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What Beers Made Our Ideal Draft Lists?

Earlier this month, Will Gordon posted the “perfect draft menu” for the hypothetical bar which he would oversee and from which he would tweet at his adoring legions of nerdy and pedantic beer folk.

/smiles coquettishly at Will

This thought experiment is a fun one, and your DCBeer staff and some other #dcbrews personalities weighed in with their own lists.

We (more or less) followed Will’s guidelines: “I’ve settled on 16 taps, envisioning a bar with a limited food menu and around 80 seats; a couple of TVs on the wall, maybe, but they’re only on when there’s a good reason (“ESPN is showing the same golf highlights they’ve been showing for 36 straight hours” is not, for example, a good reason); good liquor, sure, along with the stripped-down kitchen, and perhaps the odd trivia night or live band, but for the most part this is a place where people come to drink beer.”

These are the categories each tap falls into:

  • House IPA
  • House Pale Ale
  • House Saison
  • House Cheapie
  • House Pilsner
  • House Porter
  • House Blue Moon Alt
  • House Session Beer
  • Rotating IPAs (2)
  • Rotating Local
  • Rotating Lager
  • Rotating Legend
  • Rotating Wild Card
  • Rotating Wild Card
  • Rotating Craft Superstar

Without further ado, here are our lists!

Aaron Morrissey:

  • House IPA: Bell’s Two Hearted
  • House Pale Ale: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  • House Saison: Perennial Saison de Lis
  • House Cheapie: Miller High Life
  • House Pilsner: Victory Prima Pils
  • House Porter: Port City Porter
  • House Blue Moon Alt: Stillwater Cellar Door
  • House Session Beer: Alpine Hoppy Birthday
  • Rotating IPAs (2): Boulevard The Calling; A DCBrau Imperial IPA (On the Wings of Armageddon, Space Reaper, Alpha Domina Mellis)
  • Rotating Local: Bluejacket Forbidden Planet
  • Rotating Lager: Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold
  • Rotating Legend: Schlafly Kolsch
  • Rotating Wild Card: Maine Brewing A Tiny Beautiful Something
  • Rotating Wild Card: Great Raft Brewing Reasonably Corrupt
  • Rotating Craft Superstar: Firestone Walker Pivo Pils

Josh “JP” Perry:

  • House IPA: Lagunitas Maximus
  • House Pale Ale: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
  • House Saison: Jolly Pumpkin Baudelaire
  • House Cheapie: Coors Light
  • House Pilsner: Victory Braumeister Pils
  • House Porter: Alaskan Smoked Porter
  • House Blue Moon Alt: Tucher with an Orange
  • House Session Beer: Stillwater Yacht
  • Rotating IPAs: Double Duckpin, Orange Whip, Hop Stoopid, Zombie Dust
  • Rotating Local: Right Proper, RAR, Union, Oliver, and Lickinghole Creek
  • Rotating Lager: Mahrs Brau, Pulaski
  • Rotating Wild Cards: Dieu Du Ciel, Jester King, Saint Somewhere, De Ranke, and Omnipollo
  • Rotating Legend: Orval, Allagash, Anchor Steam, and Schlitz
  • Rotating Craft Superstar: Cantillon

Tony Budny:

Here is what The Diogenes Club would have on tap today:

  • House IPA: Heavy Seas Loose Cannon
  • House Pale Ale: Mad Fox Defender
  • House Saison: 3 Stars Citra and Lemon Peel Saison
  • House Cheapie: Yuengling Lager
  • House Pilsner: Pilsner Urquell
  • House Porter: Right Proper Haxan
  • House Blue Moon Alt: Port City Optimal Wit
  • House Session Beer: Mad Fox Mason's Dark Mild
  • Rotating IPAs: DC Brau OTWOA, Union Double Duckpin
  • Rotating Local: Here I would try to showcase newer and smaller breweries to the scene, along with flagships less seen. Right now, I'd have 7 Locks Surrender Dorothy RyePA.
  • Rotating Lager: Denizens Born Bohemian
  • Rotating Wild Cards: Schneider Weisse Tap 5 Meine Hopfen-Weiss
  • Rotating Legend: North Coast Old Rasputin
  • Rotating Craft Superstar: Boulevard Saison-Brett

