There’s a craft beer revolution afoot, and it’s no surprise that our nation’s Capital (and the surrounding area) is a leader in producing some of the greatest ales. In general, the East Coast has a craft beer scene steeped in rich history, starting with Sam Adams and the beginning of our country’s great paradigm shift about its favorite beverage. It’s pretty hard to rival the feeling of enjoying a craft beer on your well-groomed Fairfax lawn, but a brewery tour is a pretty worth contender. Most tours are all ages events. They’re actually family friendly and can often be educational. Plus, many of them offer free beer samples as well, so you can’t go wrong. Please enjoy this list of DC’s best brewery tours! (LawnStarter also offers quality lawn care in Falls Church, Northern Virginia, and DC.)
(Note: Wear closed toe shoes on any brewery tour you attend)
6. DC Brau Brewing Company
When: Saturdays (generally 2, 3, and 4 p.m.)
Where: Washington D.C.
DC Brau Brewing Company, located smack dab in our nation’s capital, is a place you must visit. The company, taking pride in its DC roots, says their brews represent “a delicious and uniquely American blend of North American and European techniques and ingredients.” They also offer free tours & tastings on most Saturdays. There are open to all ages, though you have to be 21+ to consume alcohol, of course. Check out more information via their website here.
5. Heavy Seas
When: Weekends (times vary: check schedule here)
Where: Halethorpe, MD
Heavy Seas, home to one of my favorite pumpkin beers, is a beacon of craft beer culture in this region. The founder, Hugh Sisson, was responsible for the legislation that made brewpubs legal in Maryland. In addition, Heavy Seas is home to a great brewery tour, generally given every Saturday, that is open to all ages. The tour is free, but you can purchase a souvenir pint glass for $5 that includes 5 beers. Not a bad deal at all!
4. Flying Dog
When: Thursdays and Fridays: 4:30 pm, 5 pm, 5:30 pm, 6 pm
Saturdays: 12:30 pm, 1 pm, 1:30 pm, 3 pm, 3:30 pm, 4 pm
Where: Frederick, MD
Though its about a 45 minute jaunt outside of DC, I couldn’t leave Flying Dog off this list. Flying Dog, with close ties to Hunter S. Thompson (and his wonderful illustrator, Ralph Steadman), is the largest producing brewery in the DC area. It’s slogan, “good people drink good beer,” is indicative of what the craft beer scene as a whole tries to represent.
They have plenty of events around DC throughout the year. In addition, they do regular brewery tours for a charge of only $5. Take heed, though: they tend to sell out, so make sure to grab tickets early.
3. Lost Rhino
When: Saturdays (1-4 p.m.)
Where: Ashburn, VA
Lost Rhino, a local Virginia staple, regularly offers a diverse assortment of events. They host tons of live music as well as events such as Cornhole leagues. Most important, however, are their weekly brewery tours. Check out their continuing schedule of events right here.
2. Port City Brewing Company
When: Schedule varies (check here)
Where: Alexandria, VA
Cost: $5 (includes glass and samples)
Port City Brewing Company, located in Alexandria, VA, is a fantastic brewery that, according to their website, is “proud to revive, celebrate and continue this rich brewing history in our modern artisanal brewery right outside of our Nation’s Capital.” They host a myriad of beer launches, live music events, and beer festivals. They also host a large amount of brewery tours throughout the week for only $5 per ticket (which includes a souvenir glass and samples).
1. 3 Stars Brewery
When: Saturdays at 2 & 3 p.m.
Where: Washington D.C.
Providing the District with bold and brash beers, 3 Star Brewery is not your average beer brewing company. First, they’re all about “local,” and deem it their mission to make Washington D.C. a national hub for craft beer excellence. Second, embedded in their story is a focus on positive change. Their spent grain program hopes to solve the hunger problem that exists in D.C. Finally, they offer amazing and free brewery tours to the public. All of these reasons culminate to make them our top choice for a craft beer brewery tour around Washington D.C. Check out for more and updated info on their website.