Bar Review – The Big Hunt

A little over a week ago I went to NYC.  If you read any of my posts from last week you certainly know that, but I actually started a little bit of my beer journey before I even left DC.  We decided to leave for my parents’ house after I finished working a lunch shift at the restaurant that day.  Plans were all set to leave after we thought traffic had died down, but I got a call at work that we were going out with some friends before we left for NJ.  So, instead of leaving DC, we jumped on a crowded rush hour metro to Dupont Circle.

It was this little experience that gave me another idea for some new types of posts for my site.  There are plenty of bars in the DC area that are considered beer bars; therefore, I figured why not tell people about a few of them on here.  It’ll also give me an excuse to visit a few of these bars in the area.  I’ve been to Church Key which is the biggest beer bar in the area, but I haven’t been to nearly enough of the good beer bars in the area.  I think it’s time to check them out.

Anyway, we were first invited out to start at Hank’s Oyster house for happy hour.  I’d never heard of this place, but they had 21st Amendment Bitter American on their happy hour special.  I hadn’t had it since the winter, and I said at that time that I thought it would be better in the spring or summer months.  I also had consumed it during a time when I was heavily into darker stouts and porters.  I was glad to see I was exactly right on this beer.  It was nearly 100 degrees out that day, and a session beer with a heavy hand in fresh hops was great.  We didn’t stay long at Hank’s because we wanted to get some food and I honestly don’t like oysters or seafood in general.

We discussed a few different places to go next, but we ended up heading over to The Big Hunt.  There are plenty of bars that are really well-known in the craft beer scene of Washington DC, and there are others that make smaller waves in the scene.  I would say The Big Hunt is one of those bars that is getting pretty well-known in the craft beer bar scene, but having been to a few of the other bars, you would certainly call it a dive bar.

We walked in and were very lucky to have four seats open up at the bar right away.  Not ideal for four people looking to hang out and talk, but it is ideal for sitting down and having a beer real quick.  The place kind of reminds you of a bar where they just don’t turn the lights up so you don’t realize what a dive you’re actually drinking in.  The decor all seems like it came from different garage sales and second hand stores.  With that being said, I actually really like these types of bars.  You end up paying for fancy places to drink.  Sure it’s nice to put on some fancy clothes and have a nice drink at some places, but give me a place where I feel comfortable showing up in whatever I’m wearing at the moment.  I like to feel relaxed.

Anyway, since it was so hot out, I wanted to get a beer that was still light and refreshing.  Therefore, the first beer I went with was Hop Syndrome from Epic Brewing.  I picked it pretty quickly, but I was happy with what I went with.  It was hoppy and refreshing for the hot weather.  After I got my first beer, I really had a chance to start looking around at the different taps.  I found that I had consumed most of the stuff on their taps, but I liked that they were offering a good amount of different beers.  I didn’t see a bottle list, but I was pretty content with the taps.

I wanted to have a sample of DC Brau’s Hell’s Bottom before I went with my second beer.  I would have just gotten a full glass of it, but it’s an oatmeal stout, and I wasn’t really looking for anything that heavy on a really hot day.  It was good, but it was pretty thick and creamy.  I’m just trying to keep up with all that DC Brau is doing.  The last brew I had at The Big Hunt was Oxbow farmhouse pale ale.  I had a really good chance to think about what I wanted to get for my next beer, and I was really interested to see what this beer was like.  Once again, perfect for a really hot day, and it started me thinking of how I could alter my saison.

The biggest downside to me about this place was their food.  Like I said, we were looking for a place we could also get a bite to eat.  I went with the buffalo chicken sandwich, and it was really overcooked and hard to chew.  Maybe I just had a bad experience, but the chips and dip were uninteresting as well.  That certainly wouldn’t stop me from going back there again, but I wouldn’t be ordering food.

The Big Hunt probably isn’t the bar you want to seek out if you are coming to the DC area, but if you happen to be in the area it is a good place to go for a good beer.  It’s really low key and no frills, which is just the way I like it.

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