A flight of craft beers and a mouthwatering burger makes for the perfect airport pit stop at American Tap Room.

A flight of craft beersTrying to decide where to catch your next flight? May I suggest the American Tap Room at Reagan National Airport? As an airline employee, I often find myself at the airport for work but this time, I was leaving from a visit to our nation’s capitol and with a little bit of time before boarding started, my friend, Julia, and I decided that the American Tap Room was calling our names.

For the regular traveler, one might find the walk through the Reagan Airport both beautiful and mundane, but it is hard to resist the aromas of sizzling burgers, smoked salmon, and french fries that forces you into a full headlock until you place your hindquarters into a seat at the Tap Room. As if the aromas from the kitchen were not enough to entice you into a drooling mess, the designers of the restaurant hit you with a one-two punch of red walls (said to increase your hunger and desire to eat) and cozy lay-out. A quick look around the place and you might be led to think you are in the midst of an “old boys club”, the only thing missing is the club style couches and humidor. The room is anchored by the rich wood floors and tables and accented with over-sized light shades that lend themselves to the 1950’s. The only thing that may wake you out of your day dream is the price of entrees. While not completely outrageous, if you do not want to drop $15.00 for lunch, you may want to just cozy up to the bar and choose from the selection of drinks.

After looking over the variety of selections, I settled upon the local flight of beers which included: Port City Whitbeir; Lost Rhino Rhino Chaser Pilsner; Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout; and the DC Brau The Corruption IPA. Once I ordered, I was unfortunately informed that the Port City Whitbeir and the Lost Rhino were not available. I selected 2 other draft beers to complete my flight along with the acclaimed Tap Room Burger. While waiting on my order, I enjoyed a pleasant conversation with a gentleman from Cincinnati who let me in on his order (Cajun Chicken Sandwhich) which he called, “completely fantastic!”. Cincinnati and I shared about our lives and reasons for being in town (mine, of course, to see the National Santa at Tysons Corner Center) before Cincinnati closed his check but not before ordering a ramekin of sliced pickles to “get a bit of saltiness.”

After a short while, I was graced with the presence of my flight of beers which Cincinnati salivated over-understandably so as the glasses sat alternating in their frosted tones just begging to be sampled. Following the 2 general drafts I had added and the IPA which was decent in its own right, I had the pleasure of getting my taste on with Jefferson’s Reserve. Now, usually I don’t pay too much attention to descriptions of alcohol-beer and wine alike- since people tend to taste what they taste and very rarely do you really experience the description of said alcohol (unless of course, you are a master taster). This time, however, it was different. From the moment you open your mouth, the hint of bourbon barrel plagues your taste buds with a round, rich, “oaky” essence that leaves you anticipating the next sip. This beer doesn’t stop there though, with its complex chocolate and coffee tones, Jefferson’s allows you to taste the beer like the crafter does-with understanding and a wide open palate.

Shortly after that afternoon delight, our meals arrived. Displayed in metal baskets with red and white checkered parchment paper, the Tap Room burger stared up at me knowing that with its heartily sliced pickles, caramelized onions, and special “ATR sauce”, I would be enjoying something glorious. One bite into this juicy meat patty, there was no doubt-no place for delayed gratification here folks.

A burger and fries.

Burger and fries at American Tap Room. Photo courtesy American Tap Room Facebook.

I can honestly say, aside from the cost, I enjoyed my local flight and entree immensely and would recommend (as I am doing now) that if you are ever at the Reagan Airport and thinking about a quick flight, follow your nose to Terminal C to American Tap Room and enjoy their selection of beers and entrees. P.S. there are other locations for American Tap Room so you don’t have to buy a boarding pass just to enjoy your flight.

American Tap Room has five locations around the D.C. area and in the Reagan National Airport.  Location specials and hours may vary, but generally open for lunch at 11 a.m. and close after dinner around midnight and until 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.