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Tables, chairs, and a set of Connect 4 inside Red Bear Brewing Co
Tables, chairs, and a set of Connect 4 inside Red Bear Brewing Co
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

16 Essential Breweries Around D.C.

Where to drink craft beers in and around the District

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Tables, chairs, and a set of Connect 4 inside Red Bear Brewing Co
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC

The past decade or so has produced a revival of craft brewing in the D.C. area, with breweries popping up in the District proper, in the open space of Loudoun County, and in the Maryland suburbs.

DC Brau kicked off the trend in the city when it opened in 2009. The city’s essential breweries include brew pubs like Right Proper in Shaw, large-scale facilities like Bluejacket in Navy Yard, and neighborhood taprooms like Settle Down Easy in Falls Church. Another heavy hitter will arrive in NoVa this year, when popular Loudoun County craft brewer Solace takes over the Mad Fox brewpub space in Falls Church.

Here are 16 essential breweries for beer fans to visit around D.C.

Updated by Adele Chapin and Gabe Hiatt

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Crooked Run Brewing (Multiple locations)

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22455 Davis Dr #120
Sterling, VA 20164
(571) 375-2652
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Out in Sterling, Crooked Run separates its beer list into six categories: New Releases, the Traditional, the Hoppy, the Funky and Sour, the Dark, and Native Culture (showcasing mixed and spontaneous ferments). Last summer, the brewery expanded by taking over the former flight school next-door. It used the extra space to add a biscuit counter called Daybreak and a cold-pressed juice/cocktail bar called Nectar. There’s also a taproom in Leesburg.

2. Denizens Brewing Co (Multiple locations)

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1115 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 557-9818
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This Silver Spring brewery has lots of space for groups to gather over craft brews, including a large outdoor patio. Beer lovers who aren’t afraid to get weird can always find some experimental and interesting drafts on the list, such as its tequila barrel-aged petite sour. For a more accessible pick, go with the Southside Rye IPA or the Born Bohemian Pilsner. In 2019, Denizens opened its second outpost at the Riverdale Park Station development between Hyattsville and College Park.

3. 3 Stars Brewing Company

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6400 Chillum Pl NW
Washington, DC 20012
(202) 670-0333
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3 Stars is inspired by the iconic D.C. flag design, and its beers are becoming tied to the city’s culture as well. Find beers with quirky and interesting flavor profiles that also pack a boozy punch. Pours of Peppercorn Saison and Above The Clouds farmouse pale ale are crowd-pleasers that fit in with the ever-changing lineup of one-offs and rotating recipes. Tours are available on Saturday at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m.

4. Ocelot Brewing Company

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23600 Overland Dr #180
Dulles, VA 20166
(703) 665-2146
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Worth an extended trip from the District to Loudoun County, Ocelot is known for hoppy beers like Gorgeous and Alone, a 7 percent ABV IPA brewed with English Pale and Pilsen malts. The tap list includes plenty of other beers, too, ranging from a Little Black Book milk stout to a Sunnyside Dwellar German pilsner. Food trucks selling barbecue, Hawaiian-style snacks, and sliders rotate in and out.

5. Hellbender Brewing Company

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5788 2nd St NE
Washington, DC 20011
(202) 827-8768
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Hellbender takes its name from an the endangered aquatic salamander. It also helped inspire the brewery toward conservation through its use of a Meura mash filter, which improves brewing efficiency by using less energy. The Ignite IPA and Bare Bones Kolsch are both mainstays in the tasting room. Come by for a tour Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. No reservations are necessary.

Now pouring Panda Strike Force IPA in the VIP area at Brew at the Zoo. 7% ABV IPA dry-hopped with El Dorado, Amarillo and Aurora. #dcbrews #madeindc #acreativedc #panda

Posted by Hellbender Brewing Company on Thursday, July 19, 2018

6. Franklins

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5123 Baltimore Ave
Hyattsville, MD 20781
(301) 927-2740
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Franklins is a Hyattsville destination, serving a slew of homemade beers in just about every style. The small size of the operation means you can expect super fresh beer on its draft tap list, from Bombshell Blonde to the Twisted Turtle Pale Ale. The food menu changes frequently to fit the season.

7. Solace Brewing Company

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42615 Trade W Dr #100
Sterling, VA 20166
(703) 345-5630
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Another Loudoun County destination for hop heads, Solace has a spacious taproom full of communal tables inside its brewing facility in Sterling. The Sun’s Out Hops Out Session IPA (4.7 percent ABV) is good for all-day drinking, and the Crazy Pils is a popular pick. The facility also hosts food trucks, bands, and a pinball league.

