There’s no better way to get to know a place than to head to the local watering hole and pick up a pint. It’s not just the ale that’s flowing when the bartender pours a frothy one; conversations and local color are bubbling up and spilling over at the same time. Otherwise busy, even brusque, locals are suddenly up for explaining their little corner of the world.
So it stands to reason, if you want to explore a neighborhood, or even a region, how better than a series of brew-based stops? No matter where you’re going for that long weekend in the DMV, we’ve rounded up the beer trails and itineraries worth building your trip around—if you want to live, learn and drink like a local.
You can reach one end of the lengthy Tastemakers Trail in Montgomery County, Maryland via the Red Line Metro. In Silver Spring, sample brews from Astro Lab Brewing, Denizens Brewing Co., and Silver Branch Brewing Co. Not satisfied? You can continue the trail up through Bethesda, Rockville, and even Gaithersburg if you want to turn the day trip into a long weekend.
The largest beer trail in Virginia, you can start on the Beltway Beer Trail from just about anywhere in the region: Fairfax, Alexandria, and Arlington are all stops along the way. Local faves like Caboose Brewing Company make for an easy and pleasant day out.
DC Metro Food Tours offers pub crawls and bar crawls in the most popular areas of DC for tourists and locals alike, including U Street and Old Town. As you sip your your brew of choice, your guide will give you the historic tales and tidbits you’d expect from a more traditional food tour. But the option to win free drinks and shots in return for correct trivia responses makes things a little more interesting.
Reston Limousine provides public brewery tours throughout DC and NoVA. Featuring 37 different brewery visits, the tours include emerging breweries and more well-known venues to create an exciting experience for beer experts and greenhorns alike.
Explore the beer scene in Loudoun. Whether you want to tour the breweries out west or prefer urban amenities to the east, you have 17 options. You can keep the calories to a minimum by hopping on your bike and exploring the series of breweries that await you along the trail. You can also create your own brewery tour.
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