This article is from April, 2017 and has not been edited. Please double check places are still open for business.
Dacha Beer Garden
1600 7th St., NW
This see-and-be-seen Shaw beer garden, known for its two-story Elizabeth Taylor mural, gets so busy on nice weekends that lines sometimes form around the corner. Once inside, though, choose from a wide range of German and domestic beers (available by the boot) plus beer cocktails and radlers. Hungry? Dacha serves brats, meat skewers, and a monster pretzel with beer mustard and beer cheese.
1355 H St., NE
If you’re looking for more of a traditional German beer garden vibe, this is your place. German beers are available by the half-liter or liter, while the Bavarian food menu includes sausage platters and a range of different schnitzels. The place is bigger than it might seem from the outside, too: Three outdoor bar supply more than 400 seats and a roofdeck overlooking it all.
1801 14th St., NW
When the sun is shining, it’s rare that this 14th Street hub isn’t packed with people. The beer list is more limited than other beer gardens (half a dozen drafts and a couple bottles), but it’s food menu of barbecue and picnic staples far surpasses the competition. There are few better ways to pass a Saturday afternoon than with a liter of hefeweizen, a pulled pork sandwich, and an order of onion rings.
3333 Georgia Ave., NW
This Park View hangout has nearly 20 picnic tables outside plus a huge bar and dart boards inside. Choose from a mix of mostly German and local beers or PBR—almost all of which can be ordered in three sizes. While there are some snacks, patrons are also welcome to bring their own food. Bonus points for the bar dog, AndyPants, who has his own “Bar & Grrrrille” outside.
1101 1st St., NE
Set on an Astroturf and concrete lot in NoMa (tented and heated in colder months), this year-round beer garden serves just over a dozen mostly-German and local beers. Normally, corn hole is the staple entertainment, but the beer garden is kicking off spring with a slew of special festivities this weekend (April 13-15). On Friday and Saturday evenings, stop by for German live music, German food, and a stein-holding competition. On Saturday from noon to 3 pm, check out the karaoke brunch with buffet and, of course, lots of singing. More info here.
25 Potomac Ave., SE
In its new location across from Nationals Park, DC’s most monstrous beer garden boasts 750 seats with Anacostia River views—the perfect hang before or after a baseball game. Thanks to an outdoor brewery on-site, Bardo serves its own wide-ranging menu of stouts, IPAs, and more. The beer garden is also kid- and dog-friendly.
1007 Eighth St., SE
This roomy Barracks Row beer garden has picnic-style seating for over 200 and a 40-tap bar that pours a mix of German and local drafts. Full lunch and dinner menus offer burgers, smoked wings, and salads in addition to Bavarian fare. Get there early to snag a spot for weekend brunch if the sun is shining.
Denizen’s Brewing Co.
1115 East West Highway, Silver Spring
It’s rare to find a brewery with its own large beer garden in Washington, which makes this 200-seat spot a destination. Drink a freshly-brewed Southside Rye IPA or a barrel-aged sour red saison while digging into beer-friendly bites like pretzel bread and burgers. Weekends often bring live music, an upbeat crowd that includes local families, and plenty of dogs.
11820 Trade St., North Bethesda
The Neighborhood Restaurant Group is known for their beer (they’re behind ChurchKey and Bluejacket brewery), so you can expect plenty of interesting brews when this Bavarian garden rolls out on Saturdays and Sundays. Rotating pours of hard-to-find beers like Braubäcker Berliner Weisse range from tasting size to 20-ounce mugs—just don’t forget to pad the stomach with Red Apron brats or schnitzel.
7527 Old Georgetown Rd., Bethesda
German, Belgian, and Czech-style beers are all on offer at this beer hall, a sister to St. Arnold’s Mussel Bar. Patrons can pick between 19 drafts and a long bottle list, and fill up on Bavarian eats like spaetzle and schnitzel. The outdoor garden is pretty cozy with seating for under 50, but there’s plenty of shade from umbrellas.
Westover Beer Garden & Haus
5863 Washington Blvd., Arlington
Head to the back of this Arlington neighborhood market where hop heads will find a leafy oasis. The outdoor bar pours six local and American craft drafts, while there’s another bar inside the shop (plus “the great wall of beer” with over 1,000 options). Wifi, a menu of hot sandwiches from the organic butcher shop, and live entertainment make Westover an around-the-clock destination.