And I'm going to add one because any bar I'd own would have one:

  • Rotating Cask: Oliver 3 Lions

Jake Berg:

  • House IPA: Ballast Point Sculpin. If only Fathead’s Head Hunter was locally available…. Local option, RAR Nanticoke Nectar or whatever Ocelot has just brewed.
  • House Pale Ale: De La Senne Taras Boulba. I thought about getting even cuter here and putting in Orval, but that’s a bottled beer. Nonetheless, I’d trade a draft line for a steady supply of that Belgian pale ale. Locally, Flying Dog’s Doggie Style.
  • House Saison: Boulevard Tank 7. And maybe Brett that up when seasonally appropriate, Danner! Saison Dupont would also work here, but like a fair number of Belgian beers, I like that bottle-aging. Hellbender Southern Torrents, locally.
  • House Cheapie: Miller High Life. Would also accept Genny Cream Ale or Naragansett. Devils Backbone Gold Leaf is as close as it gets to local so far.
  • House Pilsner: Koutska 12. Putting my faith in the Shelton Brothers. Local-ish, we are all picking Victory Prima Pils for a reason.
  • House Porter: Deschutes Black Butte. Firestone Walker’s, too, while Port City’s is the local option.
  • House Blue Moon Alternative: Allagash White. Port City’s Optimal Wit is a close second. Weihenstephaner Weiss isn’t a wit, but is a wheat and would please fans of “crafty” beer.
  • House Session Beer: Stillwater Classique. Franklin’s Stonehenge Dark Mild, too. RCH Old Slug and Conniston Blue Bird Bitter could be in this spot, too.
  • Rotating IPA: Troeg’s Nugget Nectar when in season, Bell’s Two Hearted the rest of the year
  • Rotating IPA: DC Brau On the Wings of Armageddon. Gotta have a double IPA on tap, too. May as well go with the freshest.
  • Rotating Local: Right Proper’s Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne. A Berliner weisse style that you can session with.
  • Rotating Lager: Schlafly Kolsch. Hybrid style, but hey, it’s lagered. Devils Backbone Vienna Lager for the locals.
  • Rotating Legend: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The master.
  • Rotating Wild Card: Rodenbach
  • Rotating Wild Card: North Coast Old Rasputin. Bonus point if this can be a nitro line. Founders Breakfast Stout would work, too.
  • Rotating Craft Superstar: Goose Island Gillian. My favorite of the “sisters.”

Paul Josuns:

