Safely sip your suds in the sunshine and take in the vibes at these brew-centric beer gardens in and around the District.
DC’s booming food and drinks scene has helped to propel a buzzworthy beer community. Check out these open-air beer gardens in and around Washington, DC offering suds, snacks and convivial settings for downing a cold one alfresco. Please follow any and all COVID-19 safety guidelines at these establishments and make sure to check out our travel status update and rundown of what's open in the city.
Hoist a stein at Dacha Beer Garden
This dog-friendly brewtopia has two locations in the District – you can sip suds at the original Shaw beer garden underneath a glamorous mural of sultry movie star Elizabeth Taylor or visit the Capitol Riverfront location, which is home to a full-service restaurant and spacious beer garden – offering German, Belgian and American suds served in boot mugs. Chow down from a food menu peddling modern takes on beer garden classics like monster pretzels with stout beer cheese and bratwurst with pickled slaw and paprika ketchup. Dacha Beer Garden is open and encourages guests to reserve a table of up to six guests through its website. Both the Shaw and Capitol Riverfront locations will be hosting Oktoberfest festivities each weekend beginning Saturday, September 18 through Sunday, October 3.
Pretend you’re in Munich on H Street NE at Biergarten Haus
Try steins of German brews and hearty food (sausage platters, sauerbraten) in this rustic indoor-outdoor bar and restaurant on H Street NE. The best seats are on the raised outdoor deck, where you can warm up with space heaters in milder temps. Frequent events include a weekly trivia night, European soccer matches on a jumbo-screen TV and seasonal doggie happy hours. Visit every Thursday during Oktoberfest to compete in a stein hoisting contest and celebrate with a line-up of seasonal brews. Biergarten Haus offers over 60 outdoor tables available daily for walk-in service or reservations.
Savor suds at NoMa’s Wunder Garten
Wunder Garten brings an outdoor brew patio with pop-up vibes to the NoMa ‘hood. The beer menu sports local brews as well as German and Austrian flavors, and you can also order up wine, cider, cocktails and bites from Swizzler and La Buena. The mod plaza is dotted with turf, potted trees and rough-hewn wooden tables, along with a fire pit that features a make-your-own-s’mores station in the colder months. All tables are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, but cabanas are available to rent for up to 15 people. Celebrate Wunder Garten's 7th annual Oktoberfest with Bavarian Olympic games, DOGtoberfest, PRIDEtoberfest and more over four weekends beginning Friday, September 17 through Sunday, October 10. For more information, visit the restaurant's website.
Spend the day at Hook Hall
It’s one big party at Hook Hall, a 13,000-square-foot space near Petworth where you could spend all day eating, drinking and playing games. Outside you’ll find a turf-lined beer garden with more than 30 draught lines, a rotating cast of food trucks and vendors, Adirondack chairs for relaxing and private cabanas available for rent. Make sure to check the events calendar for the latest happenings at this unique space, including Oktoberfest, which begins Friday, September 17 through the end of October and will feature Das Bier Bash variety shows with the Queen of Oktoberfest, Manuela Horn. Hook Hall is open for walk-ins and reservation options for a range of party sizes. For more information, visit the restaurant's website.
Get a brew and some ‘cue on happening 14th Street
When the weather's nice head to the snug cement patio at Garden District for German and American beers on draft, barbecue and a hopping social scene — especially on weekends, when 14th Street bustles with brunchers. Besides its trademark pulled pork and brisket, the spot also serves up fried sides including half-sour pickles, buttermilk onion rings and addictive hush puppies. The Garden District's patio is now open. Visit the spot's website for more details.
Get your kicks at a rooftop biergarten
At the two-level German Sauf Haus Bier Hall & Garden in Dupont Circle, you can get your rooftop fix while also immersing yourself in beer garden heaven. A young, boisterous crowd shows up for brews on tap or in bottles, Bavarian fare like enormous pretzels and TVs tuned to big games. It all goes down in a smart-looking space with long, communal tables and exposed brick accents. Join Sauf Haus Wednesday, September 15 through Sunday, September 19 for a weekend-long Oktoberfest party complete with bands, DJs, drink specials and more. Visit the restaurant's website for hours and more information.
Make it a marvelous evening at The Midlands
Located in Park View, The Midlands is outfitted with a host of picnic tables for you to settle in and bond over brews. The draft list features German and local beer, with rare bottles also available. Wine and cocktail lovers can also rejoice, as choices are plentiful. Snacks are offered, but you can bring your own food, too! The indoor portion also includes TVs and projection screens, for those wanting to check on a game. Oktoberfest kicks off September 18 with a half-time hoist competition and a German beer tap-takeover through October 3. The Midlands is open with safety guidelines in place. For more information regarding hours, reservations and menus, visit the restaurant's website.
Bring the crew to The Brig
Located on Barracks Row, The Brig goes all out, as a beer garden should. From its selection of 20-plus taps (including German and craft brews) to its giant mugs to its spacious environment to its 25-foot projector screen (great for watching can't-miss sporting events), you will be left wanting for nothing when you visit this outdoor haven. Pets are welcome, so gather up the troops for a big night at The Brig, which is open with safety guidelines in place. For more information, visit the restaurant's website.
Bike to grab beers at Bardo
This funky outdoor beer complex located at 25 Potomac Avenue SE offers a bevy of brewed-in-DC ales, riverside picnic tables and cornhole sets in a no-frills atmosphere. Lots of bicycle parking (plus an onsite repair shop), a dog park and a sandbox for kids gives it wide appeal among a diverse set of suds fans, while its proximity to Nationals Park makes it a favorite pre- and post-game spot. Bardo is open now, but visit its website for additional details before your visit.
Clear some time to congregate at Spider Kelly’s in Clarendon
A quick trip to Clarendon in Virginia can get you to the seasonal beer garden at Spider Kelly’s, a large patio with picnic tables, benches, bar stools and a fire pit in the fall. Grab a bucket of imported, canned beers or sip on sangria and wine by the glass. Visit the restaurant's website for more information and hours.
Don your relaxation cap at Denizens Brewing Company
Denizens Brewing Company sports dog-friendly beer gardens at both its Silver Spring and Riverdale Park locations in Maryland. Choose from a wide variety of brews made by Denizens, and wash them down with their delectable bar food selections. The spot also frequently hosts live music and DJs, if you’re looking to amp the night up a notch. For reservations and hours, visit its website.
Wash away your worries at Westover
This beer garden is a favorite in Arlington, Va., a quick commute from DC proper. Six draft lines are situated outside, and you can also order delicious hot sandwiches made from the butcher shop inside. Westover also frequently hosts tap takeovers and beer tastings. Beer garden hours are 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. everyday with safety guidelines in place. Visit the spot's website for more info.
Chill out at Right Proper Brewing Company's Shaw Brewpub and Kitchen
The Shaw neighborhood is a hotbed for DC dining, so it’s fitting that Right Proper Brewing Company hosts its brewpub and kitchen there, with an outdoor patio that will let you get more acquainted with the scenery. The neighborhood abode offers a regularly rotating selection of house-made brews and a Southern-tinged menu featuring fried green tomatoes, a fried fish sandwich and beer battered cheese curds. Reservations are accepted and you are welcome to specify an indoor or outdoor preference. Please remember to observe social distancing guidelines and wear a mask when not eating or drinking.