WHISKEY PLACES – The Brass Tap

The Brass Tap Craft Beer Bar was the low point of our trip through the establishments in National Harbor. It’s not that large, was packed, and the music was so loud you had to scream to talk to the person next to you. Ordering food and drink? Don’t even try to talk to the server, you just have to point at stuff on the menu because no one is going to hear you.

The Brass Tap Craft Beer Bar – National Harbor, MD

You can hear the music outside, which is probably what helps them pull people in, but someone needs to tell the owner they can put a speaker outside (or hide it in their sign) and then turn down the inside volume.

Could amazing drinks have saved our impression of The Brass Tap? Sure, it could have, if the drinks were decent.

My son and his girlfriend got tap beer. No surprises, its beer.

I ordered a Basil Hayden Manhattan (it’s what I was drinking at dinner so I figured it would give me a good comparison). I saw the bottle on the wall, so I knew they had it. What I got was anything but recognizable.

Basil Hayden’s Manhattan – Maybe?

The color was really dark, and the flavor was anything but bourbon. It reminded me of when I’d fill bottles with water so my dad didn’t know we were in his booze. The Manhattan was watery and bland, and honestly I have no idea what bourbon they used, because it was definitely not Basil Hayden’s. Or, if it was, it was 9/10s water.

My wife ordered what should have been a safe choice. She went with a bottle of lite beer – which the bartender dropped while handing it over the bar to the server. The bottle hit the ground (I think there was a rubberized mat on the ground) but didn’t break. A minute later the same beer was served to my wife, with about 50% of it foam. Unfortunately none of us took a picture of it.

We each drank our one drink and left half our appetizers uneaten as it was time to go. It was just too loud inside and the quality of the cocktails was not so great. The Brass Tap is scoring a 25/100, making it Just Bad.

PlaceLocationScorePrice ScaleDrink
The Telford InnMantua, NJ95HighManhattan
Saltgrass SteakhouseOrlando, FL91LowManhattan
The Irish Whisper National Harbor, MD90Moderate to HighManhattan
Tortoise Supper ClubChicago, IL85HighManhattan
McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks National Harbor, MD80ModerateManhattan
The Dead RabbitNew York, NY75HighManhattan & Old Fashioned
Iron Hill BreweryWilmington, DE71Moderate to HighManhattan
Cadillac Ranch National Harbor, MD70ModerateManhattan
Harry's Savoy GrillWilmington, DE67HighManhattan
Ted's Montana GrillNewark, DE66ModerateOld Fashioned
Creekside InnWoodstown, NJ65Low to ModerateManhattan
roanokeChicago, IL55HighManhattan
Blue Line Lounge & BarChicago, IL53ModerateManhattan
Montserrat ManorPunta Cana, Dominican Republic35HighManhattan
Dave & BustersDeptford, NJ30Moderate to HighManhattan
Cock'n BullLahaska, PA26HighManhattan & Old Fashioned
The Brass Tap National Harbor, MD25ModerateManhattan
Big Fish GrillWilmington, DE10HighManhattan
The LegendNew Castle, DE5LowManhattan
TGI FridaysNew Castle, DE1Low to ModerateManhattan

Cost Scale

Up to $30 per person – Low Cost

$31 to $50 per person – Moderate Cost

$51 and above per person – High Cost

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