Perhaps good beer is finally catching on. Whereas, hopheads once had to settle for periodic trips to Chevy Chase Liquors to stock up on bottled goodness, a few genuinely good draught outlets are popping up around the area. What's more, the two most recent openings serve pizza, too.
1) Bierreria Paradiso
All you really need for a great beer bar is someone who cares about beer. And, Thor, the man behind Bierreria Paradiso clearly does. A very thoughtfully chosen list of draughts and bottles. Great IPAs, dozens of Belgian options, and a rotating "cask." It's all there. The other good news is that the pizza is as good as ever. Not world glass. But pretty good. Especially when washed down with a Smuttynose IPA.
Still during its self-proclaimed "soft-opening", Rustico shows signs of promise. Although the beer list has a few more stinkers and a few less winners than BP's list, this is clearly a result of the type of restaurant Rustico is striving to be. In a growing Alexandria community near the GW Parkway, Rustico has little choice but to cater to its most likely clientele, and therefore includes some of the more popular (and less tasty) macro-brewery options. They even follow the sports-bar trend with the bucket-of-beers option. But, the good news is that there is good beer to be found, and a cask as well. On my one visit, the food wasn't half bad. A tasty salad of grilled squid and white beans, and a pizza that was hardly exceptional, but not horrendous either. With four plasma televisions over the bar, Rustico seems a good game time destination for beer and grub.