I love music almost as much as I love beer, and I’ve been to concerts in almost every live music venue that DC has to offer. Unfortunately I usually find myself disappointed that the only beer choices available at most of DC’s theaters and music halls only include the usual suspects like Bud, Miller, and if you’re lucky, maybe one import that the people who actually live in the country it’s from would be embarrassed to be caught drinking. There is one venue however that caters to the craft beer lover, and that is why it tops the list of my favorites; the 9:30 Club at 815 V Street in Northwest.
Combined, the upstairs and downstairs bars at 9:30 Club boast 32 different draft beers, with over 90% of the choices being craft. The tap menu rotates, but the choices are always impressive. When I was there last week, I saw a number of great breweries like Dogfish Head, Troegs, DC Brau, Brookly, Allagash, and many more. I started with one of my go-to beers, a Dogfish Head 90 Minute Pale Ale. 90 Minute is a very hoppy and high-octane beer that measures in at 9% abv, yet is also very well balanced with a slightly sweet finish. There’s a reason that this beer won the title of Best Beer in America two years straight at the Great American Beer Festival, and you’ll know why when you take your first sip.
The club doesn’t just carry domestic crafts beers. There are various imports available in both bottles and draft. I followed up my 90 minute with a Chimay Red from Belgium, a Dubbel style that is considered to be one of the finest ales in the world. If beer isn’t your thing, 9:30 Club also has a full bar both upstairs and down to pour you whatever it is you need to keep moving during the show.
As far as concerts are concerned, I’ve seen everything from acoustic shows, rap artists, jam bands, funk, and techno at 9:30, and I absolutely love the sound that the venue’s speakers crank out. The club is standing room only for the most part, with some seating available in the horseshoe shaped upper level. Where ever you decide to view the action, the venue is small enough so that you can see the artists perform and the crowd is just big enough to provide the energy you crave. 9:30 Club provides the perfect atmosphere for live music and craft beer. Check out their upcoming shows on their website. www.930.com, and until next time, stay thirsty DC!