Belgian bar & bistro, The Sovereign, now open in Georgetown – Check out their Menus

by Prince Of Petworth February 7, 2016 at 10:22 pm 16 Comments

1206 Wisconsin Avenue NW (off the intersection of M & Wisconsin at the end of the alleyway)

From an email:

“After months of anticipation, we will finally opened our doors!

One of the main reasons our Beer Director Greg Engert got his start in the craft beer world was Belgian beer. Nine years and a handful of beer-centric bars, restaurants and a brewery later, we’re thrilled to be opening a bistro and bar in the heart of Georgetown that is completely dedicated to the rustic cuisine and fabled brewing culture of Belgium.

Our doors open at 5:30 PM for dinner and our 50 drafts along with cocktails & wine will be flowing with an expansive breadth of selections that illuminate the flavor-driven, craft-brewed complexity that is the trademark of the best Belgian beers.



Sovereign-Wine-Glass-Drinks (PDF)

Whet your appetite with Chef Peter Smith’s dinner menu and our draft list.”

  • Ben

    That’s quite the draft list…

    • Tripel

      That’s the problem, though. Engert deserves credit for his terrific collections of Belgian beers that are not widely available in the U.S. It’s just too bad he settles for serving so many on draft rather than in bottle (and bottle-conditioned) form.

      • There are 350 bottles to choose from…

        • Tripel

          Which is great, just like at Churchkey and elsewhere. The issue is that many people assume draft > bottle. Even though that’s true for some beers, it’s not necessarily the case for what’s on the menu here. And for those who are being introduced to Belgian beers at this place, they’re unfortunately getting inferior versions of many of those beers. See, e.g., http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2014/04/which-is-better-draft-or-bottled-beer-cicerone-beer-expert.html

          • I don’t know that that’s entirely true of the audience he’s targeting here. Not to mention that offering these beers on draft means that someone is able to sample a beer from a style that they might be completely averse to for significantly less investment than purchasing an entire bottle. If you want to help people explore new beers that they might be uncomfortable with then draft is by far the superior option. For super beer nerds who already know what they want there is an expansive bottle selection for them to go nuts over. You can’t hit all targets with the same universal approach.

          • Tripel

            Fair enough. For me, though, even accounting for the two audiences, it still represents a potential “dumbing down” of sorts of the product. I’ve been with friends new to Belgian beers who tried a draft saison alongside the same beer from a bottle (at Churchkey, in fact) and immediately noticed the difference. I think it’d be great to ensure people like that get the best experience. I grant that in some cases draft is more economical or practical – and for the brewery, too. But then again some of the beers here (from De Dolle and de la Senne) come in 33cl bottles rather than the big and more expensive 75s.

            On net, I agree with you that it’s still great.

          • I completely agree that it’s dumbing down, in a sense, but I look at it more optimistically like providing the Epcot experience for Belgian beer newcomers. And to their credit the NRG folks at ChurchKey, Bluejacket, Rustico, or any of their other establishments have always been great about letting people sample something in a small taste before even committing to the 4 / 6 oz pours. At the very least you can be sure that whatever you’re getting here is going to be fresher than finding it pretty much anywhere else in DC, and for that I think most of us beer nerds should be happy. I know I am! :)

          • Tripel

            Definitely. Cheers to that.

          • Tripel

            Having now seen the bottle list, I should add in the interest of fairness: Wow. Westvleteren?! Well done. I’m very impressed with the whole selection, and will definitely be visiting soon.

  • Flamecakes!

    • Sg

      I can’t.

  • LD

    Is this the space where Champions used to be?

    • ChillyDC

      Yes. And the entry is hidden down a dark alley, so it kinda’ has the feel of a speakeasy or something. They put out some candle lanterns to light the way. The alley would make a nice (though narrow) beer garden in the spring. I wonder if they’d be able to do that…

    • James

      It is weird that my underage college drinking bar is now a high end Belgian bistro. They converted Champs into a martini lounge (Blue Gin I think) around 2008/2009. That didn’t last very long though.

  • LittleBluePenguin

    Now this looks like it’s worth a trek out to Georgetown for!

  • anony

    I got to eat here during their family and friends soft open and the food was great! I tried the Coq au Gueuze (hidden on the left side of the menu) and the Carbonnade Flamande and loved them both. Mussels and appetizers (Croquettes de fromage, champignon flame cake) were also delicious.


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