The Brickskeller in Washington, D.C. was once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the bar with the largest selection of commercially available beers, with over 1,032 bottled beers on its menu. (FYI, the current record belongs to Delíríum Café in Brussels, Belgium, with 2,004 varieties available.)
The Brickskeller was where my wife and I celebrated our engagement in 1997 after I proposed at the Lincoln Memorial. I enjoyed many fun beer tastings at the Brickskeller, including the 2010 Strong Ale Tasting, the 2009 Why is There Beer? Tasting, and many others that pre-date this blog. It was a beer destination – a place to bring out-of-town visitors who appreciated craft beer and dim taverns.
Established in 1957, the iconic Brickskeller was sold in December 2010, closed for a few days, and then re-opened as the Bier Baron.
A year and half later, in June 2012, we finally made it back to the site of the former Brickskeller. But not for a celebration, not for a beer tasting, and not to host visitors. I had a Groupon for the Bier Baron that was about to expire.
The deal – $20 for a Beer-and-Appetizer Package for Two ($42 value), which included:
- Two beer flights consisting of six 3-ounce draft beer pours per person (a $15 value each)
- One appetizer to share (up to $12 value)
I’m glad we had the Groupon because $15 for a beer flight that totals just 18 oz is not a good deal – it’s just over a pint for Pete’s sake. But Beth and I got a beer flight each plus an app for $20, and I couldn’t complain about that.
There were 24 draft beers to choose from. My beer flight included:
- Under Dog, Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick, MD (4.7%) – a sessionable American Pale Lager
- Wildeman, Flying Dog Brewery, Frederick, MD (7.5%) – a Farmhouse IPA
- The Citizen, DC Brau, Washington, D.C. (7.0%) – a strong and well-balanced Belgian Pale Ale
- Sakura, Chocolate City Beer, Washington D.C. (6.2%) – a dark cherry Abbey Ale
- Lake Erie Monster, Great Lakes Brewing Company, Cleveland, OH (9.1%) – an Imperial IPA
- Racer 5 IPA, Bear Republic Brewery, Healdsburg, CA (7.0%) – one my favorite IPAs
Beth and I enjoyed an appetizer of Spinich and Artichoke Dip with our beer flights, and then it was time for dinner. I continued the “bargain night” theme with my dinner order. During happy hour (5:00-7:00) a burger and any draft beer is only $10! Considering the burgers are regularly priced at $12 and the drafts are $5-$7, this was an excellent deal. I enjoyed a pint of Racer 5 with my hearty cheeseburger and steak fries.
A lot has changed with the transition of the Brickskeller to the Bier Baron. It was hard to forget my history with the place, knowing that it was no longer a famous beer destination. But I finally made it back – the Bier Baron drew me in with deals and a great beer selection, and I was glad we made the trek.