The 10 Best DC Breweries

IPAs, lagers, and sours for every occasion.
outside patio with people dining under umbrellas on a sunny day

photo credit: Crooked Run Fermentation

There are breweries in a dozen neighborhoods in every quadrant of the city, making DC not just the capital of the country, but also a rising capital in the world of beer. While there might not be as many breweries as there are monuments, we are heading in that direction. Lucky for us, trips to these beer factories are far more exciting than school visits to the Lincoln Memorial. Here are ten DC breweries you need to check out.


photo credit: Aslin Beer Company


Logan Circle

$$$$Perfect For:Day DrinkingBig GroupsOutdoor/Patio SituationImpressing Out of TownersLiterally EveryoneDrinking Good Beer
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This indoor-outdoor beer garden in Logan Circle fits right in with the all-day party that is 14th Street. Aslin Beer Company, which also has locations in Virginia and Pennsylvania, is the place to go when you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of last weekend’s missed connection or the occasional DC celebrity. You can pass the time by trying one of their housemade beers, like their Stating the Obvious, a bitter-hoppy balanced Vienna-style lager, and a range of sours that stay in steady rotation (they keep as many as 20 on draught).

Drinking beer is bound to make you feel pretty good, but drinking beer at Atlas Brew Works in Navy Yard gives you the warm and fuzzies times two because they're producing beers like their signature District Common craft lager responsibly: Atlas’ beers are made using 100% solar power. You’ll need at least a dozen visits to make your way through Atlas’ permanent, rotating, and seasonal beer lists which are best paired with a slice of two from Andy’s Pizza, sold on site. Come here with your out-of-town friends before hitting a Nats game to prove you’re resourceful enough not to spend $20 on a ballpark beer.

Hellbender grabs attention for their sustainability-forward beer production, but it's their Fort Totten tasting room that keeps people coming back. The super casual space regularly fills all of its seats thanks to a full calendar of live music, open mics, and trivia. They make their beers using a mash filter, so their hazy IPAs and German-style Kosch ales have rich, full flavor profiles. There's even a refreshing citrus housemade NA seltzer for anyone not drinking. If you get hungry, the rotating food trucks serve everything from pizza to Korean BBQ.

You definitely have seen Right Proper’s beers in restaurants and in grocery stores. But just because you can buy their brews as readily as you can order a side of fries or pick up a pint of milk, doesn’t mean you should skip the brewery itself. Right Proper’s beers are essential DC drinking, and the Brookland production house and tasting room is a must visit. In addition to fresh beer, there are murals by locally based artists like Patrick Owens, Kelly Towles, and Nico Amortegui. Make time for a tour to see where Right Proper’s magic is made before settling down with a pint or spreading out on the outdoor patio if the weather is nice.

The Lost Generation Brewing Company, housed in the former Nabisco factory in Eckington, is the spot to bring your history buff friend who also happens to be obsessed with IPAs. The spacious tasting room showcases the 120-year-old building’s original wooden posts and cathedral ceilings, and utilizes the original floorboards in the bar. The citrus forward There Are Always Hops American IPA and the papaya-based Lovely Hallucination Hazy IPA are our go-tos. You can pair them with one of the rotating food trucks that stops by throughout the week, which they list on their website.

You wouldn’t know from walking down the quiet street in Ivy City that one of DC’s most in-the-know breweries is there. But just off Okie St. is Other Half Brewing, of New York fame. The laidback brewery is a local favorite where you can chill out at the large covered patio and fill your afternoon with a deep, sweet stout that's high in alcohol content and barrel aged. Bring a birthday cake and a group of your closest friends, ride solo with a giant pizza so you can have as many hazy IPAs as you want, or snuggle up with your furry four-legged bestie, who is always more than welcome.

The District’s history with beer runs deep, but from the 1950s to the early 2000s, DC’s beer business ran dry. DC Brau is the brewery that changed all that in 2011. Head to their Woodridge tasting room with the kids in tow for a casual family outing. Bring food with you, so you can stick around as long as you want working your way through their light shandies and heavy stouts (and avoiding hangry toddler tantrums).

At City-State Brewing Company, bringing a baby is as easy (and as encouraged) as bringing a date. The Edgewood tasting room doesn’t just stock excellent beers, there are also piles of games, chalk, and books for kids whose parents want to chill out for an afternoon, but don’t have a babysitter. Some people even throw kids’ birthday parties here. But don’t be fooled by the family-friendly nature. City-State is serious about their beers, like the juicy, floral Air & Space West Coast-style IPA and the chicory, smokey Kingman stout, which are inspired by DC’s culture and history.

If you’ve never been to Crooked Run Fermentation, this is your sign to go find the brewery that's hidden on the corner of Union Market. You’re almost guaranteed to get a seat at long family-style tables of the Virginia-based brewery, which is as popular for dates as it is with families. Crooked Run is one of the only breweries in the US making beer that adheres to traditional Belgian Iambic specifications, which will really thrill the beer nerd in your friend group (less so the rest of you). Still, their brews are locally inspired like the Drupulet, a framboise-style sour made with Virginia-grown raspberries and malted barley. Crooked Run is a great place to stop in before grabbing dinner elsewhere in the market, but their thick, doughy pizzas are not to be missed.

When you’re looking for DC’s best microbrews, your first stop should be Red Bear. The NoMa brewery is located in the old Washington Coliseum (where the Beatles played their first US concert in 1964). While Ringo Starr isn’t hanging out here anymore, you can still find a good show. Red Bear is known for its events, like the weekend drag brunches where you can enjoy their signature red ale and some seriously delicious fried potatoes. But the brewery is also good for a laidback lunch and their Beyond burger pairs perfectly with their Italian-style pilsner.

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