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Iron Horse Tap Room: Riding Against the Grain

Friday evening I stopped by the recently opened Iron Horse Tap Room in Penn Quarter and sampled their wares. The street-level bar seats just over 100, most of the TVs had on ESPN, but one had CSI, and another was showing the movie Superbad. The downstairs had almost twice the space, with motorcycles suspended from the ceiling, Big Buck Hunter, table-top shuffleboard, and skee-ball. The bar doesn’t have a kitchen, but you are welcome to bring outside food and some local restaurants even deliver to the bar.

This is definitely NOT a “biker bar.” Iron Horse Tap Room seems more like an homage to the mid to late 20th century motorcycle culture. Think Honda, Triumph, and Norton instead of exclusively Harley Davidson.

The downstairs and upstairs bars share the same tap system of 19 draft beers, half of which are solid craft beer offerings. In speaking to General Manager Daniel Williams, I found out that Iron Horse Tap House is starting with an almost even split of craft beers and major domestics & imports. As they get to know their customers, what sells and what does not, he hopes to tip the balance of draft offerings in favor of craft beers.
Williams also mentioned an idea to get people to try craft beer who might otherwise be put off by the price. Once a month (dates TBD) Iron Horse Tap Room will offer their premium craft beers (Chimay Red Dubbel & Delirium Tremens) for only $5.

The jury is still out, but this seems like a good place to enjoy good beer post-work or pre-game. I hope they are able to prove that a bar near a sports venue doesn’t have to fit the “sports bar” mold.

Happy Hour
Monday to Friday: $2 off all drafts from 4:00 – 8:00pm.
Saturday & Sunday: $2 off all drafts the first four hours they are open (depending on games/events at the Verizon Center)

Iron Horse Tap Room
507 7th St. NW (7th & E St)
202-347-7665

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