale Ale. The Lost Dog? While that last pronoun doesn’t garner as much national attention as the first three, there is something to be said for The Lost Dog Café located in the Westover neighborhood of Arlington. The café offers dine-in and carryout service with its fantastically fresh pizza providing accompaniment to your good beer. Just to list a few: Samichlaus, Stone, Lagunitas, Hoppin’ Frog, Schneider Weisse, Mikkeller, Avery, The Bruery, Rogue, Samuel Smith and New Holland. For a truly magical combination order a Cattle Dog (beef barbecue topped with red onions, mozzarella and green onions) and pair it with an Houblon Chouffe.
Lost Dog Café
5876 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA

Lyon HallIMG_7678-DCB
Lyon Hall features the most impressive array of European and North American ales in Arlington hands-down. The restaurant also features good beer from many American craft and micro brewers, with an even more extensive selection of good American beers in bottles (both 12s, 22s and 750s). Their draft list features: Wittekerke, Weiheinstephaner, Hobgoblin Ale, Fullers, Hoffbrau, Yards, Oskar Blues Brewery, Brasserie de Silly, Kapitel, Delerium Tremens, Gouden Carolus, Kasteel Rouge, Troubador Obscura, Allagash Curiux, La Imperatice and Welzgripp. If these last two Canadian beers don’t impress you, just check out the glassware your draft comes in. Almost every single beer on this list has its own designated tulip or snifter. This is the place to come to convince an Oenophile that good beer deserves adjacent storage space in the cellar.
Lyon Hall
3100 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA

Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

Rock!

Roc

With a Great American Beer Festival gold medal in 2009, Rock Bottom Brewery has asserted its dominance amongst the American craft beer scene. Brewer Chris Rafferty took gold in the 6th Category, Coffee Flavored Beer, for his “Dude Where’s my Vespa?” Imperial Stout. While the chain-like mentality of Rock Bottom’s décor and food may be off-putting for some, we at DC Beer are all about house beers as well as their rotating experimental seasonals. Have you had their coffee stout? Getting growlers for under $10 makes Rock Bottom incredibly attractive.
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
4238 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA

Fireworks Pizza Arlington

2350 Clarendon Boulevard

Arlington, VA

Opened in August of 2010, Fireworks draws from over 30 draft lines and offers two cask options from their engines. Their bottle list is also quite impressive with over 100 beers available (several hard to find or “vintage” bottles). Another unique offering from Fireworks is their ability to sell and fill growlers so you can take your ale or lager with you. If they have something not offered on draft that you can find in bottles they will let you take those with you as well. On top of that they offer beer dinners quiet frequently, typically on a monthly basis from some of the most formidable American craft brewers in the country. If you haven’t tried their pizza, get there during happy hour as several of their more popular pizzas are offered at a very reasonable price.

STORES

7-11: Washington Boulevard7 11
7-11 seems an unlikely place to find good beer. Given recent developments of news that 7-11 was bringing its own “Value-Priced Premium beer” to convenience aisles everywhere (actually just 17 states, VA being one). But this 7-11 in particular, on Washing Boulevard, separates itself from others in that it stocks a few American craft beers and even more Belgian beers. They typically have a choice of at least two Trappist ales. I have yet to walk into this store and not see Chimay or Westmalle 750s in-stock. Also consistently in-stock: abbey-ales, Affligem and Maredsous. Don’t expect too many solid American beers beyond Magic Hat, Sierra Nevada and Starr Hill. Though there is buried treasure in this store: a bottle of Brewery Ommegang’s Hennepin for $5.99. The fact that a bottle of Hennepin (the gold-standard of American Saisons) is going for six bucks is mind-boggling. Anytime beer is bought from a distributor (in VA) it’s a sure bet you are going to pay a drastic markup at 7-11. However, with Hennepin at six bucks a bottle, 7-11 beats out Total Wine, Whole Foods and Westover Market. Amazing.
7-11 Washington Boulevard
2704 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA

