The Brickskeller is a bar located at 1523 22nd St, NW, in Washington, DC, near Dupont Circle, and is perhaps the beer lover's dream. That is, they probably have one of the largest beer lists in the world: The first time I went, a few years ago, they featured 600 beers. Up until recently, the old, beat-up sign out front read 850, but now is up to 1000.

The Brickskeller is a two-level establishment, but the two rooms are not really connected. Besides, you really want to be downstairs, anyway. One will quickly find the name apropos, as one makes the way down a narrow staircase, into the cavernous belly of this bar. It is dusky and dingy.

One should not, by any means, let this scare him off, however. There is good music on the jukebox, and the walls are decorated with beer cans, new and old, which make for great conversation starters -- when's the last time your local grocery chain marketed its own beer?

The food varies in quality, but as mentioned, the main draw of the Brickskeller is the sheer selection of beers. All customers are handed a menu, which is theirs to keep, that contains several pages of both domestic and imported beers, broken down by state and country, respectively. You want Aass? It's there. You want Skullsplitter? No problem. Moscova? They've got you covered... usually.

Ok, so it is true that you should have a second, and perhaps third choice ready, should you desire one of their more popular fringe beers. On the other hand, all of the waiters and waitresses who work there tend to have a very good knowledge of the beers, and can easily make a quality recommendation. Personally, I gravitate towards the Quebecois Unibroue line of beers, but that's just personal preference.

Of course, we're all human, and if we drink beer, we will be frequenting the facilities. However, there is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it brings you to perhaps one of the most under-appreciated and overlooked qualities of this place: the restroom graffiti. I say this for a reason: Like everything else in DC, it's political. You will see no "for a good time, call" or "AC/DC rox!" writeups. No, it is nothing but constant, partisan bickering, and can be most amusing. You can almost imagine the guy in his suit and tie, wielding a Sharpie.

The Brickskeller is not a place that the first-time DC tourist tends to visit, but it is certainly a place that should not be missed.

Just do me a favour. If you're with me, don't be that guy who orders the Iron City.

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