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The Black Squirrel
Taps: 10 / Bottles: 30
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$$ - a bit pricey
[ Bar, Eatery ]
2427 18th St NW
District of Columbia
phone: (202) 232-1011
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vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
I've been to The Black Squirrel many times. They've always got interesting beers to try (depending on which level of the building you're in), and the burgers are outstanding. It's never really crowded, though it can get a little busy late on weekend nights.
The trick with The Black Squirrel, though, is checking their website before you decide to go. Because every so often, it seems, there's a perfect storm of fantastic, whale-ish beers that appear simultaneously on tap. For example, the last time I went there, I had GL Blackout stout, Parabola, Bourbon County, Cigar City barleywine, Tactical Nuclear Penguin (bottled), and Utopias (also bottled, obviously). And then some absinthe, of which they have many kinds. I left very drunk, but very happy.
If you go without having an idea what's there, you may be a bit disappointed (though honestly, the burgers are really outstanding). But if you look ahead on their website and notice something interesting on tap, you may be pleasantly surprised when you get there.
01-24-2013 23:25:45 |
More by nihiloexnihil
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $$$
Went to the main-level bar yesterday for a beer after a tour of the Belgian embassy for the EU Open House. Needed a beer after they pushed us through the embassy and we were stuck with Stella rather than the hoped-for Orval.
Walls are red on one side and brick on the other with black wooden tables. Interesting posters on the wall. A few TVs on the wall an plenty more by the bar. Seemed to be a pretty chill place.
Service was good. The bartender knew a decent amount and wasn’t too pushy, and was quick with drinks and always noticed when we were running dry. The selection decent but nothing outstanding. Probably around 20 drafts and the same number of bottles. Not an extensive bottle list like other places in the area, and many of the drafts were pretty standard selections.
Didn’t have any food. Value was a bit pricey, even for the area. Priced above Churchkey and Paradiso, which is crazy. A nice experience, though I don’t think I’d come back very often unless I’m in need of a beer in Adams Morgan.
05-14-2012 14:19:13 |
More by Thorpe429
vibe: 3 | quality: 2 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
Visiting DC and happened to be in Adams Morgan, and a quick search on my phone showed this as being the best bet for a good beer.
I guess there are different levels with different beer selections. We just hit the bar on the street level. It was not very busy and were greated quickly with menus. The service was prompt and attentive.
The beer list is extensive and lists prices for "4 oz." and "pints." I ordered a pint of Hop Rod Rye. Got the beer quickly and immediately noticed that "pint" I order was not really a pint. They serve their "pints" in glasses that look and feel like regular 16 oz. pints but they are the thick bottomed versions. I assume they were 14 oz. pints. I don't care if you want to serve 14 oz., but do not tell me you are serving me a pint. A pint is 16 oz. I ordered a 4 oz. of another beer. I can only assume it was actually 4 oz., but who knows.
The prices listed were moderate prices for a true pint, but were kind of high for 14 oz. I know the rent in Adams Morgan is not cheap, and I would have still paid for beer (maybe even 2) without having to be lied to.
11-21-2011 16:47:03 |
More by Hotlanta
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
I went here this past Sunday afternoon (8/7/11).
Being still relatively new to the DC beer scene having moved here last November, and being mostly disappointed with some of the other highly graded DC beer establishments, I decided to give this place a try. I am very glad that I did.
Located in Adams Morgan, it’s about a 10-15 minute walk from the nearest Metro station. It doesn't look like much from the outside, being situated amongst a row of restaurants squeezed together all with similarly styled awnings and entrances. However, once inside, it is a very nice looking place, with tables in the front and the bar in the back of the room. The downstairs entrance was not open the day I went, so I had entered and sat at the bar on the second level.
There was a friendly couple sitting at the bar and two very nice and attentive bartenders. They had about 20 taps, with a very good variety of styles, including imports and, most notably, offerings from all over the U.S., such as Lagunitas, Bells, and Speakeasy. Their featured beer was Hofbrau Helles, served in an authentic Hofbrau 22 oz stein (how awesome). Their bottled list is also very impressive, with all styles and countries represented.
The atmosphere is very chill and laid back, and is easily my favorite thing about this place. It’s a very comfortable place to hang out, unlike some of the other corporate-like and pretentious beer establishments elsewhere in the city.
