The Happy Hour Habitué: Birreria Paradiso

Beers for everyone!Beer for everyone!

As a beer lover, you can’t do much better than the draft selection at Pizzeria Paradiso. From thick, creamy stouts to tangy IPAs to crisp, citrusy wheat beers, no matter what your preference is, Paradiso’s got you covered. The only downside? The price. At around six to nine dollars a glass, a few beers will set you back more than just a few bucks.

That’s why I love Paradiso’s happy hour, as do the hoards of people who crowd into Birreria Paradiso, the downstairs bar, every Tuesday and Wednesday night. All draft beers are half off, leaving you free to sample some of the finest brews that D.C. has to offer for the student-friendly price of $3-4 each. With a revolving menu of 16 different beers on tap and one on cask, Pizzeria’s happy hour is hard to beat in terms of quality, price, and variety.

On Wednesday night, I started out with the Dogfish Head Midas Touch, allegedly “based on the residue found on the drinking vessels in King Midas’ tomb.” Somewhere between a mead and a wine, this tart, somewhat fruity beverage was, if not right up my alley, at least a refreshing start.

Next, I found the description of the Stone Arrogant Bastard (“This is an aggressive beer. You probably won’t like it.”) too challenging to resist. A good move—I felt pleasantly manhandled by the darker, stronger ale, and would recommend it for those who appreciate a intensely flavorful beer.

A word to the wise: even seasoned drinkers can be caught off guard by the alcohol content of the beers at Paradiso. I felt a bit light-headed after the Midas Touch (9% abv) and decidedly tipsy after my Arrogant Bastard (7.2% abv). The food deals ($5 appetizers, $9.95 8″ pizzas, and $15.50 12″ pizzas) aren’t spectacular, but a bite of food can help mitigate the early evening effect of a few boozy brews.

It’s also better to go with a couple of friends. If everyone orders a different beer, you can end up sampling the better part of the draft list without having to order a sampler ($9 for three 5 oz. glasses or $11 for four). Try to show up earlier than later, too—by six, the place is usually packed.

Birreria Paradiso is located at 3282 M St., downstairs at Pizzeria Paradiso. All drafts are half off from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Photo from Flickr user travlr used under a Creative Commons license.

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