The lower courtyard at Biergarten House on H Street is populated with long wooden benches and tables as well as stools around barrels. Biergarten Haus offers one of the most extensive selections of German beers, including favorites like Franziskaner and Paulaner, and a full menu of bratwursts and schnitzels (and pretzel rolls!).
Roof Deck at Biergarten Haus
The roof deck at Biergarten Haus has the same communal tables and barrels as the lower courtyard, but has less shade. Come up here when the sun is on its way down.
Biergarten Haus' Tap
The tap at the roof deck's bar is a German beer lover's dream.
Bierstiefel at Cafe Berlin
Cafe Berlin gets points for being one of the few places in D.C. where you can drink from a boot (bierstiefel in German). Steeped in German folklore and tradition, the boot is characteristic of Cafe Berlin's offerings. Cafe Berlin is a little more focused on food than beer and offers a menu of authentic German cuisine, but it also has three great German beers on tap: a hefeweizen, a pilsner, and a bock. The two-liter boots are by request only and they'll ask to hold your credit card to deter theft, which, I'm told, is common.
Cafe Berlin's Patio
One of the more low key spots on this list, Cafe Berlin's patio is quiet and well shaded. A great place to have a beer in peace.
Tabard Inn's Courtyard
The courtyard at Tabard Inn, located near Dupont Circle, is serene and picturesque. Ivy and stone figurines cover the high walls that block out the noise of the city. The best option for enjoying a quiet beer in the sun here is to come between their lunch and dinner services around 2:30 to 6 pm. Peak times can get busy and there won't be many free tables for those just looking to relax with a brew. Between meals, it's easy enough to grab a drink at the bar inside and grab a seat outside.
One of the few German beers on tap. Not a huge selection, but what they have is good.
The finer details make Tabard Inn a particularly pleasant and quaint place.
Standard's communal picnic tables make for a lively experience. Grab a liter of beer and make a new friend. You can order from a selection of German beers (with a few American craft beers) by the liter, including a Weihenstephaner hefe-weissbier and Hofbrau lager.
Standard DC Menu
Line your stomach with Standard's tasty brisket (served with a sweet and tangy sauce), plus freshly fried jalapeno hush puppies. They're a just the thing to eat with hefeweizen.
Standard DC's Doughnuts
As an added bonus, Standard offers house made doughnuts. You can watch as one of the staff operates the "Donut Robot Mark 1" and fries fresh donuts before dousing them with cinnamon.
American Ice Co.
Also located near U St., American Ice Co. offers almost no German beers. But it scores with a fantastic selection of American craft beers and a great outdoor and indoor space. The front open-air space flows into the bar area through an open garage door. If it gets too hot, duck inside for a little bit where it's a bit cooler. American Ice also offers a small menu of porky foods, most popular of which is the "swachos" (swine + nachos). Can't go wrong with that.
American Ice Co.
American craft beers on tap and in cans. No bottles (except for liquor). Only "metal" and "jars." Really hammers in the industrial feel of the place.
Patio at American Ice Co.
The front patio area is spacious with comfortable picnic tables. It's easy to miss from the street, but walking past American Ice's nondescript gate will land you in one of the hippest spots in a hip neighborhood to grab a beer.