  • Tap 1, House IPA: Bell’s Two-Hearted. This is my favorite beer from my hometown brewery. I struggle a little bit by not putting a beer here that will be as fresh as 2H is from the source, but I’ve never had any real freshness issues with this around here.
  • Tap 2, House Pale Ale: New Dogtown Pale. This was the beer that actually got me into Lagunitas. It’s a touch on the hoppy/bitter end but not as much as my second choice (Union Duckpin Pale)
  • Tap 3, House Saison: Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere. I get this is more of a “farmhouse ale” than a saison, but whatever, this is my dang bar. I like how complex and flavorful this beer is at only 4.5%. This is a great blend of citrus and a bit of funk for a hot summer day.
  • Tap 4, House Cheapie: Genesee Cream Ale. Pretty cheap, pretty easy to find, sweet can design.
  • Tap 5, House Pilsner: Pendulum Pilsner. This beer isn’t as easy to find as I’d want it to be, but I always get it when I can. This has a really crisp crackery flavor and is not hop-forward. Will also be the beer chaser to the house bloody mary.
  • Tap 6, House Porter: DC Brau Penn Quarter Porter. This is one of my favorite beers from Brau and, IMO does not quite get the notoriety it should (but what porter does?). A ton of chocolate and coffee flavor without drinking too heavy.
  • Tap 7, House Blue Moon Alternative: Florida Cracker Cigar City. Not always available around here, but I’ve seen them creep up to NoVA.
  • Tap 8, House Session Beer: Port City Ways & Means. Is local, is sessionable, is delicious.
  • Tap 9, Rotating IPA: Dogfish Head 75, 90, 120 Minute. This tap will rotate through the DFH minutes. When 75 is on, this will be a cask.
  • Tap 10, Rotating IPA: DC Brau Alpha Domina Mellis, Ocelot’s IPA of the month. I like Mellis a bit more than OTWA, but hell, if you want a balanced IPA, I have Two Hearted. When this isn’t available, we’ll take a keg of whatever Ocelot happens to be making.
  • Tap 11, Rotating Local: Is Baltimore considered local? (Sure!) Good, in that case, we’ll go with Union Brewing. We’ll start with Old Pro in the summer, Balt Alt in the Fall, and Duckpin the rest of the time.
  • Tap 12, Rotating Lager: The rotating lager must always be served in a .5L or 1L stein. Bitburger and Denizen’s Born Bohemian are the easy choices here.
  • Tap 13, Rotating Legend: Sam Smith Nut Brown. I feel like we need a bit more from across the pond on here as well as a delicious brown ale.
  • Tap 14, Rotating Wild Card: Victory Prima Pils.
  • Tap 15, Rotating Wild Card: Right Proper Diamonds, Fur Coat, Champagne. This will be a great complement for those looking for something a little on the tart/sour side.
  • Tap 16, Rotating Craft Superstar: Bell’s Expedition Stout, Double Cream Stout, Black Note. Black Note is a blend of barrel-aged double cream and expedition, so rotating through all three seems like a good idea to me.

John Fleury:

Went with things you can realistically get, but regardless of price. Looking over this list, I definitely feel like the old beer guy. Shrug.

  • House IPA: Evolution Lot 3
  • House Pale Ale: Anchor Liberty Ale (yes technically an IPA but I'm sure beer nerds are calling it a pale)
  • House Saison: Oxbow FPA
  • House cheapie: Coors Banquet
  • House Pilsner: Victory Brau Pils #TeamBrauPils
  • House Porter: Yard's Washington Tavern Porter
  • House Blue Moon Alt: Ommegang Witte
  • House Session Beer: Manor Hill Grisette
  • Rotating IPAs: Bell’s Two Hearted, Bear Republic Racer 5, Local DIPA (DC Brau, 3 Stars, Ocelot)
  • Rotating Local: Brewer's Art Le Canard, Union Old Pro, anything Port City
  • Rotating Lager: Ayinger Marzen, Brooklyn Lager, Mahr's Kellerbier
  • Rotating Wild Cards: De Ranke XX, Saison Dupont, Aspall Draft Cider
  • Rotating Legend: Fin du Monde, Duvel, Fuller's ESB
  • Rotating Craft Superstar: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Boston Lager, Lagunitas IPA

Sean Dalton:

You're not the only old guy, John, because most of your picks were on varying drafts of mine. Finally going with this lineup, trying to stay mostly local:

  • Tap 1, House IPA: Dogfish Head 60 Minute
  • Tap 2, House Pale Ale: Deschutes Mirror Pond
  • Tap 3, House Saison: Stillwater Classique [You order from Tap 3, you get a can and a key. #shotgun]
  • Tap 4, House Cheapie: Hardywood Cream
  • Tap 5, House Pilsner: Victory Prima Pils
  • Tap 6, House Porter: Port City Porter / Fullsteam Coffee is for Closers
  • Tap 7, House Blue Moon Alternative: Port City Optimal Wit
  • Tap 8, House Session Beer: Union Old Pro
  • Tap 9, Rotating IPA: Mad Fox Orange Whip
  • Tap 10, Rotating IPA: Champion Stickin’ In My IPA
  • Tap 11, Rotating Local: 3 Stars Pandemic / Right Proper Astral Weeks / Oliver Ales Three Lions
  • Tap 12, Rotating Lager: Devils Backbone Vienna Lager
  • Tap 13, Rotating Legend: Ommegang Abbey
  • Tap 14, Rotating Wild Card: Potters Farmhouse Dry Cider
  • Tap 14, Rotating Wild Card: Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier
  • Tap 16, Rotating Craft Superstar: Bell’s Oarsman

