Happy hour time or so, before 6pm. Sat at the bar. Had a wonderful bartender. Other bartenders were nice as well, and had wonderful conversations with everyone. Gave advice on which beers he (the bartender) liked most, and let me sample some of them. Loved the decor, and thought that the atmosphere was fantastic. Like all other Great American resturants, the food is great.
Went inbetween lunch and dinner. Sat at the bar, where I was waited on attentively by a goodlooking bartender. Ceasar salad was very very good.
The entire place was much lighter, brighter, cleaner and nicer than most all other chain brewpubs. Is a nce date type of place, only fairly typical chain/themed ambiance.
The beer however is average, selection weak.
Bright and clean interior with friendly staff. Didnít try the food so I canít speak to that. Five beers on tap, which was slightly disappointing considering how many interesting beers they brew. Decent beer all around with a few solid ones if youíre lucky to find them. As Dan says, full of shiny happy people, nothing wrong with that but it seems to lack the genuiness of non-corporate, local brewpub.
Serving their own brews, with six available at a time. Of those, two to three are rotating taps. You can order a nice sampler that comes on a carousel, but it will contain beers that are made for the masses as well as specialties and seasonals that are hit-and-miss. Other Great American Restaurants excel in tehir service, but here is seems preening, and with two food items and one beer at a table of two, we did not get what we ordered. This may be an expensive outing for most brewpubs, but in the DC area, itís about average, as you will drop as much dough at Brickskellar or RFD and still have to travel to the heart of the city...
jde123 (85) Washington, Washington DC | February 2, 2005
While the food is very good to amazingly good, the beer selection and quality is truly one of the worst in the area. Walking in to this brewpub is very nice, great decor, huge vaulted ceilings with eight-foot mirrors on the walls. Not really Southwestern (as is stated in the website) but more northern Rockies decorative scheme. Kind of like an enormous log cabin in the middle of the forest. Service is excellent, but donít ask the server to know how bad their beer truly is. Great food, visit for the food and atmosphere, but then again, that can be obtained anywhere. Beer is bad here, with one exception - the pale ale, which is always on tap apparently.
I live a mile and a half from this place and rarely go. The beerís decent, so why donít I go? They claim to brew 30 or 40 different beers, yet they serve five total, and two of those are always an average APA and the usual crappy light beer. Three beers rotate, and I find that annoying enough that I donít much visit. Food is good but rather expensive, and the clientele is full of shiny happy people. Staff does not know much about beer. If youíre in closer, give this a shot, but if you want a real brewpub experience in VA head out to Dominion.
jeffc666 (93) Fairfax, Virginia | March 4, 2004| Updated August 16, 2004
The emphasis is on the food at Sweetwater Tavern. The food is very good to excellent but it will set you back more than your average brewpub. It is hard to go wrong when ordering your food, but my personal favorites are the half young roasted chicken, the grilled fish of the day, and the Drunken Ribeye (marinated in the house pale ale). On to the beer. The beer is generally good, some of the seasonals can sometimes be more miss than hit, but they always have the Pale Ale which is good to fall back on. The overall beer selection is pretty weak, they always have the Pale Ale and a &quo;Light&quo; beer. Married with these two are typically 2 rotating seasonals. The menu lists a slew of beers that have been brewed in the past, just donít expect a big selection on any given day. They also offer a cask beer on Sunday nights. Why they do not do this every night is a mystery to me. My only other issue is that this place gets packed, and as a result it is frowned upon to sit around and drink beer at your table after you are finished (i.e., it is impossible to get the staffís attention once you have decided not to order dessert). So if you want to drink, head to the bar.