When someone mentions Dupont Circle and beer, they usually mention The Brickskeller in the same breath. While the Brickskeller is an excellent bar with an extensive bottle list, if you are looking for a different vibe or perhaps a place that doesn’t get as much recognition, you might want to check out The Big Hunt. They’ve got 27 taps and a huge space with a basement, an upstairs and a patio where you will be bound to find a seat somewhere.
I recently sat down with The Big Hunt’s bar manager; Dave Coleman to talk shop about running a beer bar with head hunter decor.
“Our goal is to have the best selection of the best stuff in town” explained Coleman, who started out as a doorman and worked his way up to his current digs. The beers served at Big Hunt are a mix of longstanding customer favorites and a rotating selection of domestic and imported craft brews.
â€œThe beers are chosen based on a combination of my own palette and the palettes of my regulars.â€ Dave Coleman also listens to his staff. â€œIf they come in to work and tell me they had a 6-pack of something greatâ€¦ Iâ€™m willing to try it on tap.â€ Dave mentioned that Founderâ€™s Breakfast Stout was a popular one. When I pressed him on some of his other favorites, Dave expressed that he’s an IPA drinker at heart with an appreciation for Belgians as well. If he had to pick two taps he’d have Bear Republicâ€™s Racer 5 IPA to please his regulars and Bellâ€™s Two Hearted Ale for himself. (These two taps would make Mike a regular at any bar that offered them… -Ed )
Daveâ€™s bar philosophy is simple: â€œopening minds to good beer.â€ If someone comes in and they donâ€™t know what they want to drink or donâ€™t recognize any of the brews on tap, Dave and the staff typically (time permitting) ask what you usually like to drink, make suggestions, and will give them sample tastes of different brews.
This past August, the Big Hunt participated in DC Beer Week with their event; “Sausage, Cheese, and Beerliciousness.â€ So many people were interested in tasty food matched with tasty beers that tickets quickly sold out and people were turned away. Building on this success, and DC beer-loverâ€™s desire for such events, Dave Coleman plans on having a different beer+food event every quarter starting this coming winter, with another to follow in the spring of 2010.
Dave Colemanâ€™s dedication to finding and bringing their patrons â€œthe best selection of the best stuff in townâ€ led him, and the barâ€™s owner Kyle Remissong, to Denver for the Great American Beer Fest this year. At first I thought it strange that a dingy bar in Dupont Circle would go to all this trouble and expense. The answer presented itself when I looked up from my pint and saw a chalkboard at the end of the bar list what was new on tap. At the bottom, in large block letters, was the command/pleaâ€¦ DRINK GOOD BEER. Luckily, the tap list at Big Hunt will let you do just that.
Beer list according to their website (11/5):
|BUD LIGHT (MO) $4||OSKAR BLUES DALE’S PALE ALE (CO) $6|
|ROLLING ROCK (PA) $4||OSKAR BLUES MAMA’S LITTLE YELLA PILS (CO) $6|
|BIG HUNT BAD ASS AMBER BOCK $4||BROOKLYN LAGER (NY) $6|
|BIG HUNT LIGHT ASS BREW $4||BEAR REPUBLIC RACER 5 IPA (CA) $6|
|BIG HUNT BIG ASS WHEAT $4.5||ROGUE CHOCOLATE STOUT (OR) $6|
|YUENGLING LAGER (PA) $5||STONE VERTICAL EPIC 9.9.9 (CA) $9|
|SPEAKEASY BLACK I.B.A. (CA) $7||STONE ARROGANT BASTARD (CA) $6|
|STONE LEVITATION ALE (CA) $6||WEIHENSTEPHAN HEFE DUNKEL (GER) $8|
|BELL’S OBERON (MI) $6||HOFBRAU OKTOBERFEST (GER) $8/.5L $15/L|
|ALLAGASH WHITE (ME) $6||BELL’S BEST BROWN ALE (MI) $6|
|GUINNESS STOUT (IR) $6||GREEN FLASH WEST COAST IPA (CA) $6|
|STELLA ARTOIS (BEL) $6||BELL’S TWO HEARTED ALE (MI) $6|
|STRONGBOW DRY CIDER (ENG) $6||TROEGS HOPBACK AMBER ALE (PA) $6|
|GAFFEL KOLSCH (GER) $6|