The Washington, D.C., metro area has a burgeoning brewing scene. Not only does this include brewpubs and restaurant-microbreweries, but also D.C.-area breweries that actually bottle their creations for retail distribution. Here, you'll get a taste of what's on tap for the D.C. brewing and beer scene in 2013.
D.C.-Area Breweries News & Notes
Port City Brewing Company in Alexandria, Virginia, is celebrating their second anniversary with the release of a limited-edition smoked imperial porter known as TWO. A special tapping event will be held on Friday, February 1, beginning at 3 p.m. The brew will be available for taste and purchase from the brewery and from limited local retailers or restaurants throughout February, while supplies last.
Baying Hound Aleworks in Rockville, Maryland, has been hiring additional staff and is currently open to the public on Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons. Tours cost $5 and include a flight of three beers to taste. The brewery offers bottle fills and growlers for sale, with varying prices depending on the ABV percentage of the beer.
In August 2012, 3 Stars Brewing Company opened in Washington, D.C., and the brewery currently offers tours and tastings on Saturdays. They also have a homebrew shop open on Thursdays and Fridays. The new addition isn't the only independent brewery that's actually located within the District. It joined the ranks of Chocolate City Beer, which currently produces four beers and sells growlers on Saturdays, and DC Brau Brewing Company, winner of multiple awards in 2012, with free tours and tastings on Saturdays.
2013 Washington Beer Events & Festivals
Come September and October, there will, of course, be a slew of local Oktoberfest events, but you don't have to wait until then to enjoy notable 2013 Washington, D.C., beer festivals.
Mad Fox Brewing Company will host the 2013 Barleywine Festival on February 23-24, with several dozen hefty and hearty beers to try. These are all-day affairs without any admission price. Instead, you pay per sample.
RFD isn't a brewery -- it's just home to several hundred beers at its bar, and the establishment recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Along with its sister-bar Brickseller, expect a huge tasting event on Monday, March 25, with more details to come.
Frederick Beer Week will take place from May 12-19, with dinners, meet-ups, beer judging, workshops, and tastings and pairings. On May 18, the Maryland Craft Beer Festival will also be held in Frederick. More information will be made available by the Brewers Association of Maryland.
Dogfish Head Alehouse, with three D.C. locations, hosts monthly or quarterly dinners that pair their latest menu offerings with their seasonal beers and special releases. They also host tapping and release parties. A full listing of their events is available on their website.
Both Flying Dog and Heavy Seas are always busy with special beer dinners, tap takeovers, and various other beer events. You'll want to check their websites frequently to see new events and grab your spot before they sell out, which they usually do.
Need more beer? Besides the above news and notables, D.C. has plenty of beer options. Check out Gordon Biersch, Capitol City Brewing Company, Old Dominion Brewhouse, Rock Bottom, District Chophouse, and Growlers Brew Pub. As you expand your reach beyond the immediate D.C. metro area, try Franklin's, Barley and Hops Restaurant, Lost Rhino Brewing Company, Brewer's Alley, and more.
Did I forget your favorite brewery? Miss a big upcoming event? Leave your comments below and add to the D.C. brewing bonanza.
Jake Emen is a freelance writer based in Bethesda, Maryland, with experience covering local news stories and events for a number of online publications. He writes whiskey reviews at WhiskeyReviewer.com and provides online marketing solutions for local businesses at WashingtonDCSEO.net.