The 8 Best Breweries in Washington, DC
The best beer in the capital.
Written by John Paradiso
America’s capital is full of great beer, with D.C.’s breweries churning out brews that are as diverse as they are delicious. And D.C.-based beer fans get the added benefit of adding breweries from southern Maryland and northern Virginia to their repertoire.
Because of the unique geography of the city, we felt it would be criminal not to include a couple of our favorites that reside a little bit beyond the D.C. border. So don’t be afraid to hop in an Uber and see what the neighboring states have to offer.
3178 Bladensburg Road NE B | (202) 621-8890
As the first packaging brewery in D.C. since prohibition, DC Brau is a significant part of the beer history in the District. The taproom is small and very much out of the way, but it’s worth heading out for a short tour and chatting up the DC Brau team. You’ll easily find their solid flagships like “The Public Ale” and “The Corruption” throughout the city, but seek out cans of their harder-to-find “On the Wings of Armageddon,” a dank DIPA.
Right Proper Brewing Co.
624 T Street NW | (202) 607-2337
Right Proper brews some of the best sour beers around. Find their beer on tap around the city or head to Shaw, for their Brewpub or the Brookland, for their production facility. Usually, there are a few unique beers only available at one or the other, so even a double visit isn’t a bad idea.
Right Proper specializes in tart, funky beers often at low ABVs. Yeast is the name of the game at Right Proper and head brewer Nathan Zeender, who loves to mess around with house blends and the fickle fermentation process, handles the beer with care. Some personal favorites include “Baron Corvo,” a 7 percent biere de garde, and “Kick.Kick.Snare,” a crisp and tart berliner weiss.
3 Stars Brewing Co.
6400 Chillum Place NW | (202) 670-0333
3 Stars Brewing has quickly become one of the top-rated breweries in Washington, DC — and rightfully so. Beers like “Peppercorn Saison” and “Desolation” are favorites among locals. They’ve also managed to hop (pun intended) on the hazy bandwagon with a big DIPA, cleverly named “#ultrafresh”. Swing by the Urban Farmhouse to try some of the taproom only 3 Stars beer.
Atlas Brew Works
2052 West Virginia Avenue NE #102 | (202) 832-0420
Solar-powered beer pours aplenty in D.C.’s Ivy City neighborhood at Atlas Brew Works, which became 100 percent solar-powered in 2015. Find easy drinking brews like “District Common,” Atlas’ take on a California common, and “Rye, Rye My Darling,” a rye-forward saison. Or take it up a notch with “NSFW,” a 9.2 percent black imperial IPA.
300 Tingey Street SE | (202) 524-4862
Located in D.C.’s Navy Yard, Bluejacket is a great spot for quality beers and a fun time. Enjoy an afternoon on Blue Jacket’s patio with one of Bluejacket’s fresh, delicious cask ales. Or try some of the stellar food served by Bluejacket’s restaurant, The Arsenal. The beers range in styles like “Lost Weekend,” a citra IPA, and “Lagerfarm,” a farmhouse lager. Bluejacket’s coolship program also means that unique, spontaneously fermented beers are pouring at the taproom.
Port City Brewing Co.
3950 Wheeler Avenue | (703) 797-2739
Located in nearby Alexandria, Port City is just a short metro away from downtown D.C. Although they brew a variety of beers, Port City is known for their “Optimal Wit,” a true to style Belgian witbier. “Optimal Wit” has grown into Port City’s best-selling beer, spurred no doubt by winning gold in the Belgian-style Witbier category at the 2013 GABF.
Aslin Beer Co.
257 Sunset Park Drive | (703) 787-5766
You won’t be able to reach Aslin Beer, located in Herndon, VA, on the metro, so driving is your best bet. But it’s well worth the trip. Pick up cans of Aslin’s funky sours and juicy IPAs. Note: Aslin is only open Thursday through Sunday and their beer goes quickly, so check social media for beer releases each week.
Ocelot Brewing Co.
23600 Overland Drive #180 | (703) 665-2146
Drive another 15 minutes to Dulles, VA to check out nearby Ocelot Brewing. Settle in and be sure to grab a few of Ocelot’s delicious IPAs at their taproom. On your way out, pick up some bottles and growlers to-go.