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 hadn’t seen in DC yet, including:

Climax Brewing Company – Growlers of Hoffman Helles and Nut Brown Ale (a personal favorite of Bell’s employee Nick Borek) from the oldest microbrewery in New Jersey.  The Hoffman Helles is a lovely 22 IBU bready drink, with about 4.8% ABV.  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.  5.2% ABV.

Coronado Brewing Company: 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 rockin’ 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.  Wrong – these beers from Brasseurs Illimités 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.  Hopefully some beer tastings in the not-too-distant future?  Until then, the bomber and growler section should keep me in full supply.  Bell Wine & Spirits is located at 1821 M Street NW,  in Washington, DC.