Beer-centric bars and restaurants with outdoor seating were able to continue operating during the pandemic, even during colder months, but some spots not blessed with that option went into hibernation. Well, there may be a light at the end of this tunnel, and let the reopenings begin!

Smoke and Barrel has downsized, literally. The Adams Morgan beer, bourbon, and barbeque restaurant now occupies just the basement, the Bottom of the Barrel, in the former Asylum location, with a streatery on the way. The pandemic pivot to package means fewer draft options, so Smoke will have 8 taps, supplemented with over 50 bottles and cans. Gone are beer director Jace Gonnerman, who left DC for Virginia’s Starr Hill, and chef Logan McGear. Chef Dan’s menu should be available any day now. Opening eminently, with Triple Crossing’s excellent Citra Triangles IPA on tap.

Smoke Streatery
Pic via Popville

The Sovereign hopes to reopen the first week of July, bringing Belgian-inspired culinary favorites and Belgian and Belgo-American beers to the masses. “We are tapping some very special kegs from our vault to celebrate reopening,” says Molly Hippolitus, Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s Director of Marketing and Communications. “Cantillon Kriek, Tilquin Mure and Jester King SPON: Muscat. We will also have some classic draft offerings from Blaugies (La Vermontoise) and De Ranke (XX Bitter, Guldenberg). We are beginning with 20 drafts and plan to push to 50 over the first few weeks, especially as some delayed shipments from overseas arrive.” The bottle list remains strong, with more than 300 offerings, including Cantillon’s cognac barrel-aged lambic, 50°N-4°E, and Drei Fonteinen’s Druif Muscat Bleu, a lambic aged on Belgian muscat grapes.

But wait, there’s more! Taking advantage of pandemic-era laws, The Sovereign will sell beer to-go, including favorites from Blaugies, De La Senne, and De Ranke. “We will even plan to rotate in some rare lambic for retail sale,” notes Hippolitus.


We here at DC Beer will continue to cover openings and reopenings. Next up, The Public Option. This NE DC brewpub closed at the start of the pandemic and is planning to reopen as soon as they get the word from their Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and the DC government. Stay tuned.