Mike Stein:

It was really hard to compose this list and not put all 16 drafts as lagers. Equally hard was not listing 16 beers that are lost forever to history. But I'm a modern man with classic taste and seeing as how other modern people with classic tastes will be frequenting Stein and Hube's Hubesteinery, I figured I'd better round out the list. I put two ciders on there too. Is that allowed? Oh, I own the place? Ciders!

  • 1: District Chophouse Light Lager
  • 2: Konrad 14º
  • 3: Victory Braumeister Pils
  • 4: Bayerischer Bahnhof Porticus
  • 5: Koutska 18º
  • 6: Schlenkerla Oak Smoke
  • 7: Friegeist Abraxxas
  • 8: Lost Rhino Zlaty Rhino
  • 9: Union Old Pro
  • 10: Mahr's Bock
  • 11: Firestone Walker Bretta Rose
  • 12: Ale Apothacary La Teche
  • 13: Oud Beersel Oude Kriek Vieille
  • 14: Carnegie Porter
  • 15: ANXO Millstone Collab #1
  • 16: AeppeTreow Sparkling Perry

Bill DeBaun:

The Stork’s Draft List

  • House IPA: Bell's Two Hearted. Come on, what else was it going to be? Smutty FinestKind? GTFO. (Sorry, Smutty).
  • House Pale Ale: Union Union Duckpin
  • House Saison: Fair Winds Siren's Lure (delicious and local)
  • House Cheapie: Miller High Life – this won't be draft though. I'm envisioning glass cases but entirely stocked only with various formats of High Life. Ponies, 12oz bottles and cans, 24oz tallboys, etc. You're jealous.
  • House Pilsner: I would really like to put Pony Pils from Half Acre here, but I cannot do that until they come into market. So Victory Prima makes it for me, too. How fucking original.
  • House Porter: Maui Coconut Porter ($12 gets it served to you in a coconut and one free refill #value)
  • House Blue Moon Alternative: Off Color Scurry (This is not strictly a hefe or witbier, but I think it's close enough. Plus if I buy enough of this I could get a hand on some Apex Predator and Dinosmores somewhere down the line)
  • House Session Beer: Mad Fox Kellerbier Kolsch
  • Rotating IPA: Evolution Lot 6 (a truly underhyped beer but also one of the best regionally and I would put it up against anything not flavor-of-the-moment nationally)
  • Rotating IPA: DC Brau Corruption (punishingly bitter, a good contrast to Two Hearted and Lot 6)
  • Rotating Local: Port City Brewing Company (you mean I can cycle through Optimal, Porter, Ways & Means, and Downright? Okay.)
  • Rotating Lager: Stiegl Radler. I don't really know what to put here. If I have Prima and High Life, do I really need another lager? There's a number of out-of-market ones I'd like to put on here: GRB Southern Drawl, Surly Hell, Hops & Grain Zoe. I wanted to get Radler in here somewhere, so I'll count that.
  • Rotating Legend: Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale
  • Rotating Wild Card: St. Bernardus Extra 4 (stop licking your screen, John)
  • Rotating Wild Card: Off Color Apex Predator (sitting drunk at The Northdown in Chicago earlier this year, I extolled Apex Predator as the best beer in America. I don't think that claim necessarily holds up, but it is an excellent beer that pulls double duty as IPA and saison)
  • Rotating Craft Superstar: Duvel Moortgat (This is another smart play, if I don't mind my saying so. Access to both the Boulevard and Brewery Ommegang portfolios? Mmhm. Uh-huh.)

So that’s it for us. What are your picks? What did we get right and wrong? Let us know in the comments, and we look forward to having you in our hypothetical bars (or our parody ones).

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