From full-fledged restaurants to neighborhood Cheers-esque bars, the DMV's burgeoning crop of craft breweries not only pour original, handcrafted beers, but also offer tasty food and plenty of activities, too. Grab a date or a few pals, and plan a thirst-quenching adventure that can involve everything from live music to luaus and "fun runs." Ahead, your guide to the best local breweries where you can do a lot more than just get a little tipsy.
The mini-chain with an unforgettable name, Dogfish Head Ale House serves up a robust menu (including everything from crab cakes to jambalaya) alongside a long list of year-round and seasonal beer offerings. Inside, the scene is casual and inviting, whether you're bringing a date or just watching a game. Enjoy Dogfish’s summertime brew fermented with peaches, Festina Peche, or its award-winning Raison D’Etre — a deep mahogany ale brewed with beet sugar, green raisins, and Belgian yeast.
Dogfish Head Ale House, 800 West Diamond Avenue, Gaithersburg, 301-963-4847; 6220 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, 703-534-3342; 13041 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Fairfax, 703-961-1140.
Head to Lost Rhino’s tasting room for craft beers that range from sweet to hop-tastic, and eats such as naan flatbread or BBQ chicken nachos (our personal favorite). This craft brewery also hosts live music and other events, including a luau on August 7 that will feature Hawaiian food and a local ukulele player.
Lost Rhino , 21730 Red Rum Drive #142, Ashburn; 571-291-2083.
At Penn Quarter’s District ChopHouse, sip on handcrafted and innovative ales and lagers like Nut Brown, a medium-bodied ale with a slight toffee and chocolate flavor, or Bourbon Stout, which is served cool with a bourbon overtone and vanilla flavors that pair well with dessert. Guests also can dig into appetizers, soups, salads, seafood, and the ChopHouse’s signature offering — steak.
District ChopHouse, 509 7th Street NW; 202-347-3434.
Indulge in free tours and four tastings most Saturdays at DC Brau, which was founded by two beer-loving D.C. residents. Guests can try the brewery’s offerings, all of which cleverly allude to D.C., with names like Public Pale Ale, The Citizen Belgian Ale, Penn Quarter Porter, and of course, The Corruption IPA.
DC Brau, 3178 Bladensburg Road NE; 202-621-8890.
Visitors can tour and taste at Port City’s Alexandria brewery, or just sample the outpost’s current beer lineup of IPA, Pale Ale, Witbier, and Porter. Port City also occasionally hosts live musicians and even fun runs. Who says you can’t mix alcohol and exercise?
Port City Brewing Company, 3950 Wheeler Avenue, Alexandria; 703-797-2739.
Be sure to put Bluejacket Brewery on your must-visit list come September. It’s slated to open in a historic boilermaker factory in the bustling Navy Yard 'hood, right by Nationals Park. Thirsty patrons will find a rotating variety of farmhouse ales and saisons, a wide range of tart sour beers, and historic beer styles. There's also an adjoining restaurant in the works that will feature beer-and-food pairings.
Bluejacket Brewery, 300 Tingey Street SE; no phone. Slated to open in September.
Mad Fox Brewing Company's 63-foot bar has enough room for you and all your friends, and it showcases up to 10 standard, house-brewed beers on tap. Guests can pick from an impressive list of options during brunch, lunch, or dinner, ranging from traditional bar fare (think crispy chicken wings and pizzas) to creative plates, like shrimp burgers and butternut squash cannelloni.
Mad Fox Brewing Company, 444 West Broad Street, Falls Church; 703-942-6840.