Food

24 Kid-Friendly Breweries Around DC

Area breweries, like 3 Stars Brewing Company, offer kid-friendly amenities. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Adroit Theory Brewing Company

Illustration by Mikey Burton.404 Browning Ct., Purcellville; 703-722-3144

The sleek, industrial tasting room is home to Greg Skotzko’s numerous and frequently rotating creations, most of which are high-alcohol, experimental styles with unusual recipes. Check out the barrel-aged brews and the hot sauce made with beer. The brewery is around the corner from the end of the W&OD bike trail.

Don’t miss: Persona Non Grata Imperial Saison; B/A/Y/S Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout.

Where to find it: The brewery’s online store; grocery and liquor stores, bars, and restaurants in Virginia and Maryland.

Aslin Beer Company

257 Sunset Park Dr., Herndon; 703-787-5766

A cardboard robot overlooks this small-batch brewery’s lively, if cramped, tasting room, a half block off the W&OD bike trail. Ten taps rotate frequently and can run dry by week’s end. The place is known for using fruit in many of its beers, including in some of its New England–style IPAs. Acoustic acts play most Fridays.

Don’t miss: Berliner Weisse with passionfruit; Master of Karate Imperial IPA.

Where to find it: Brewery only.

Atlas Brew Works

2052 West Virginia Ave., NE; 202-832-0420

Six-packs of year-round offerings such as District Common are widely available, but visit this eco-friendly brewery’s spacious taproom—open daily—for 16 beers, including Dan Vilarrubi’s small-batch barrel beers and experimental brews. A bonus on the third Sunday of every month: open bluegrass jam sessions.

Don’t miss: Rowdy Rye; NSFW Imperial Black IPA.

Where to find it: Grocery and liquor stores, bars, and restaurants in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

Bluejacket

300 Tingey St., SE; 202-524-4862

A brick-and-glass building once used to manufacture ship parts is home to this Neighborhood Restaurant Group–owned brewhouse, bottle shop, restaurant, and bar featuring 20 taps—including barrel-fermented sours exposed to airborne yeast—and five casks of wide-ranging creations.

Don’t miss: Forbidden Planet Dry-Hopped Kölsch; Mexican Radio Spiced Sweet Stout.

Where to find it: Brewery only.

Caboose Brewing Company

520 Mill St., NE, Vienna; 703-865-8580

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The rustic-cool space is a convenient stop on the W&OD bike trail. Offerings include up to 12 rotating, easy-drinking beers, six wines, and at least one cider on tap, plus a pub menu of small plates made with ingredients from local farmers and foragers.

Don’t miss: Wasser Bohemian Pilsner; Half-Wit.

Where to find it: Restaurants and bars in DC and Virginia.

DC Brau. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
DC Brau. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Capitol City Brewing Company

4001 Campbell Ave., Arlington, 703-578-3888 (brewpub); 1100 New York Ave., NW, 202-628-2222 (restaurant)

These large restaurants and sports bars are filled with as many folks looking for a place to watch a game as hunting for a local beer. Shirlington’s large patio, two blocks from the Four Mile Run bike trail, is a great spot to people (and dog) watch while sampling Kristi Mathews Griner’s mild, balanced brews. If you’re heading to the DC location, leave the pup at home.

Don’t miss: English Summer Ale; Amber Waves.

Where to find it: Brewery only.

Crooked Run Brewing

205 Harrison St., SE, Leesburg; 571-918-4446

The wide variety of brews in this quaint space in downtown Lees-burg, off the W&OD trail, includes interesting hybrid styles and some unusual beer ingredients (cucumber and mint; cherry and cayenne). Seating in the cozy interior and on the small patio is limited, and there are no reservations, but you can visit the tasting room five days a week. Don’t forget to say hi to brewery dogs Teddy and Logan.

Don’t miss: Supernatural Hibiscus Saison; Biscotti Stout.

Where to find it: Sporadically in liquor stores, restaurants, and bars in Virginia.

DC Brau Brewing Company

3178-B Bladensburg Rd., NE; 202-621-8890

Guided tours sometimes run by DC beer historian Mike Stein are on Saturday and the tasting room is open daily, but the best time to visit is Friday, when pints are half off, or during one of the production brewery’s outdoor events with bands or deejays. Expect long lines on release days for its internationally recognized double IPAs.

Don’t miss: The Citizen Belgian-Style Pale Ale; On the Wings of Armageddon Double IPA.