The bartender was very knowledgeable about beer, and when it came time for me to have an IPA, he recommended a bottle of Short's Huma-Lupa-Licious IPA, which he said was special ordered for the owner. It was awesome.
For food, I had a burger, which was outstanding. The bartender explained that the chef is from France and so the burger was made with duck fat that gave it a spicy kick. The food ordered by other people looked awesome as well, especially the roasted chicken which I will have to get next time. Definitely not standard pub food by any means. This place functions as an excellent restaurant as well as an excellent beer bar. Highly recommended.
08-13-2011 18:20:30 |
More by Denali
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | $$$$
Went to this place after seeing good reviews @ BA. However, I got turned off by what I perceived was gouging, A 10 oz. glass of Avery Maharaja cost me $13.00. The beer was 10 plus 1 for tax and I had to tip the barman 2 because he was very cordial and engaging. Got a 12 oz glass of the Maharaja @ Meridien Pint for $ 8.00. Can't figure out the disparity. We were a party of three, and we were going to eat but after the
jacked price we decided to move out in to the neighborhood and suport another establishment.
05-23-2011 17:20:48 |
More by MRJAZZ
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
This place has an above average selection of beers. It is three stories and each story has a separate bar. The higher you go, the less selection you have, which is why I would recommend the ground level bar. We got lucky and got a couple spots at the bar. If you're claustrophobic, avoid this place on weekend nights because its small and crowded. The atmosphere was average, but who cares when you just want to drink good beers. I would recommend this place to any beer afficianado who's in the D.C. area as it has the best selection of any place I've thus far been. The only recommendations I'd give the owners would be to list the beers on the wall so the patrons can see, with ease, the beers available. Also, put some more beer posters and/or nicknacks on the wall to add some character.
03-27-2011 15:16:00 |
More by dixieboy74
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3 | $$$
Situated in Adams Morgan and mostly catered for late 20s to 40s clientles. A nice welcome to an area that caters to mostly drunk college kids. Small place, long and narrow. Dozen barstools, 8 or so tables. Nice selection of primarily Belgian beers for a small place, very well-chosen with some hard to find surprises. Staff was very knowledgeable about the beer and the food (and the hard liquor - including absinthe and a rare regional gin!). Had fries here and they were good. Other appetizers were just ok at best. A good addition to the area, and to the DC beer scene in general.
02-18-2011 20:52:27 |
More by CuriousMonk
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Stopped by this place while I was in D.C. over Halloween weekend, not surprisingly packed like every place else. Nonetheless, still had a good time and the bartenders were fast and willing to help. Have both a tap selection and a bottle selection that encompass a wide variety and a nice selection that most everyone could find something they like. The atmosphere was pretty good, hard to judge on Halloween, but definitely a bar that I feel more comfortable going to than the other places that were available. Only problem was that some of the beers were a little expensive, but it was easy to get over that.
11-08-2010 04:11:27 |
More by Lolli1315
District of Columbia
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$$
Great selection - they always have at least one tap that is not typically available in DC, or that is just deliciously weird. Their beer cocktails (I know, sacrilege, but my sister insisted) are also quite good.
Their menu is very strange, however. It looks about ten pages long, but on closer examination, lists several beers in about four different categories.
The atmosphere is quirky and fun (they have a fake palm tree), though a bit loud. I've always had to yell to carry on a conversation.
Also, it is expensive, even in an expensive city. An unusual, tasty beer seems to be around 9/tap, 10/bottle. Yikes.
Still, they are keeping the faith in a part of town filled with trashy college bars. And they are right next to the amazingness of Amsterdam Falafel - proof that you can have a good night in Adams Morgan and still remember it the next day.
09-19-2010 03:08:59 |
More by cmaude
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
This is now the best option in Adams Morgan.
It's tucked into a narrow space, as most of the places in the area are. Nice typical wooden theme, but with the addition of photos of black squirrels on the wall. Also Farah Fawcett.
Pretty solid beer list. On tap is a heavily Belgian selection. Nothing exceptional, but a pretty nice variety. Add in a few random American craft brews (Bells, Dogfish, Great Lakes), and a number of bottle options, and you're sure to find something you want to try. Appropriate glassware seems to be the rule.
We had good service, but didn't try the food.
08-06-2010 03:40:08 |
More by shivtim
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The Black Squirrel in Washington, DC