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Bethesda, Maryland, is a suburb of Washington, DC, but it’s big enough not to be completely devoid of life like many American suburbs. In particular, the area of downtown Bethesda within walking distance of the Bethesda Metro station has plenty of decent bars and restaurants to visit. While there are no non-chain breweries in the city, there are still several good places to drink craft beer in Bethesda.

The Best Craft Beer Bars in Bethesda

Barrel & Crow

Barrel & Crow is a local restaurant and bar with an excellent menu specializing in good drinking food.

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You’ll certainly be well-fed with tasty dishes such as Old Bay wings, duck fat fries, beignets, and beef jerky. There is also a happy hour that makes things easier on the wallet.

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In addition to the excellent food, Barrel & Crow has a selection of 12 taps (including a couple of ciders), plus about 50 cans and bottles. They also serve wine and cocktails.

One of the issues I often have with suburbia is how many bars and restaurants are chains. There are certainly some of those on this list. It’s not to say that they are all bad, but I prefer visiting a local independent bar or restaurant. That’s one reason why I especially enjoyed Barrel & Crow. It’s a nice local oasis amid so many chains, serving up great local food & beer.

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Address: 4867 Cordell Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814 (map)

The Barking Dog

The Barking Dog is another proudly independent neighborhood bar in Bethesda. In an area that has mostly been redeveloped, it still clings to its roots as a bit of a dive that’s welcoming to everyone. Whether you’re one of the many regulars or just passing through Bethesda on business, owners John & Bob have created a place that has been beloved for over 20 years.

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The beer selection is a mix of craft and macro, so it caters to everyone, whether they want something from a local brewery or just a Bud Light. Cocktails and bar food are also available, including happy hour and hospitality employee specials late at night.

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The Barking Dog is a popular place for watching sports, with several big screens at the bar and a few others scattered around the rest of the place. I enjoyed settling in with a pint of Surrender RyePA from 7 Locks Brewing in Rockville while watching some games on TV.

Address: 4723 Elm St, Bethesda, MD 20814 (map)

World of Beer Bethesda

World of Beer is a beer bar chain that offers hundreds of craft beers. While it’s easy to dismiss a chain, especially one with 50 or so taps, the beer selection is actually quite good & rotates frequently.

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Many of the rotating beers are from the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC, areas, so at least it’s a good place to drink local. There are also fridges packed with hundreds of bottles and cans.

In addition to the huge beer selection, there is also a full food menu with recommended beer-style pairings. There are also lots of TVs for watching sports, plus happy hour and other events.

Address: 7200 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814 (map)

Dog Haus Bethesda

Dog Haus Biergarden is another chain specializing in craft beer in Bethesda.

In addition to their menu of hot dogs, sausages, burgers, and breakfast burritos (all of which include plant-based options), they also have a rotating list of craft beer. When I visited, an impressive 75%+ of the 24 taps were all from around the DMV.

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Catering is available. The restaurant also supports local charity fundraising events. There is a location in Silver Spring as well.

Address: 7904 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814 (map)

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Bethesda, check out these hotels. I recommend the AC Hotel by Marriott Bethesda Downtown. It’s convenient, quiet, and well-appointed.

The Best Breweries in Bethesda

Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery

There are no independent craft breweries in Bethesda. However, there is a Rock Bottom Brewery location in the city.

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Each Rock Bottom location brews its own unique beers. The Bethesda taproom has about 12 taps. They also have a full food menu, plus events such as comedy nights and trivia nights.

Address: 7900 Norfolk Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814 (map)

The Best Bottle Shops in Bethesda

There are a few small independent liquor stores in Bethesda that specialize in quality beer & wine, including Lance’s Beer & Wine (where I stopped in and was able to find a couple of beers I really wanted to try, such as Dogfish Head Wake Up World Wide Stout & Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA Aged in Utopias Barrels), Beer Wine & Co, Cork 57 Beer & Wine, and Capital Beer & Wine. Many of these beer & wine shops offer tastings and other events.

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For more nearby craft beer, read my recommendations for craft beer in Silver Spring.

Here are some great Washington DC tours & activities & other things to see & do in Bethesda.

Do you love craft beer? Check out more of my recommendations for the best craft beer around the world!

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