Westover Marketwestover market
With its legendary “Wall-of-Beer” this small market is a craft-lovers dream. The Bruery, Rogue, Terrapin, Victory, Troegs, Bell’s, Omegaang, Clipper City, Southern Tier, Avery, Speakeasy, Atwater, Stone, Brooklyn,  and the list goes on. They have a wide array of international specialties to choose from as well. Did I mention their selection of Belgians? Germans? English ales? Solid selection of sixtels available: for a party I grabbed an Allagash and a Dogfish Head sixtel at a very reasonable price. Beyond craft kegs and the fantastically-large selection of 22s and 750s, there is a rotating three-keg draft system right outside the store. Make your way on a Saturday and get your chance to soak up some sun whilst sipping on some tasty American micros. Saturdays typically consist of a live band and bbq. They offer tastings during the colder months and frequently have brewers, or brewery staff on-hand from whichever brew house is providing samples. This is a family-owned, family-run store with an amazing selection of artisanal ales.
Westover Market
5863 Washington Blvd
Arlington, VA

Euro Market
This little craft-beer-carrier is what I would call a “variety” store. It’s the demonized love child of a bodega, five and dime coffee- cigarette and scratch-off shop (demonized because you can leave with a very light wallet if you don’t watch yourself—great selection, not-so-great prices). You can get your coffee and your Powerball here, but you can also get a solid range of American, Belgian and German ales. Just as you are pleasantly surprised to find a four-pack of Dogfish 90 Minute on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, hop lovers will rejoice with a selection of Bell’s Two Hearted Ale, Left-coast IPAs from Stone and Lagunitas. Check the Chimay and Delerium displays if you’d prefer a higher octane triple. If you prefer Weissbier, Bocks or Dopples you will also find a good selection from Aventinus, Ayinger and their German counterparts. They sell a good selection of singles so you can enjoy your beer at the bar with your tasty sandwich or take a sixer to go.
Euro Market
2201 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA

Whole Foods: Clarendonwhole foods arlington
What can you say about Whole Foods? A lot. Dissenting opinions abound so rather than wax philosophical about the corporation I’ll stick to discussing the beer selection in their Clarendon location. The sheer amount of American and international craft beer is uncanny. You may find a bigger selection in a few places. Though few will have the buying power (or the balls) to offer one of Quebec’s finest 750s, Le Trou Du Diable, for $26.95. This is your best bet to find rare beer in Arlington. Most of the gem’s you can find at this Whole Foods are not physically in the cooler. They are on a wooden shelf, right next to the wine, which keeps these exceptional brews at proper storing temperature. These include an array of Mikkeller: Simcoe Single, Nugget Single, Black Hole, All Other’s Pale as well Other unique beers of note: Unibroue’s Quelque Chose, Hanssens Artisanaal Oude Kriek, Brouwerij Van Honsebrouck’s Geuze Fond Tradition, and Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Red Ale.
Whole Foods: Clarendon
2700 North Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA

Best Cellarsbest cellars
While this store is fundamentally a wine-seller, they have an astounding amount of hard-to-find beer. Of particular interest to beer lovers is the impressive array of international beers they carry. Two Canadian breweries that stand out in recent memory: Brasseurs Illimités and A L’abri De La Tempête. In typical a-typical fashion, Best Cellars had two exquisite offerings from L’abri De La Tempête, an island brewery whose brewhouse is based out of an old fish processing plant. This Canadian brewery (much like Rogue) has maintained ecology on their tiny fishing Island, somewhere in between Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and New Brunswick, enabling them to brew solely with grains grown on the island. Also of note is their selection of French and Argentinean beers. While Argentina (like France) is still largely recognized as a wine-producing country, craft brewing is alive and well there (thanks in small part to Best Cellars). Beyond the store’s impressive, though selective, international collection, they carry a good deal of American craft beers. Try a Heavy Seas or a Legend six pack or look to pick up a Climax Brewing Company growler for when you want tasty beer passing your lips from a big brown jug.
Best Cellars
2855 North Clarendon Boulevard
Arlington, VA

Related posts

Birth of a Neighborhood Bar: Kingfisher Opening in Logan Circle

Bill DeBaun

SAVOR 2012 Brewery Profile: Short’s Brewing (@shortsbrewing)

Bill DeBaun

Bill Butcher Talks About Port City Brewing Company’s Colossal 4th Anniversary

Bill DeBaun

Leave a Comment

Sign up now for the DC Beer Weekly!

Get the latest news, events, and info about what's happening in craft beer in the DMV delivered directly to you every week!

Sign up now for the DC Beer Weekly!

Get the latest news, events, and info about what's happening in craft beer in the DMV delivered directly to you every week!