Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Brickskeller (Washginton, DC)

Closed on BeerAdvocate.  A new bar has moved into the location with a similar beer menu: Bier Baron Tavern.  Anyone familiar with the old Brickskeller will recognize many of its features in the new bar, as well as the attached hotel.  Still like losing an old friend.   

The Brickskeller has to be an almost Mecca-like stop for any true beer lover. This is my third visit over several years and have had several very good nights at The Brick. While the prices can be a bit high and on the weekends the clientele is clearly on the younger side than me, it's a fun place. 
Downstairs is always open, bottles only with no taps. I tend to sit at the bar to get faster service, though it's not that bad at the tables--in fact, I think it's improved a bit this last trip. Peirogies are good, but we don't really eat there much anymorewe eat pizza around the corner at Pizzeria Paradiso.

On the weekends (I have never have really understood when/why the top is open), the tap bar has about a dozen taps with a cask ale weekly but it was out by Friday night when I was there. I order taps up here, having an opportunity at several that are hard to find. If you want bottles, either go downstairs or don't order a bottle conditioned beer. The bottles come up through a dumb waiter w/ rope pulley, so the bottles are a bit shaken up. Staff seems stablebartender Kim was the same person who served me three years earlier in the downstairs, and she remembered me. This recognition led to litany of candid recommendations and a high point in my beer history.  

One of the best things about Brickskeller is the relatively cheap (for downtown and Dupont circle) attached hotel. The first two floors are just over $100 and have bathrooms, and I hear are nice. I stay on the third floor for under a $100 with a shared bathroom. There are three bathrooms, two just renovated three years ago when we were there. I've had four nights at Brickskeller drinking 6 to 8 beers (thus why Kim remembers me) and all I have to do is crawl upstairs. No air conditioning, so don't do this during the summer and bring the cash card. 

Great place to go, but I tend more towards RFD and Birreria Paradiso if I'm not staying at Brickskeller that particular trip. A must go if you've never been, potentially fantastic drinking sets, hotel on sight, and a donut shop called the Fractured Prune around the corner that is awesome for breakfast after closing the tap room at 3:00 a.m. 

Just a couple blocks from the Dupont Circle station on the Red Line. Cheers.

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