Recent years have seen a real rise in local/craft breweries in Washington DC. Though newly established, many are already local favorites.
Below is our list of some of the best places in the city to grab a cold one – fresh out of the tap:
- 3 Stars Brewing Company (6400 Chillum Pl NW, Washington DC): Try the free tours on Saturdays, taking place at 2 and 3pm. The tour includes drink tickets so you can taste a few samples before you choose which will fill your growler (which you can fill on Saturdays between 1-4pm). Come early as they do get sold out! There is a wide selection on tap, including some collaborations with other breweries. Try the “Lime Basil Saison,” “Southern Belle,” or “Winter Madness.”
- Atlas Brew Works (2052 W Virginia Ave NE Ste 102, Washington DC): One of the latest newcomers into the brewing scene in DC, Atlas first opened it’s taps in September of this year. So far its “Rowdy,” a rye beer, is becoming a local favorite. Tastings, tours and growler fills also on Saturdays from 1-4pm.
- Chocolate City Beer (2801 8th St NE, Washington): Open since August 2011, and definitely on the smaller side, with a very relaxed, casual atmosphere, this is still a great place to enjoy the Saturday afternoon tastings. Its tiny facility only brings you closer to the brewmasters, who love sharing about what they do and making you feel welcome. Try the popular “Cornerstone Copper Ale,” or their rich, malty “Cerveza National de la Capital.” Bonus: there is often a food truck parked just outside.
- DC Brau Brewing Co. (3178 Bladensburg Rd NE Ste B, Washington DC): Saturday afternoon tours include tasting tickets, and of course, the growler refills. This is one of the few breweries on this list though that also sells six-packs (but they tend to be limited). Unmarked from the street and hidden behind a post office, it’s also very busy every Saturday afternoon.
- Bluejacket / Arsenal Restaurant (300 Tingey St SE, Washington DC): An even more recent addition, this place just opened in October, and was received by a crowd with a high expectations. The first few weeks have been constantly bustling already. Arsenal is the restaurant part, with a full menu (including dessert); Bluejacket is the brewery inside the restaurant. Food ranges from pub fare to variations like the lamb-pork sausage burger. There are over 25 locally crafted beers to try on tap.
- District ChopHouse & Brewery (509 7th St NW, Washington DC): This is a steakhouse with it’s own brewery. The focus is definitely first on the food, serving everything from brunch to burgers to filet mignon. The restaurant has it’s own brewmaster and a selection of beers brewed on site. The “Oktoberfest” and the “German-Style HefeWeizen”are guest favorites.
- Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant (900 F St NW, Washington DC): Part of a restaurant and brewery chain that has locations across the states, perhaps the least artisan-like of the list, but still a good choice if you’re looking for dinner as well as freshly brewed drinks. In terms of food, try the garlic fries. When it comes to beer, try the “Marzen:” a smooth, Bavarian lager.
Find this author on twitter @MirabelVega.