With a 2-0 victory over the Miami Marlins on April 1, baseball season kicked off at Nationals Stadium. It also kicked off this year’s beer-spotting at the park.
In the stadium your best bet for craft beer is the Red Porch restaurant in center field (Section 100), conveniently located for the majority of fans who enter through the center field gates. IPAs currently dominate the taps, which include Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA, as well as Flying Dog Snake Dog. Flying Dog's Under Dog, a hoppy lager, is also on tap, as is Dogfish's Indian Brown Ale. If hops aren't your thing, Starr Hill's German-style lager, Jomo, is there as well. The Nationals have contracted with Premium Distributors of Washington, DC, so look for Ommegang and Heavy Seas, among others, in this space during the season. You do not need a ticket for this area to enter the Red Porch. Walk in, buy your beer, and walk out.
In addition, the upper level of the Red Porch, the Red Loft, (Section 224) has Flying Dog Snake Dog on tap.
Base Line Brews behind section 314 has Dogfish Head 60 Minute and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on tap.
Base Line Brews behind left field in the food court on the first level (Section 106) has bottles of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Sam Adams Boston Lager. In an affront to seasonality and human decency, Blue Moon’s Pumpkin Ale is on tap there.
UPDATE: Base Line Brews behind section 229 has Sam Adam's and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on tap.
UPDATE: Base Line Brews behind section 110 has two Sam Adams taps (lager and summer ale) and Angry Orchard cider.
Shake Shack is pouring Brooklyn Brewery’s Shackmeister Ale, a malt-forward take on an American pale ale, and other Danny Meyer-owned restaurants on the second level may add additional Brooklyn beers, as is the case at New York’s Citi Field. If so, expect to see Sabroso Ale, a pale ale with orange peel added, at El Verano Taqueria, and Blanche de Brooklyn, a witbier, at Box Frites.
A few kiosks around the stadium will have Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and /or the aforementioned Flying Dog products and/or their profane Belgian-style IPA.
Now, the bad news:
No beer that is made in DC is served at Nationals Stadium. That means no DC Brau, no Chocolate City, no 3 Stars. If you’d like to register your anger, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, beer at Nationals Stadium is expensive. Expect to pay about $10 for 12 ounces of craft beer. For a dollar less you can 16 ounces of Bud/Miller/Coors. Third prize is 20 ounces for $8 (just kidding). As such, you may want to enjoy a drink off site before entering the stadium. In that case…
Gordon Biersch (100 M St. SE) opened for first game and while they’re not yet brewing, you’ll soon be able to get a pilsner made on site. In the meantime, they’ve trucked in beer from other GB facilities, and have guest taps that feature locals like DC Brau, Mad Fox, Port City, Capital City, and Heavy Seas.
Justin’s Cafe (1025 First St SE) remains one of the more underrated spots in DC’s craft beer scene and is two blocks away from the stadium.
Park Tavern (202 M St. SE) may be open by the time you read this. We don’t have any intel on what beers they’ll have, but given that it’s a tavern and that the chef has spent time at The Green Pig and America Eats, we expect to see good beer available.
The Fairgrounds pours “crafty,” but not craft, beer, like Leinenkugel and Blue Moon.
BlueJacket, from the folks who brought us ChurchKey and the Rusticos, should open at some point in June.