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On Tap Alternatives

Beer can be so blasé. These five bars and restaurants are upping the brewsky ante, offering thirsty patrons something special from their kegs.

Red Apron

Top Chef contender Mike Isabella’s Mexican eatery, Bandolero, offers tasty margaritas on tap. The El Bandolero is a delicious blend of Espolon Blanco tequila, Patron Citronge, lime juice and blood orange. “People have figured out that you can tap more than just beer kegs,” says Isabella, who also pours Montelvini prosecco from a tap at his Italian eatery, Graffiato. “They’re fun, and I think they appeal more to women than beer [does].,

Beuchert’s Saloon
Beuchert’s is giving their bottomless mimosas a twist by concocting the brunch staple using a Fontanella da Prosecco, or vintage prosecco fountain. The new saloon serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays and—in addition to mimosas made with fresh squeezed orange juice—offers beignets plus farm fresh fare.

Red Apron
Red Apron, at the bustling Union Market, offers their wines on tap, including two (Tempranillo and a Sotomonte Verdejo) from brash, young Spanish winemaker Molinos de Dulcinea. “Keg wine, though not meant for all wine, is a forward-thinking approach to youthful wines; plus it’s more sustainable,” says Brent Kroll, wine director for The Neighborhood Restaurant Group.

Kroll also works his wine magic at the new GBD. “I thought about what would pair well with the two stars of the shop: fried chicken and doughnuts,” says Kroll. “Wines with great acidity to clean the palate are great matches to fried chicken.” Wines on tap include a sparkling Michigan rose, a New York riesling, a Qupe syrah and a Molinos de Dulcinea Tempranillo.

Toki Underground
At this H Street corridor hot spot, you’ll find carbonated sake on tap. Served alongside a spicy housemade simple syrup (infused with Sichuan peppercorns and chilis, cinnamon, allspice and star anise), patrons can select a specialty sake cocktail off a seasonal list. “We wanted to present something familiar, but in a completely new light—something that stays true to Toki and its menu,” says bartender Colin Sugalski.