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Beercation: Washington, D.C

A record-breaking influx of young settlers is bringing an unprecedented number of breweries, brewpubs, Belgian bars, and beer brunches to the nation’s capital and its suburbs.

Tara Nurin Jul 25, 2016 - 13 min read

Beercation: Washington, D.C Primary Image

President Obama is no stranger to criticism, including the time in 2009 when he laughed off jabs for drinking Bud Light at his widely publicized Rose Garden “beer summit” on race relations. Politics aside, the craft-beer crowd should probably forgive the president for picking a seemingly “inoffensive” (and, oops, un-American) brew that I imagine most readers of this magazine consider quite offensive indeed. Under ideal conditions, I trust the commander-in-chief would have tried to show some local pride. But at the time, there wasn’t a single brewery in Washington, D.C. (which Charles Dickens once called a “city of magnificent intentions”), and President Obama could have literally counted its good beer bars on his executive order-signing hand.

Fast forward to 2016. Washington, D.C., is enjoying an unprecedented in-migration of twenty- and thirty-somethings. Construction cranes tower on the skyline, half a dozen neighborhoods are gentrifying all at once, and not only do beer-centric bars and restaurants appear in almost all of them, many are opening second, third, fourth, and even fifth locations.

“You could get the sense that food and beverage in D.C. is only a steakhouse… scene, but you can totally carve out twelve hours in the district by getting Bohemian hip with street tacos or a fine-dining meal and the best, newest styles of beer in a really cool environment,” says Bill DeBaun, editor of

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