Bar Belle: Capitol City Brewing Company

Where: 1100 New York Ave. N.W.
Carded: Not this time, but it should be expected
Cover: Check made out to “Dean for America,” but not usually
Dress: Varies from “after work” to “before the big game”
Specials: $2.50 pints from 3 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to closing, seven days a week

I love politics – not surprising, as I am a political science major. I especially enjoy political campaigns because they always have a buzz around them. No matter how you are involved in the campaign, you never know quite what to expect.

And perhaps my favorite aspects of the campaigning process are political rallies and fundraisers. Where else can you scream like a madwoman for one person and spend money that could otherwise buy another pair of shoes? I like events with a lot of hype and pizzazz – not just a candidate, some signs and a microphone – so when I received an invitation to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean’s birthday party/fundraiser /rally, I just had to RSVP.

My RSVP was a donation to the campaign, but it was well worth it because it got me into a private party at Capitol City Brewing Company. While local breweries have been around for some time now, the emergence of chain microbreweries is a more recent trend. I originally thought they would have the staying power of cigar bars, but I was wrong. Microbreweries are now common throughout the District as well as its surrounding suburbs. Like others in the area, Cap City features four or five beers on tap, as well as an extensive food menu. I was chilling at the downtown location, near the MCI Center, but the bar has other locations in Capitol Hill and northern Virginia.

Happy hour provides a welcome alternative to Bud and Miller Light specials. Instead, Cap City offers two daily happy hours from 3 to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to closing, with pints at just $2.50. The bar is often crowded, but the staff is attentive.

In honor of Dean’s 55th birthday, I wish the bar had offered 55-cent pints for at least part of the evening. No such luck, but I did get another bumper sticker and was able to hear Dean – rolled-up shirt sleeves and all – finish his stump speech with “You have the power. You have the power. You have the power.”

Belle Rating: * * * *

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