Food truck is here at 1 and we’re open til 10pm! We have snacks and you can always order delivery too!... come join our awesome bar staff and grab a cold one! #solacebrewing #findyoursolace #saturdaymotivation

Posted by Solace Brewing Company on Saturday, January 25, 2020

8. DC Brau

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3178 Bladensburg Rd NE B
Washington, DC 20018
(202) 621-8890
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When D.C. Brau opened in 2009, it claimed the honor of being the city’s first packaging brewery since 1956. DC Brau is perhaps best known for its flagship hoppy brews: The Public American pale ale, the Belgian-style The Citizen pale ale, and The Corruption IPA. Brewery visitors can get tastes of the rest of the standard lineup as well as seasonal and one-off creations. Tours are free and held Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

brau DC Brau

9. The Public Option

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1601 Rhode Island Ave NE
Washington, DC 20018
(202) 397-5129
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This unassuming brew pub doesn’t make many headlines. The roster touches the spectrum of flavors and body. Sip a pint, half-pint, or 4-ounce taster of Oat Pale, Cream Ale, American Amber, or another one of the bar’s featured drafts.

Lots to do on a freezing weekend: Nomad Dumplings on Friday - detail: https://mailchi.mp/2eb02f0235da/nomad Capital...

Posted by The Public Option on Thursday, February 13, 2020

10. Right Proper Brewing Company (Multiple locations)

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624 T St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 607-2337
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This brewpub is known for its rotating selection of artful and experimental brews. Styles tend to be on the lighter side of the spectrum – expect to see plenty of farmhouse ales, saisons, and other rustic styles. Food fits the gastropub model with options like burgers, pastas, salads, and appetizers like beer battered cheese curds and baked mac and cheese. Right Proper also operates a production house in Brookland that includes a taproom with a dozen rotating drafts.

Nathan Zeender, Right Propper Brew Pub’s brewmaster Kate Patterson for The Washington Post via Getty Images

11. Atlas Brew Works

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2052 West Virginia Ave NE #102
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 832-0420
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Atlas Brew Works is part of the growing number of reasons to eat and drink around D.C.’s Ivy City neighborhood. Notable beers include the hop-forward Rowdy Rye, the District Common ale, and the Dance of Days pale ale. The taproom is open daily and hosts tours on Saturdays at noon, 2 p.m., and 6 p.m. (no reservations required). There’s a vending machine with some local snacks and food trucks are a frequent sight as well.

12. Red Bear Brewing Co

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209 M St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 849-6130
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This gay-owned, game-filled brewery became a huge boon to the NoMa neighborhood when it opened in the spring of 2019. The partners relocated from Seattle, bringing along a penchant for West Coast-style ales and ciders. Try a Skookum, a Pacific Northwest-style red ale, or a Swampoodle Stout, a nitro brewed in collaboration with Lough Gill Brewery in Sligo, Ireland. Regular events include drag bingo and trivia nights conducted in sign language.

The wraparound bar serving Red Bear Brewing
The wraparound bar serving Red Bear Brewing
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

13. Settle Down Easy Brewing Co.

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2822 Fallfax Dr
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 573-2011
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This 36-seat nanobrewery in Falls Church is only a couple of years old, but it’s already a destination in Northern Virginia. Standby brews include a dry-hopped kolsch and a jalapeno honey ale. A taco stand inside comes from El Tio Tex-Mex.

14. Bluejacket

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300 Tingey St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 524-4862
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Bluejacket comes from Neighborhood Restaurant Group, the local hospitality company that stocks its all of its bars and restaurants (Churchkey, the Sovereign) full of outstanding beer. Bluejacket always has a staggering number of drafts to choose from, from IPAs to stouts. It’s also a favorite hangout before and after Nationals games. Ticketed tasting tours are offered Saturdays at 1 p.m. for $29 per person. A “Beers and Bites” tour happens Fridays at 7 p.m. for $35.

Bluejacket Brewery DC interior

15. Port City Brewing Company

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3950 Wheeler Ave
Alexandria, VA 22304
(703) 797-2739
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Alexandria is the place to savor Port City’s lineup of well-made, straightforward beers. Highlights include the easy-drinking Optimal Wit, the hoppy and fruity Integral IPA, and the malty Port City Porter. It plays a strong seasonal brew game too, with options like Oktoberfest and the holiday Tidings Ale. Tours ($12) are offered Thursday through Sunday, and the tasting room is open daily.

