The Washington, DC area may not be the first place you think of when it comes to a thriving beer scene, but it’s time to take a second look. Alexandria, Baltimore and Washington, DC are home to craft breweries and pour houses that showcase the unique flavors of the Mid-Atlantic region, and some even pair their brews with super fun events and programming. Here’s a guide to the best regional breweries to visit this fall.
WASHINGTON, DC BREWERIES
If you like…a DC-born and bred brew
DC Brau opened in 2011 as Washington’s first packaging brewery since 1956 to much fanfare, and is now one of the fastest growing breweries in the U.S. Brewed and canned in Northeast DC, DC Brau is served in tons of restaurants and bars around the city either on tap or by can. Try the seasonal “Penn Quarter Porter”: Part porter and part stout, this hearty brew touts a chocolatey undertone with a dry, roasted finish and will be around through the winter.
If you like…a brew with a light carbon footprint
TRY…Hellbender Brewing Company and Atlas Brew Works
Hellbender crafts saisons and IPA through a unique and highly efficient mash filter brewing process which significantly reduces their impact on the natural resources necessary to brew their beers. At Atlas Brew Works, their handcrafted, small-batch beers are made in a 100% solar-powered brewery, and only packaged in 100% recyclable aluminum cans. Their flagship beers are the District Common (common-style lager) Rowdy (hop-forward rye ale) and Ponzi (American IPA)
Stay: Any one of the ten Kimpton hotels located in Washington, DC – from Capitol Hill to Dupont Circle.
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND BREWERIES
If you like…beers with quirky flavors
TRY…Union Craft Brewing
If you’re more of a traditionalist, Union Craft Brewing in Baltimore features classic flavors like the Anthem golden ale and their original, hoppy Duckpin pale ale, but try going outside of your comfort zone with their creative flavors. Fraggle Rock is a kettle sour ale infused with strawberry and rhubarb, or there’s Snow Pants, a winter seasonal oatmeal stout rich and creamy with the flavors of chocolate and dark malt.
If you like…the option of trying a range of Baltimore-based breweries
TRY…City Brew Tours
If you can’t narrow down all of the breweries you want to try in the Baltimore area, book a trip on the Original Baltimore Brew Tour with City Brew Tours. The five-hour tour visits four of Baltimore’s best breweries including Heavy Seas and Waverly Brewing Co., stopping to sample up to 16 different beer styles. You’ll also enjoy a light lunch with a beer pairing.
Stay: At Kimpton Hotel Monaco located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, where our team can set you up with a ticket on a City Brew tour.
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA BREWERIES
If you like…craft beer with a side of physical activity
TRY…Port City Brewing
Port City Brewing features styles of craft beers ranging from robust porters to crisp and citrusy Belgian White ales. To burn a few calories as you consume, check out one of the brewery’s events, including BeerYoga on Tuesday nights, the Joggers and Lagers running group on Monday nights and a Pedals ‘N’ Pints monthly bike ride.
If you like…to brew your own beer and want to take it to the next level
Get inspired by the pre-Prohibition era recipes for Hofbrau Pilsner and Vienna Cabinet Lager at Portner Brewhouse, and consider joining their Craft Beer Test Kitchen program. Under the direction of their head brewer and tasting panel, submit your beer recipe and samples for evaluation and brew day, then host a launch party for when your beer is placed on tap!
Stay: At Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa, in the heart of Old Town Alexandria.