Greg Engert Wants to Make Day-Drinking Easier with a Low-ABV Beer Bar

It'll be inside the Neighborhood Restaurant Group's forthcoming food hall.

Greg Engert. Photo courtesy of Neighborhood Restaurant Group

Greg Engert of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group understands DC residents have food hall fatigue—which is why he and NRG are striving to make sure The Roost, their upcoming multi-bar, multi-restaurant concept in Capitol Hill, offers something a little different. Hence his plans for Shelter, a beer hall focusing on low ABV brews (all under 5 percent alcohol by volume). It’ll have 50 rotating drafts and indoor and outdoor seating. 

“A lot of food halls are for the day,” Engert says. “At the Roost, we’re trying to establish a place where you can enjoy the space well into the night. At Shelter, you can sip throughout the day and into the evening at a good pace.” 

Engert’s ideas are in line with a national drinking trend—not drinking, or choosing non-alcoholic or low-alcohol beverages, some of which are just as expensive and elaborate as their boozy brethren. While Shelter’s beers will still contain alcohol, the lower percentage is a stepping stone for those who want a more mellow night out. At least 40 to 50 percent of Engert’s stainless steel, temperature-controlled taps will feature the low-booze beers. “We spared no expense,” he says.

If you’re a light-beer hater, no worries. Engert promises a wide variety of low-ABV selections, including Belgian blonde ales, sours, and British milds (several will be sourced from NRG’s Navy Yard brewery Bluejacket). The selection will rotate frequently, and Engert estimates they’ll pour close to 1,000 different beers annually.  

The Roost announced its other bar, Show of Hands, in February. That bar will focus mainly on wine and low-ABV cocktails, and is overseen by Nick Farrell of Iron Gate. No food vendors have been announced yet, but visitors will be able to order food from any of the Roost’s vendors while visiting either bar.  

The Roost, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, is slated to open this fall. 

Kalina Newman
Editorial Fellow

Kalina Newman is an editorial fellow for Washingtonian. Previously, she covered metro news for the Boston Globe. Her work has appeared in ARLnow, DCist, and the Washington City Paper. Kalina graduated from Boston University in 2019 with a degree in journalism.