DCFoodies.com The Black Squirrel: Best beer bar is the best reason to head to Adams Morgan - DCFoodies.com

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Jul 14, 2010



Love the Black Squirrel. As an Adams Morgan resident, though, I'd urge you to give the neighborhood another look (you admit you haven't been since your 20's). Yeah, I hate the weekends there, when it's like a war zone. However, during the week it's different. And there's not just the Black Squirrel for good beer, there's the Reef (which has been getting some amazing selections on tap), Bourbon, and the forthcoming beer bar that Bill Thomas is opening. Plus there's great beer and wine shopping at DeVinos, the new AM Wine, and Virginia Market.


You may be right, Chris. I rarely venture into Adams Morgan, much less during the day. As Tom pointed out during our interview, nothing is open during the day -- including The Black Squirrel -- because no one is around. So I imagine it's quite a different neighborhood. I have been to Bourbon, a bar I quite like, but like The Black Squirrel, I have to hold my nose and deal with a lot of mess and chaos to visit a couple rather good bars. If the neighborhood continues to attract places like The Black Squirrel, Bourbon, DeVinos and Locolat, it would be a huge improvement.


The claim that The Black Squirrel has the "strongest and most consistent" American craft beer selection in DC is quite an exaggeration. They might not even have the best tap selection in AdMo depending on what the Reef has on. I admire their willingness to do domestic imports, e.g. lug Sweeetwater up from the South, but this is largely a novelty and there are several better beer bars in the area. Meridian Pint certainly has a better tap selection just a mile or two away.

I support this place however, and have stopped by every couple of months since they opened. My biggest problem is their pricing. Why would I pay $7-$9 for a draft when I can get something similar or better at Reef for $4-$6 during happy hour. The neighborhood discount at Reef shows me they care about providing value for their loyal customers; I don't get that same value at The Black Squirrel. I'm not a cheap drinker by any means, but I'm going to take the $5 pint of Bear Republic or Bell's at the Reef over the Black Squirrel's offerings any day of the week.

I am looking forward to their new expansion though, and I hope they will consider running a happy hour in the future once they expand their capacity. I also agree that their website is pretty much worthless. Their twitter feed is occasionally informative, but most of the content is useless dribble.


I don't know, Jake. The Black Squirrel's taps are overwhelmingly domestic craft. Our other beer bars, like Paradiso and ChurchKey, have a lot of taps, but they feature a lot of imports. As for the Reef, they have 13 drafts, but half are typically dedicated to imports. I can't speak for Meridian Pint. I haven't been and it opened up after this review ran.

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