Where to find it: Grocery and liquor stores, bars, and restaurants in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

Denizens Brewing Company

1115 East-West Hwy., Silver Spring; 301-557-9818

There are three separate spaces—an upstairs taproom, a downstairs lounge, and a 200-seat beer garden—to enjoy Jeff Ramirez’s tasty beers. Hoppy seasonal brews and darker barrel-aged beers are standouts that work well with the seasonal, shareable dishes. Deejays spin every weekend, and bands play several times a month.

Don’t miss: Whodunnit? Sour Red Saison; Born Bohemian Czech-Style Pilsner.

Where to find it: Grocery and liquor stores, restaurants, and bars in DC and Maryland.

Fair Winds Brewing Company

7000 Newington Rd., Lorton; 703-372-2001

This nautical-theme production brewery—known for its excellent IPAs—has a spacious tasting room with up to a dozen taps. Thursday, there’s an all-night happy hour and trivia. Brewery tours are the first Saturday of each month.

Don’t miss: Siren’s Lure Hoppy Saison; Howling Gale IPA.

Where to find it: Liquor stores, bars, and restaurants in DC and Virginia.

Franklins

5123 Baltimore Ave., Hyattsville; 301-927-2740

This restaurant and adjoining general store—which sells toys as well as beer—are home to Mike Roy’s brews. Some of his best include experimental sours and strong Belgians. Check out the Roseda-beef burgers—and the funky neon mural on the roof. The brewery is on the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley bike trail and is blocks from the Northwest Branch trail.

Don’t miss: Bombshell Blonde; Fantastic Voyage Bordeaux Barrel-Aged Porter.

Where to find it: Liquor stores and restaurants in DC and Maryland.

Hellbender Brewing Company

5788 Second St., NE; 202-827-8768

The tasting room boasts wooden tables perfect for larger parties to sample from 12 draft lines while playing board games. Don’t be frightened by the hellbender-salamander sculpture on the bar—it’s the mascot of the environmentally focused brewery. Bring your bike for one of the brewery’s tours.

Don’t miss: North by Northeast Coffee Stout; Groundskeeper Islay Scotch Ale.

Where to find it: Liquor stores, bars, and restaurants in DC and Virginia.

Jailbreak is a roomy brewery (great for large groups) and has comfy couches to watch sports. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Jailbreak is a roomy brewery (great for large groups) and has comfy couches to watch sports. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Jailbreak Brewing Company

9445 Washington Blvd. N., Laurel; 443-345-9699

The modern concrete-and-wood taproom has a U-shaped bar with an expansive view of the brewhouse. There’s plenty of room for small and large groups, who park at tables or couches to watch sports and drink from up to 12 beers on tap, some made with such ingredients as basil, carrots, or honeydew.

Don’t miss: Dusk ’Till Dawn Imperial Espresso Stout; Van Dammit Belgian-Style Dark Ale.

Where to find it: Grocery and liquor stores, bars, and restaurants in Maryland, Virginia, and DC.

Lost Rhino Brewing Company

21730 Red Rum Dr., Ashburn, 571-291-2083 (brewery/tasting room); 22885 Brambleton Plaza, Ashburn, 703-327-0311 (restaurant)

The brewery’s lively, rambling tasting room is home to a rotating list of 15 beers, including barrel-aged brews poured only there plus live music Friday and Saturday night. At Brambleton Plaza, a full-scale restaurant serves a slew of burgers, sandwiches, and bar snacks.

Don’t miss: My Imaginary Girlfriend IPA; Meridian Kölsch.

Where to find it: Liquor stores, bars, and restaurants in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

Mad Fox Brewing Company

444 W. Broad St., Falls Church, 703-942-6840 (brewpub); 2218 Wisconsin Ave., NW, 202-791-0389 (taproom)

Bill Madden’s cask-conditioned ales and juicy IPAs are highlights at both locations, which also offer comforting pub fare. Falls Church’s patio, two blocks from the W&OD bike trail, hosts dog-friendly happy hours (and half-price growler nights) on Tuesday. The Glover Park taproom features guest beers and ciders from regional producers.

Don’t miss: Kellerbier Kölsch; Orange Whip IPA.

Where to find it: Restaurants and bars in DC and Virginia.

Manor Hill Brewing

4411 Manor La., Ellicott City; 410-997-7771

Set on a picturesque farm that produces its own hops, Manor Hill was started by the owners of Columbia’s Victoria Gastro Pub. Visits to the nicely appointed tasting room are by reservation only but worth the hassle. Ten to 14 beers are on draft, including IPAs with experimental hops from the “hidden hopyard.”

