If, like me, you were caught in the downpour of last night’s storm or traffic melee, you were probably wishing you were anywhere else – relaxing, dry, and possibly with a good beer in hand.

On my way to meet friends after work, I experienced the nasty weather as well.  As the skies opened up and the floods came down, my emergency preparedness plan included the following steps:

            1) Get out of the rain. Quickly.
            2) Seek shelter in the closest beer bar.
            3) Drink something refreshing.
            4) Repeat.

Thankfully, any real crisis was averted, and I ended up at Thunder Burger & Bar in Georgetown. 

Located on M Street, Thunder Burger & Bar is, as the name suggests, a newish restaurant that specializes in delicious grilled beef burgers and an array of craft beer.  The draft list has a few macro standards and an assortment of good craft finds as well, including one or two that one doesn’t frequently see in other beer bars.


Inside are several large screen televisions, large concrete slab bars, spray-painted walls, and dim lighting. It’s modern feeling but, yes, it does kind of look like Ed Hardy decorated, and I shudder to think about the scene this could become on a Friday or Saturday night (hey, I’m old and curmudgeonly).  While I was visiting, however, the crowd was mellow, the bartenders friendly and welcoming, and guests ranged from families of tourists, executives on expense accounts, and couples on quiet dates.

And the food. Oh, the food. I feasted on a mouth-wateringly good free-range 10 ounce beef burger, cooked to a warm pink center and smothered in sautéed mushrooms, gorgonzola blue cheese, and applewood smoked bacon.  It was served on a toasted sesame seed brioche bun, a delicious creation posing as a cross between a bagel and a croissant.  Accompanying my burger were home cut fries twice cooked in peanut oil and seasoned with a touch of sea salt.  It was the perfect comfort food for the storm that raged outside.

But wait, this isn’t really about the food. It’s about the beer.  Drafts included: Stella Artois, Budweiser, Miller Light, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Coors Pre-Prohibition Batch 19, Heavy Seas Marzen, Thunder Dark Lager (Thunder Burger’s house beer), Sierra Nevada 30th Anniversary Ale, Coney Island Sword Swallower, Bell’s Oberon, Ommegang Witte, Allagash White, Dogfish Head Festina Peche, Fordham Copperhead Ale, Magic Hat #9, Magic Hat Wacko, Hook & Ladder Flashpoint, Flying Dog Doggy Style Ale, Smuttynose Finest Kind IPA, Stone Arrogant Bastard, Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale, Duck Rabbit Milk Stout, and Guinness Stout.

In bottles, the selections continued with Original Sin Hard Cider, Kaliber Non-Alcoholic, Heineken, Brooklyn Pilsner, Corona, Red Stripe Lager, Bud Light, Samuel Adams Lager, Starr Hill “Jomo” Lager, Red Bridge Gluten Free Sorghum, Abita Purple Haze, Stone Levitation, Anderson Valley Brewing Company Boont Amber Ale, Sierra Nevada “Torpedo” Extra IPA, Weyerbacher Merry Monks Golden Ale, and Ommegang Dubbel Style Abbey Ale, and Allagash Black.

My beer selections included the Sierra Nevada “Torpedo” Extra IPA to balance the richness of the burger, and it turned out to be a great pairing.  Second up was the Coney Island Sword Swallower, which is essentially an IPA brewed like a Lager. With some respite from the weather, a good burger and great craft beer options, it wasn’t long before the world was once again a sunnier place.


Thunder Burger & Bar is located at 3056 M Street, NW, in Georgetown.