16. Aslin Beer Company

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847 S Pickett St
Alexandria, VA 22304
(703) 717-9071
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Virginia’s Aslin Beer Company moved into its new Alexandria location in 2019. The industrial location includes a sprawling new brewery and taproom decorated with clean white tile, colorful neon art and psychedelic murals. Hazy, hoppy, and fruity beers are plentiful among the 24 tap lines that serve selections like a Pew Pew Pew triple IPA and Stating the Obvious Vienna lager.

Katharine Manning/Aslin

1. Crooked Run Brewing (Multiple locations)

22455 Davis Dr #120, Sterling, VA 20164

Out in Sterling, Crooked Run separates its beer list into six categories: New Releases, the Traditional, the Hoppy, the Funky and Sour, the Dark, and Native Culture (showcasing mixed and spontaneous ferments). Last summer, the brewery expanded by taking over the former flight school next-door. It used the extra space to add a biscuit counter called Daybreak and a cold-pressed juice/cocktail bar called Nectar. There’s also a taproom in Leesburg.

22455 Davis Dr #120
Sterling, VA 20164

2. Denizens Brewing Co (Multiple locations)

1115 East West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910

This Silver Spring brewery has lots of space for groups to gather over craft brews, including a large outdoor patio. Beer lovers who aren’t afraid to get weird can always find some experimental and interesting drafts on the list, such as its tequila barrel-aged petite sour. For a more accessible pick, go with the Southside Rye IPA or the Born Bohemian Pilsner. In 2019, Denizens opened its second outpost at the Riverdale Park Station development between Hyattsville and College Park.

1115 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910

3. 3 Stars Brewing Company

6400 Chillum Pl NW, Washington, DC 20012

3 Stars is inspired by the iconic D.C. flag design, and its beers are becoming tied to the city’s culture as well. Find beers with quirky and interesting flavor profiles that also pack a boozy punch. Pours of Peppercorn Saison and Above The Clouds farmouse pale ale are crowd-pleasers that fit in with the ever-changing lineup of one-offs and rotating recipes. Tours are available on Saturday at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m.

6400 Chillum Pl NW
Washington, DC 20012

4. Ocelot Brewing Company

23600 Overland Dr #180, Dulles, VA 20166

Worth an extended trip from the District to Loudoun County, Ocelot is known for hoppy beers like Gorgeous and Alone, a 7 percent ABV IPA brewed with English Pale and Pilsen malts. The tap list includes plenty of other beers, too, ranging from a Little Black Book milk stout to a Sunnyside Dwellar German pilsner. Food trucks selling barbecue, Hawaiian-style snacks, and sliders rotate in and out.

23600 Overland Dr #180
Dulles, VA 20166

5. Hellbender Brewing Company

5788 2nd St NE, Washington, DC 20011

Hellbender takes its name from an the endangered aquatic salamander. It also helped inspire the brewery toward conservation through its use of a Meura mash filter, which improves brewing efficiency by using less energy. The Ignite IPA and Bare Bones Kolsch are both mainstays in the tasting room. Come by for a tour Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. No reservations are necessary.

5788 2nd St NE
Washington, DC 20011

6. Franklins

5123 Baltimore Ave, Hyattsville, MD 20781

Franklins is a Hyattsville destination, serving a slew of homemade beers in just about every style. The small size of the operation means you can expect super fresh beer on its draft tap list, from Bombshell Blonde to the Twisted Turtle Pale Ale. The food menu changes frequently to fit the season.

5123 Baltimore Ave
Hyattsville, MD 20781

7. Solace Brewing Company

42615 Trade W Dr #100, Sterling, VA 20166

Another Loudoun County destination for hop heads, Solace has a spacious taproom full of communal tables inside its brewing facility in Sterling. The Sun’s Out Hops Out Session IPA (4.7 percent ABV) is good for all-day drinking, and the Crazy Pils is a popular pick. The facility also hosts food trucks, bands, and a pinball league.

