Alexandria is usually known for Old Town and the charm of King St. most tourist flock to but hidden amongst the antique stores and scattered around town are many great venues. Here are our picks for craft beer finds around Alexandria. Keep in mind this is not a static document as we will continue add venues to this already growing list.
View DCBEER.COM – Alexandria Beer Guide in a full screen map
Long before anyone heard the name “ChurchKey,” Greg Engert and the crew at Neighborhood Restaurant Group were quietly establishing a brand and mecca of craft beer indulgence at Rustico in Alexandria. Tucked away in a small neighborhood just north of Old Town Alexandria, lies Rustico – arguably one the best craft beer selections in Northern Virginia. Rustico offers over 300 bottled craft beers, 25 rotating drafts and 2 casks. Its beer program is executed with great attention to detail, yielding a selection that changes literally every day. This isn’t a pizza dive that throws Chimay on the menu and calls itself a beer bar. What sets Rustico apart from most, besides the selection, is its knowledgeable staff and bartenders who make you feel right at home. One of Rustico’s more unique offerings is the beer menu itself. Current brews are arranged by taste, rather than geographic location, allowing for newcomers to venture outside their normal favorites or stay “close to home.” The menu can seem overpowering at first, but ask questions – the staff really love beer and can always make knowledgeable suggestions. The food at Rustico is prepared with the same level of passion, with menu selections crafted around the beer. When a Chef and Beer Director work this closely together, the results are unique seasonal pairings, second to none.
Located at 827 Slaters Lane – Alexandria, VA
Happy Hour: $1 off standard pints Monday – Wednesday 4:00 – 6:00
Draft Menu: http://www.rusticorestaurant.com/menus/menus.html
When looking for craft beer in Old Town, your options are sadly pretty limited. Bilbo Baggins located a couple blocks north of King St. has been a neighborhood staple for craft beer lovers. They will more than likely never feature an ultra rare, dry hopped Belgian cask but that’s not really their aim either. Bilbo’s offers a comfortable, low-key atmosphere that can be crowded at times but never seems to unaccommodating. Owner Michael Armellino does a great job of keeping seasonal beers on hand and new and exciting bottles current and available. The food at Bilbo’s is quite diverse and ranges from pizza to fresh seasonal salads and seafood. Bilbo’s also hosts beer and food pairing events with local brewers like Heavy Seas. Visit the dcbeer.com calendar often to keep updated on these special events.
Located at 208 Queen Street – Alexandria, VA
Happy Hour: $4 dollar house draft Monday – Friday 4:00 – 7:00
Beer Menu: http://www.bilbobaggins.net/menus/BEERMENU.pdf
Wait , you guys are blogging about a bar that hasn’t even started construction yet as one of the best in Alexandria ? Yes, Yes we are. Pizzeria Paradiso’s Old Town location will be opening this summer. And if it is anything like their sister restaurants in DuPont and Georgetown, this will definitely be one of the best beer bars in Old Town.
Located at 118A King St. – Alexandria, VA
Happy Hour: TBD
Beer Menu: http://www.eatyourpizza.com/
If you want to beat the crowds of Old Town, Del Ray is a quaint neighborhood just a couple of miles north. In Del Ray, you won’t find any franchise establishments, but what you will find are unique restaurants run with creativity and passion. One such restaurant is Fireflies. Manager Jill Williams keeps five or six craft beers on tap, but the bottle list is what is the most impressive offering over 50. Stop by for a pint on the patio, or a $5 burger on Monday nights. There is live music most nights and a bluegrass brunch Sunday mornings.
Located at 1501 Mt. Vernon Avenue – Alexandria, VA
Happy Hour: Daily Beer Specials on already cheap craft beer
Beer Menu: http://www.firefliesdelray.com/
The Evening Star is best known for its sophisticated southern cuisine, but what you may not know is that it also features an excellent beer selection. Tucked away at the back of Evening Star is the Majestic Lounge – a dimly lit dive bar filled featuring 10 drafts – usually always including Chimay and Delirium Tremens. It’s not uncommon to find the patrons enjoying their beer over a game of Scrabble or Checkers . The Majestic has a lot of board games to keep you entertained downstairs if there isn’t live music upstairs that night. The Majestic’s draft and bottle beer list is always available when dining at Evening Star as well.
So whether you want to enjoy some good beer with dinner, or over a board game with friends, The Evening Star and Majestic Lounge have you covered.
Located at 2000 Mount Vernon Avenue – Alexandria, VA
Happy Hour: Daily Specials
Beer Menu: http://www.eveningstarcafe.net/menus/menu.html
Ramparts is a little off the beaten path, but well worth the trip. Upon entering, you know that you aren’t at just another sports bar. Sure, they’ve got your big-screen TVs and your standard video game machines, but they also have one of the best bottle beer lists in Alexandria. You may also want to pull out $2 to take a turn on the Ramparts lobster machine. Catch a lobster and they prepare it for you with two sides for free. You will be entertained for hours…or until you run out of money. If there isn’t a big game on, you can enjoy local live music most nights.
Located at 1706 Fern Street – Alexandria, VA
Beer Menu: http://www.rampartstavern.com/
Happy Hour: Daily Food Specials
Del Ray Pizzeria
The quaint neighborhood of Del Ray is starting to make name for itself amongst foodies crowds. Adding to the ever popular Diary God Mother and Cheesetique, Del Ray Pizzeria takes another step forward for the Mount Vernon Ave. In just a short amount of time these guys already put together a great beer lists. Just to let a little secret out, Del Ray pizzeria is too new to be known amongst beer geeks so often limited releases last here the longest. Fresh Dogfish Head Squall, plenty of Bell’s Hopslam, and a few left over Founder’s Breakfast Stout just to name a few.
Located at 2218 Mount Vernon Avenue – Alexandria, VA
Beer Menu: http://www.delraypizzeria.com/
Happy Hour: Daily Food / Beer Specials – $4 dollar Bell’s Two Hearted ? Hit me !
The first production brewery in Alexandria since prohibition opened just east of Old Town in the spring of 2011. Port City is offered at over 200 locations throughout the DC Metro and is quickly establishing a fan base amongst locals. Public tours begin at 12:30pm and 2pm on Saturday, and reservations are not required. The cost is $5 and includes a tasting glass to keep and a full tasting of all of our beers on tap.
Growler fills are offered Friday 4-8pm, Saturday 12-5pm, and Sunday 1-5pm
Located at 3950 Wheeler Avenue –Alexandria, VA
Not a whole lot to say here except that Whole Foods is always a good bet for finding craft beer. Their buyers have great relationships with distributors so often Whole Foods will be the first to get new releases.
Located at 1700 Duke St Alexandria, VA
Located at 1708 Fern Street – Alexandria, VA
Rick’s Wine, located just a couple miles west of Old Town, offers an impressive selection of both foreign and domestic beer. Resident Beermudgeon, Jon Brandt, does any awesome job of stocking the store with ridiculous amounts of beer. Jon prepares weekly tastings every Saturday for customers to taste and talk about. I can’t think of any other store in the area that manages to pull this off on a weekly basis. Yes, I said weekly! An incredible amount of work goes into what Jon does at Rick’s as Jon understands the business and customer need. Stop in a say hello !
Located at 3117 Duke Street – Alexandria, VA
Weekly Tasting Menu – http://www.rickswine.com/beer.html