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

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 friend got tap beer. No surprises, its beer.

I ordered a Basil Hayden’s Manhattan. I’d had one at dinner so I had something to compare it too fresh in my memory. It is really hard to say they were remotely similar. What I got was anything but recognizable.

The Brass Tap Manhattan?

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 into his booze. The Manhattan was watery and bland, and honestly I have no idea what bourbon they used, because it definitely was 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 Just Bad.

The Brass Tap scored a 25/100, making it Just Bad. This is not a place I’ll be going back to.

PlaceLocationScorePrice ScaleDrink
Cinder BarClarksboro, NJ96High CostManhattan
Saltgrass SteakhouseOrlando, FL91Moderate CostManhattan
The Irish WhisperNational Harbor, MD90High CostIrish Whiskey
McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & SteaksNational Harbor, MD80High CostManhattan
The Dead RabbitNew York, NY75High CostMultiple
Iron Hill BreweryWilmington, DE71High CostKentucky Connection
Cadillac RanchNational Harbor, MD70Moderate CostMultiple
Harry’s Savoy GrillWilmington, DE67High CostManhattan
Ted’s Montana GrillNewark, DE66Moderate CostNewly Fashioned
Creekside InnWoodstown, NJ65Low to ModerateManhattan
AlewifeRichmond, VA63High CostManhattan
roanokeChicago, IL55High CostBlack Manhattan
Blue Line Lounge & BarChicago, IL53Low CostManhattan
Da AndreaNew York, NY50High CostManhattan
Iguana CafeChicago, IL45Moderate CostManhattan
The Greene TurtleNewark, DE40Moderate CostManhattan
Restaurante Montserrat ManorPunta Cana, DR35High CostManhattan
Dave & Buster'sDeptford, NJ30Moderate CostManhattan
Cock'n BullLahaska, PA26High CostManhattan
Old Fashioned
The Brass TapNational Harbor, MD25Moderate CostManhattan
Carrol's Creek CafeAnnapolis, MD21High CostManhattan
Big Fish GrillWilmington, DE10High CostManhattan
The LegendNew Castle, DE5Low CostManhattan
TGI FridaysNew Castle, DE1Moderate CostManhattan

Cost Scale

Up to $30 per person – Low Cost

$31 to $50 per person – Moderate Cost

$51 and above per person – High Cost