More than wine and spirits in this shop! Bell Wine & Spirits on M Street has a nice stash of unique beers, some great standards, and a cozy little corner packed with an assortment of bombers and growlers.
Among these were several I hadnâ€™t seen in DC yet, including:
Climax Brewing Company – Growlers of Hoffman Helles and Nut Brown Ale (a personal favorite of Bellâ€™s employee Nick Borek) from the oldest microbrewery in New Jersey.Â The Hoffman Helles is a lovely 22 IBU bready drink, with about 4.8% ABV.Â And the Nut Brown is based on the English Mild, with a chocolate and molasses flavor and hints of caramel and coffee in the background.Â 5.2% ABV.
Coronado Brewing Company:Â Red Devil Ale – Longing for a warmer clime? This bomber of Southern California brew is a double dose of their Mermaid Red Ale, and will put the heat back in your fingers and toes with a rockinâ€™ 10.5% ABV. Medium bodied and full of sweet caramel malt.
Simple Malt IPA and Altbier – Canada, eh? Uniquely packaged, I first thought this was a box of wine.Â Wrong – these beers from Brasseurs IllimitÃ©s in Quebec are magnifique with a medium-bodied, nutty Altbier that checks in at 6.8% ABV and an IPA in the English style which has been described as very coppery and caramel-y. 6.4% ABV.
In addition to the big brewery basics, Bell stocks a good selection of He’brew, Rogue, Stone, Unibroue, and a number of tasty Belgians.
Bell hosts at least two wine tastings each week, and a monthly Grand Tasting with different wine themes.Â Hopefully some beer tastings in the not-too-distant future?Â Until then, the bomber and growler section should keep me in full supply.Â Bell Wine & Spirits is located at 1821 M Street NW,Â in Washington, DC.