Summer Suds: Two beer gardens and one beer hall open in Northern Virginia

From cornhole to bratwurst, and a promised ‘Instagram moment’ in the bathroom, here’s where to find your next brew.

The Lot
Photo courtesy of The Lot

From a beer garden in the city, and another filled with kids and dogs, to a beer hall promising an “Instagram moment” in the bathroom, these are the new places to drink this summer. 

Opened last month after two years battling county zoning laws, The Lot claims 22,000 square feet, lined with picnic tables, games—think cornhole and giant beer pong with trash bins—and of course, beer. The eight draft options vary in style from local labels like Two Silos to more well-known suppliers like Dogfish Head, and there are also more than a dozen cans and bottles. For those who aren’t a fan of hops, mixed drinks and house frosé are also served.

As for eats, owner Mike Bramson has found a permanent home for his Arlington food truck, Rebel Taco at The Lot. While the truck used to drive around the neighborhood serving Mexican-inspired cuisine, it will no longer be using its wheels. In addition, food truck The Tailgater is on-site serving similar food. The Lot stays open late: midnight from Wednesday to Thursday and 2 a.m. on Saturday.

The team behind restaurants Charlie’s on the Avenue and Live Oak debuted The Garden, a 100-seat outdoor bar and restaurant in Del Ray in a former garden store.

In family and-dog-filled Del Ray, The Garden welcomes furry friends and youngsters. There is a kids’ menu, rock-filled flooring and a creation corner with activities to keep children entertained. For the 21-plus crowd, find 16 beers on tap, including Old Ox’s I Am Brut and Solace Brewing Company’s summer IPA, Suns Out, Hops Out, several canned options and $8 wine and cocktails. In addition to its daily food menu, featuring pork belly bahn mi and a fried soft-shell crab sandwich, there are breakfast beignets and coffee served starting at 9 a.m. on Saturdays.

Bronson Bier Hall is set to open at the end of August as a homage to German fare and craft beer. While the concept is new to Arlington, chef and co-owner Mike Cordero is not: Bronson replaces Cordero’s previous creation, the rowdy, rule-breaking A-Town Bar and Grill.

To bring the project to life, the entire interior of the site was gutted and refurbished with design elements one would find at a traditional pub in Germany, including reclaimed barn wood, Colosseum-like pillars (in the words of Cordero) and garage doors leading to an outdoor patio stocked with games like pingpong and bocce.

Designer Yvette Irene created an ode to beer in the men’s restroom by recycling beer kegs into urinals. “Honestly,” says Cordero “the bathrooms are amazing. I think they will be an Instagram moment.”

While the menu is small, offerings include schnitzel, pierogies, homemade giant pretzels and ox-tail croquettes, which Cordero is most excited to share. As for the drinks, the on-tap selection will include NoVA-based IPAs and a wide selection of German beer.

The eatery will also be home to a meat counter, giving guests the chance to take items like spicy Italian sausage, sauerkraut and German potato salad home.

“We want to capture those people who don’t want to hear the loud, banging noise from the DJ, especially on the weekends, and project ourselves as a more chill area,” says Cordero. “Everything about it will set the Bronson apart from any other place in Arlington.”

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