42615 Trade W Dr #100
Sterling, VA 20166

8. DC Brau

3178 Bladensburg Rd NE B, Washington, DC 20018
brau DC Brau

When D.C. Brau opened in 2009, it claimed the honor of being the city’s first packaging brewery since 1956. DC Brau is perhaps best known for its flagship hoppy brews: The Public American pale ale, the Belgian-style The Citizen pale ale, and The Corruption IPA. Brewery visitors can get tastes of the rest of the standard lineup as well as seasonal and one-off creations. Tours are free and held Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

3178 Bladensburg Rd NE B
Washington, DC 20018

9. The Public Option

1601 Rhode Island Ave NE, Washington, DC 20018

This unassuming brew pub doesn’t make many headlines. The roster touches the spectrum of flavors and body. Sip a pint, half-pint, or 4-ounce taster of Oat Pale, Cream Ale, American Amber, or another one of the bar’s featured drafts.

1601 Rhode Island Ave NE
Washington, DC 20018

10. Right Proper Brewing Company (Multiple locations)

624 T St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Nathan Zeender, Right Propper Brew Pub’s brewmaster Kate Patterson for The Washington Post via Getty Images

This brewpub is known for its rotating selection of artful and experimental brews. Styles tend to be on the lighter side of the spectrum – expect to see plenty of farmhouse ales, saisons, and other rustic styles. Food fits the gastropub model with options like burgers, pastas, salads, and appetizers like beer battered cheese curds and baked mac and cheese. Right Proper also operates a production house in Brookland that includes a taproom with a dozen rotating drafts.

624 T St NW
Washington, DC 20001

11. Atlas Brew Works

2052 West Virginia Ave NE #102, Washington, DC 20002

Atlas Brew Works is part of the growing number of reasons to eat and drink around D.C.’s Ivy City neighborhood. Notable beers include the hop-forward Rowdy Rye, the District Common ale, and the Dance of Days pale ale. The taproom is open daily and hosts tours on Saturdays at noon, 2 p.m., and 6 p.m. (no reservations required). There’s a vending machine with some local snacks and food trucks are a frequent sight as well.

2052 West Virginia Ave NE #102
Washington, DC 20002

12. Red Bear Brewing Co

209 M St NE, Washington, DC 20002
The wraparound bar serving Red Bear Brewing
The wraparound bar serving Red Bear Brewing
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

This gay-owned, game-filled brewery became a huge boon to the NoMa neighborhood when it opened in the spring of 2019. The partners relocated from Seattle, bringing along a penchant for West Coast-style ales and ciders. Try a Skookum, a Pacific Northwest-style red ale, or a Swampoodle Stout, a nitro brewed in collaboration with Lough Gill Brewery in Sligo, Ireland. Regular events include drag bingo and trivia nights conducted in sign language.

209 M St NE
Washington, DC 20002

13. Settle Down Easy Brewing Co.

2822 Fallfax Dr, Falls Church, VA 22042

This 36-seat nanobrewery in Falls Church is only a couple of years old, but it’s already a destination in Northern Virginia. Standby brews include a dry-hopped kolsch and a jalapeno honey ale. A taco stand inside comes from El Tio Tex-Mex.

2822 Fallfax Dr
Falls Church, VA 22042

14. Bluejacket

300 Tingey St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Bluejacket Brewery DC interior

Bluejacket comes from Neighborhood Restaurant Group, the local hospitality company that stocks its all of its bars and restaurants (Churchkey, the Sovereign) full of outstanding beer. Bluejacket always has a staggering number of drafts to choose from, from IPAs to stouts. It’s also a favorite hangout before and after Nationals games. Ticketed tasting tours are offered Saturdays at 1 p.m. for $29 per person. A “Beers and Bites” tour happens Fridays at 7 p.m. for $35.

300 Tingey St SE
Washington, DC 20003

15. Port City Brewing Company

3950 Wheeler Ave, Alexandria, VA 22304

Alexandria is the place to savor Port City’s lineup of well-made, straightforward beers. Highlights include the easy-drinking Optimal Wit, the hoppy and fruity Integral IPA, and the malty Port City Porter. It plays a strong seasonal brew game too, with options like Oktoberfest and the holiday Tidings Ale. Tours ($12) are offered Thursday through Sunday, and the tasting room is open daily.

3950 Wheeler Ave
Alexandria, VA 22304

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16. Aslin Beer Company

847 S Pickett St, Alexandria, VA 22304
Katharine Manning/Aslin

Virginia’s Aslin Beer Company moved into its new Alexandria location in 2019. The industrial location includes a sprawling new brewery and taproom decorated with clean white tile, colorful neon art and psychedelic murals. Hazy, hoppy, and fruity beers are plentiful among the 24 tap lines that serve selections like a Pew Pew Pew triple IPA and Stating the Obvious Vienna lager.

847 S Pickett St
Alexandria, VA 22304

Related Maps