Don’t miss: Grisette; Katherine’s Kölsch.

Where to find it: Liquor stores, restaurants, and bars in DC and Maryland.

Ocelot Brewing Company

23600 Overland Dr., Sterling; 703-665-2146

A deck and a spacious tasting room are equally enjoyable spaces to sample this production brewery’s vast offerings, like Mike McCarthy’s wildly popular IPAs. Beers rotate often, as the makers intentionally brew small batches—and make the same beer only twice a year.

Don’t miss: Two Lost Souls IPA; My Only Friend Imperial Stout.

Where to find it: Restaurants and bars in DC and Virginia.

Old Bust Head Brewing Company

7134 Farm Station Rd., Warrenton; 540-347-4777

The tasting hall and production brewery, in warehouses formerly used as secret military listening posts, pour 11 year-round beers and nine seasonal and limited releases. Events run from the expected (cornhole tournaments and yoga) to the offbeat (a petting zoo with baby animals), and bands play every Saturday night. Brewmaster Charles Kling sometimes leads bike rides from the brewery.

Don’t miss: Covert h’Ops Black IPA; Caramel Macchiato Stout.

Where to find it: Grocery and liquor stores, bars, and restaurants in DC and Virginia.

Old Ox Brewery

44652 Guilford Dr., Ashburn; 703-729-8375

The production brewery, right on the W&OD bike trail, can be hard to find but is worth a visit for friendly service, up to eight beers on tap, and sports-related events (including runs with the Trottin’ Oxen running club). One-off Wednesdays feature experimental suds and remakes of old brews.

Don’t miss: Black Ox Rye Porter; Alpha Ox Session IPA.

Where to find it: Grocery and liquor stores, restaurants, and bars in DC and Virginia.

Port City Brewing Company

3950 Wheeler Ave., Alexandria; 703-797-2739

Jonathan Reeves’s expertly executed beers are the perfect quenchers after a brewery-hosted bike ride. (It’s right near the Holmes Run trail.) Or just hang out and play video games in the tasting room. Take note of the brewery’s wall of awards, which it has been racking up since it debuted. Open bluegrass jams are the first Sunday of each month.

Don’t miss: Porter; Maniacal Double IPA.

Where to find it: Grocery and liquor stores, bars, and restaurants in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

Area cyclists take a bike break at 3 Stars Brewing Company. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
3 Stars Brewing Company. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Right Proper Brewing Company

624 T St., NW, 202-607-2337 (brewpub); 920 Girard St., NE, 202-526-5904 (production house)

Known for historically inspired beers, Nathan Zeender is one of the few locals making foeder beer—aged in wine casks inoculated with a culture of wild yeast and bacteria. Only the brewpub has a kitchen and dog-friendly patio, and only the Brookland production house has a bathroom piano—and is a block off the Metropolitan Branch bike trail.

Don’t miss: Ornithology Grisette; Häxan Robust Porter.

Where to find it: Bars and restaurants in DC and Maryland.

3 Stars Brewing Company

6400 Chillum Pl., NW; 202-670-0333

This warehouse is the site of DC’s only homebrew shop and a tasting room that pours an impressive variety, from 3-percent-alcohol sours to punch-packing imperial porters. Events range from belly-dancing classes to barbecues.

Don’t miss: Above the Clouds Farmhouse Pale Ale; Madness Old Ale.

Where to find it: Grocery and liquor stores, bars, and restaurants in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

Vanish

42264 Leelynn Farm La., Leesburg; 703-779-7407

Jonathan Staples’s 52-acre estate includes a hop farm and processing facility plus a large production brewery and tasting space. The covered patio is a lovely place to watch the sun set while sampling up to 20 beers on tap. Friday through Sunday, the kitchen serves a barbecue menu by Bryan Voltaggio.

Don’t miss: Double IPA; Citra Weiss.

Where to find it: Brewery only.

Waredaca Brewing Company

4017 Damascus Rd., Laytonsville; 301-774-2337

On a working horse farm at the former site of the Washington Recreation Day Camp (hence the name—Wa-Re-Da-Ca), this farm brewery is a terrific place to while away a sunny afternoon. Sample seven on-tap beers at picnic tables overlooking a lake and surrounding trails. Acoustic acts play every other Saturday night.

Don’t miss: White Flag Belgian Wit; Reveille Coffee Stout.

Where to find it: Bars, restaurants, and farmers markets in Maryland.

This article appears in our August 2016 issue of Washingtonian.