D.C. National Airport

DC Flag

The passengers passing through the U.S. nation's capital can now enjoy craft beers along with their food and shopping. In the "B" terminal of Washington D.C.'s National airport (DCA) lies the new Virginia Beverage Company bar. At the end of the terminal that houses gates 23 through 35, within view of the highest numbered gates, this small bar is tastefully decorated with a few copper vessels and chalkboards on the walls. The medium-sized stone bar features two five-tap stainless steel tap towers. The bar back is also copper and a full liquor selection is available. One silent TV sits overhead and the mood is pleasant. Four craft beers are offered at $3.95 a pint: VA Native Gold, VA Native Dark, VA Native Red and VA Native Hefeweizen. The VA Native Dark is a dark amber with an estery/yeasty aroma, medium body and malty flavor. The VA Native Red has deeper reddish hues and offers a drier, malty flavor, characteristic of rye. It is crisp and clean and could occupy your time for a while. The designers as well as the brewers have done a great job and make this a place not to miss when flying through D.C.

Around Gate 41 you'll find Charles Mann's All-Pro Grill. Beers include Sam Adams Boston Lager, Sam Adams Summer Ale, Sam Adams Boston IPA, and Guinness. On tap is also the Foggy Bottom Ale, contract brewed in Utica. A clear gold color, it offers a medium body, full mouthfeel, with an even balance of non-distinctive malt and hops. The non-smoking environment is a pleasant surprise but the lack of gate announcement over the PA and the limited view of departure gates and US Air information displays make for a characteristically American unrelaxing wait for your departure. At least the $4.07 price for a 14 ounce draught is bearable.

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - October 1998 & August 1999

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