Local Resident: Danielle Gervalis
Feeling thirsty after a full day of sightseeing? You might as well wash down all that tourist activity with a local beer. We’ve spent some time visiting the local breweries and reviewed them based on how easy it is to get to them, the overall ambience and obviously, beer quality! Read on to wet your whistle!
3 Stars Brewing Co
This brewery typically has a rotation of around 20 beers on tap! You can check them out for daily tasting hours (except Mondays) or at one of the free tours on Saturdays.
3 Stars is located in an industrial part of the Takoma neighborhood. It’s basically at the DC/Maryland border, Uber/Lyft are your best bets at getting here.
Atlas Brew Works
If you prefer to support environmentally friendly businesses then you will love Atlas Brew Works. They are a 100% solar-powered brewery since 2015 and the head of security is an adorable bulldog named Layla. They are open daily and offer free tours on Saturdays.
Blue Jacket has more of a hip restaurant feel than your typical brewery. Don’t be fooled, they have serious brewing chops with the capacity to produce 5,000 barrels! They are open daily but only offer tours on Saturday’s at 3pm for a charge.
Located in the Navy Yard area, Blue Jacket is a block away from the metro as well as walking distance to the Nationals Stadium. The District has recently undertaken a total revitalization project at the waterfront called the Wharf. There are now tons of restaurants and bars in the area as well as delightful walking areas and fountains!
The building is a stunning industrial reminder of DC’s Navy ship yard past. The bar area is more of a casual affair than the restaurant section. It can get lively and packed during National’s games and they have large communal tables to accommodate groups. There are lots of TVs to watch your favorite team or you can take advantage of the outdoor seating in all seasons since they have fire pits for when it’s chilly.
Beer and Food
There are over 20 beers, including casks, available for tastings or full pours. They run the full gamut from Double IPAs to Coffee Stouts. My favorites include the Goldfinch, Mexican Radio, and if you are into IPAs try the Lost Weekend. The food is phenomenal! I love the cheese curds and pierogie appetizers. If you are looking for something more filling, their sandwiches and burgers are fantastic.
Right Proper Brewing
Right Proper Brewing has a neighborhood feel when you walk in. It’s like grabbing a beer out of your friend’s fridge! They are open daily and offer free tours on the weekends.
With two locations in the District, Right Proper gets a gold star on accessibility! There is one in the heart of the Shaw neighborhood on the same block as the metro, which shares a space with a full restaurant. The main brewery is located in the Brookland neighborhood, walking distance from the metro. There’s ample bike and car parking too.
Regardless of which location you visit, get ready for some interesting and vibrant artwork, depicting DC themes and our beloved zoo animals. The Shaw location has more of a restaurant focus with outdoor seating in a popular area of the city with lots of night life. The Brookland location does brewery tours and has a lovely, relaxed tasting room, as well as outdoor tables.
Beer and Food
The beers from Right Proper are stocked in many bars and restaurants throughout the city. They have 12 beers on tap for flights or full pours. Their most popular beers are the Raised by Wolves, a pale ale, Baron Corvo, a farmhouse ale, and White Bicycles, a witbier.
The Shaw location has a full menu of American style food. Try the green lentil potato salad or the cheese curds! The Brookland location doesn’t serve food but allows you to bring in your own (there is a tasty pizza joint, Menomale, just around the corner) and they typically have food trucks on Saturdays.
With a motto like “Fermentation without Representation”, you can’t go wrong by visiting the quirky DC Brau. Their story pays homage to DC’s past beer entrepreneurs and how they picked up the baton in 2009 and haven’t looked back!
Open daily in the Northeast quadrant of DC, you must drive or ride share to get to this little out-of-the-way brewery. However, if you do make it out here, you would be remiss if you didn’t also check out the local Harper McCaw Chocolate Factory which is just across the parking lot and has free chocolate samples in their lobby!
I would describe this place as divey and friendly! They have a large tasting room,a smaller bar area with games and beer cap tables and offer tours on Saturdays. Additionally, they sell some of the best t-shirts; creative designs and ultra soft.
Beer and Food
Their beers are probably the most well-distributed throughout the city. They have around 8-10 beers on tap at anytime and you can do tastings or get a full pour for $5 which is a deal in this city! They have an excellent summer beer called the Brau Pils but their most popular staple is, “The Popular” which is an American Pale Ale. DC Brau doesn’t serve food but they have snacks available for purchase, have food trucks on the weekends and allow you to bring in your own!
Capitol City Brewing Company
This brewery has been in operation since 1992, making it the first brew pub in Washington, DC since prohibition ended in 1933. I found that factoid surprising considering happy hour is a staple in this city.
Location, location, location! In the heart of downtown DC at 11th and H St NW, it’s a quick walk from Metro Center, multiple bus lines, and very close to the Capital One Center in Chinatown. Additionally, it’s less than a 15 minute walk from the National Mall.
Lady Liberty from atop the Capitol building greets you at the door and invites you in to eat, drink or take a tour! It almost has a TGI Friday’s kinda vibe except it’s also a brewery. It’s separated into a restaurant area on the left and a bar on the right. The restaurant area is kid friendly and can cater to large groups. The bar is huge and caters to sports fans with multiple TVs so you should be able to watch whatever team you want to cheer for!
Beer and Food
Capitol City has four signature brews and a few seasonal brews for a total of nine beers on tap. My favorite has to be the Prohibition Porter, which is an English style brownish porter. You’ll find typical bar food on the menu as well as a few healthy salads and instead of bread, they give you soft pretzels with a horseradish dipping sauce. Enjoy!