Food and Drink, Night Life, The Features, We Love Drinks

We Love Drinks: Biergarten Haus

Photo courtesy of
‘people watching soccer’
courtesy of ‘philliefan99′

Biergarten Haus is on the defensive.  They’re still sore from the reaming Tom Sietsema gave them in the Post (having your food described as “a lethal weapon” always hurts), and there’s a certain measure of bitterness amongst the staff against the Yelpers for their similarly worded reviews criticizing, amongst other things, the service. To me, Biergarten Haus isn’t about the food or the waiters, it’s about the beer. And how is the beer?  Well, it’s better than the food or the waiters. It’s not the best, but it’s good enough.

Biergarten Haus is the latest and greatest nightlife phenomena in DC.  It seems like one comes along every year or so, and Washingtonians pack the place out and make it impossible to find a seat on the weekends.  Last year it was Churchkey, this year it’s Biergarten. It’s a blessing and a curse.  The broader neighborhood benefits from the patronage that is turned away at the door for lack of space.  The patrons themselves face the frustration of massive crowds, slow service and lack of seating.

The beer garden was hyped and highly anticipated before it even opened its doors.  After a series of delays and extended soft openings, the DC citizenry was practically clamoring to get inside to experience the Biergarten for themselves.  When the establishment finally did open in June, it was rough, to say the least. If you came after 6, there were no seats.  If you happened to get a table, you where crammed in with literally hundreds of other people.  The staff was too small, the service was too slow and people generally left disenchanted. Continue reading

Dupont Circle, Essential DC, Food and Drink, Night Life, Special Events, The Features, We Love Drinks

We Love Drinks: Beer Week

Photo courtesy of
‘Partay!’
courtesy of ‘Kevin H.’

DC Beer week is upon us and beer lovers are presented with a plethora of excellent events to attend.  While nearly every single one is appealing, you’re only one person and can only attend so many.  Hence, I’ve created a handy guide to help you choose what to do and where to go. My guide  is by no means exhaustive and I’d encourage you to check out the full list of events before you decide where to go.  There are some really great options, and all that really matters is that you go to at least one of them. But, should you choose to heed my advice, I’ve got three rules to make this Beer Week perfect: attend a beer dinner, find the values, sample the rare goods. I’ve selected a few events to coincide with each rule to help you decide what to attend.

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Food and Drink, People, The Features, We Love Drinks

We Love Drinks: Greg Engert

Photo courtesy of
‘Beer Master Greg Engert’
courtesy of ‘snapzdc’

We Love Drinks continues our series where we look behind the bar, profiling the many people – from mixologists to bartenders, sommeliers to publicans – who make your drinks experience happen.

Greg Engert views the world through the bottom of a beer glass. This is not a statement on his sobriety, but rather the lens through which he has chosen to focus his profession and personal interest. Greg is the beer director for the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, owners of Rustico and the new, wildly popular ChurchKey and Birch and Barley restaurants near Thomas Circle. He researches beers, meets with brewers, manages his stock of beverages, and has the final say on anything beer related at Neighborhood restaurants. Sounds like a dream job, right? Well, I’m not going to lie. It is a dream job, but that doesn’t make it easy, and Greg certainly isn’t one to rest on the laurels of his title.

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