Grab a Cold One at These 10 DC Beer Gardens

The only thing better than a beer is drinking one outside

April 16, 2024 6:44 am
cherry blossoms and fairy lights, people sitting on bench, umbrellas
Hook Hall
Hook Hall

As soon as the weather hits about 70 degrees outside, I swear that a pint will hit my hand with the speed and thunder of Thor’s hammer. There’s not a lot of direct science to prove this, but there is enough of a direct correlation between how nice it is outside and the desire to drink a beer to prove the hypothesis correct. And where better to do this research for yourself than in one of D.C.’s many beer gardens? In fact, the most difficult choice involves figuring out where to go to have a brew or two amongst great weather and even better company. So, as the temps start to get nicer throughout the area, make sure you’re having a pint outside in one of these 10 options. 

road with green lawn, lights, people walking
Hi-Lawn
Hi-Lawn

Hi-Lawn

Union Market

A beautiful locale for summertime fun, Hi-Lawn sits atop Union Market with an expansive green space fit for taking in a drink or two amongst friends. With plenty of beers at hand, either on tap or canned alongside cocktails too, it’s a great spot to hit to kick off the weekend or ensure you’re making the most of it. It’s a slightly unconventional spot for a beer garden, but that’s part of its inherent appeal and charm — it’s the glamping version of drinking on a rooftop. 

1309 5th St NE

Aslin Beer Company

14th Street

Formally a gas station, the current 14th Street outpost for Aslin Beer Company now provides a much different way to fuel up. The 211-seat indoor/mostly outdoor beer garden features an impressive selection of 21 beers from the titular brewer’s lineup so patrons can get the full Aslin experience — and then some, as the spot also features two rotating national beers. For those who need a pick-me-up during the middle of the afternoon, there’s also the included Aslin Coffee, which does a quite tasty flat white in addition to teas and pour-overs. If you can drink it, there’s a good chance Aslin Beer Company has it ready for you. 

1740 14th St NW

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Sauf Haus

Dupont Circle

On any given weekend, especially if the weather is lovely, Sauf Haus can be more of a Riotious House. I once walked into the outdoor patio to blaring music and a crowd energy that was closer in vibe to a college party than a casual beer garden. But I bet those who attend the Dupont bar would say that’s a feature and not a bug. Nevertheless, it’s a scene to be seen and well worth visiting for those looking to get their party on. It’s quieter during the week and much more suited to grabbing a causal pint or two after work because of all the robust and delicious brews on tap.

1216 18th St NW

van with pride flag and pink flowers on it, flower shaped chair in front of van
Metrobar
Metrobar

Metrobar

Brentwood

Finally, a place where drinking on public transit is not only accepted but encouraged. Metrobar is what it sounds like: a re-fashioned Metro car that sits in the middle of an exterior space as a striking centerpiece. While Metrobar toes the line between an outdoor bar and a beer garden, it’s worth including all the same. It also doubles as a nice sports bar, with plenty of TVs to catch a game on, especially as summer rolls around and the NBA playoffs or the Summer Olympics heat up.

640 Rhode Island Ave NE

Wunder Garden

Noma

Nestled steps away from the Noma Metro station is Wunder Garden, which lives up to its namesake. The beer garden is a near oasis, insofar as a city can have one, full of greenery and plenty of good coverage to duck under when it’s hot outside. With a seasonally rotating draft selection — at the time of publication, that list includes beers from Goose Island, Devil’s Backbone, Victory and more — there’s always something worth drinking as you kick back and relax. 

1101 First St NE

The Midlands

Petworth

Equal parts beer garden and sports bar, The Midlands offers an impressive 6,000 square feet of both indoor and outdoor space to hang out and enjoy both bottled and tap beer. The focus of the foamy offerings provided by The Midlands is to provide a strong mix of European, craft and local beers, resulting in an impressive 26 taps. Plus, there are tasty food options (the pretzels are always a strong choice) and even draft cocktails. 

3333 Georgia Ave NW

mural of woman with black hair, pink background, umbrellas
Dacha
Dacha

Dacha Beer Garden

Navy Yard/Shaw

With their respective art portraits of iconic women, Dacha Beer Garden has two different locations in D.C., both of which provide ample space, plenty of beers and wonderful environments to drink in. By nature of its location, Navy Yard provides a more scenic view and is a great pre- or post-Nats game location, while Shaw is a little more removed, full of greenery, and has a feel akin to drinking in someone’s spacious backyard. What do they have in common, then, you might ask? They both can’t be missed. 

79 Potomac Ave SE/1600 7th St NW

The Brig

Navy Yard

The Brig gets a special shoutout from us for sneakily having one of the best beer menus in town. The spot sits right in the middle of Eastern Market and Navy Yard, making it easy to dip into either of those neighborhoods to continue the day after you’re done. However, The Brig’s patio is so nice, and the food is so tasty that you might be hard-pressed to find a reason to leave, especially if there’s a plentiful number of pups running around like there normally is. 

1007 8th St SE

Garden District

14th Street

What Garden District lacks in space — it’s not a hole in the wall by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a little smaller than some of the other options on this list — it makes up for charm, location, fantastic food and a killer brew list. Tasty bites like brisket or pulled pork sandwiches are the perfect pairing alongside hearty brews, and the prime position on 14th makes it great to start or end the afternoon on as you dive into a first or last round. 

1801 14th St NW

brick wall with benches and umbrellas, people sitting, cherry blossoms
Hook Hall
Hook Hall

Hook Hall

Park View

Easily one of the biggest — if not the biggest — beer gardens on this list, Hook Hall is known for its splashy and reservable cabanas. Each one is themed (the current motif is a play on cherry blossoms and overall summery tones) that provides a great atmosphere for group outings, bolstered by more than 30 beers on tap. If it’s too hot outside, you can always dip inside to cool off, with more space to sit and relax. 

3400 Georgia Ave NW

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