Smoke and Barrel is located in the upper Adams Morgan area, near the corner of 18th Street and Columbia Road in NW. If you’re into both beer and bourbon, this is definitely a place to check out.
Atmosphere and Service: The interior of Smoke and Barrel is very rustic, exactly what you’d expect from a Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ joint. There is plenty of seating in the restaurant and also an ample bar space. Service is top notch, and the bartenders are happy to let you sample both the draft beers and spirits before you commit to buying. It’s a very casual and friendly atmosphere, and a great place to unwind with friends at any time of day.
Selection: The craft beer selection at Smoke and Barrel is impressive. The ever changing menus is developed and maintained by Sam Fitz, who is a Certified Cicerone. For those of you who aren’t familiar with that designation, it’s a professional certification for someone who is an expert at serving beer and paring it with food. There are 24 craft beers to choose from on tap, along with 25 craft cans and a few bottle selections. You can view the current lists online at http://www.beermenus.com/places/2959-smoke-barrel. While visiting I sampled a few new beers I hadn’t yet tried, including a Stone Espresso Imperial Russian Stout, which is excellently balanced and weighs in at 11% abv… If you like coffee and chocolate notes, it’s definitely a beer you need to try.
Value: The beer selection is priced out fairly and there are various specials on the food menu. As far as the bourbon and whiskeys go, they’re expensive, but what place isn’t when it comes to top shelf liquors? This is a place you can go with a few friends, have a couple drinks and share some appetizers, and leave spending less than $75. That’s pretty rare in DC these days.
Overall: I’ve been to Smoke and Barrel three times now this year, and I haven’t gotten tired of it. The food is always great, with my personal favorites being the smoked wings with mud sauce and their “Taco Tuesday’s” happy hour specials. This place is definitely worth checking out when you feel like doing something low key with a group of friends.
Beer, Bourbon and Barbeque. Nuff said. Until next time, stay thirsty DC.