You all know I love beer and that I often choose my restaurants based on the quality of their draft list. But in addition to that, Beer Geek and I love to visit different breweries and check out their setups (and often beers that you can only get there.) Right now, the beer scene in Virginia is exploding. So much so that I need to focus on just one small part of Virginia to stick to 5. (Don’t worry, I’ll work my way around the state.)
- Port City Brewing – This Alexandria brewery makes quite a number of good beers, but my favorite is their porter. You can stop by their facility and drink a pint or get a tour and some tastings. While not a restaurant, they do have Food Truck Sundays or you can join them on Monday nights for their popular Joggers and Lagers (aka fun run).
- Lost Rhino Brewing – This brewery is farther out in the suburbs in Ashburn, but is well worth the drive from DC. They offer tours on Saturdays, but their tasting room has a small menu and live music on Friday and Saturday nights, so feel free to head out there other days. Their Face Plant IPA won a gold medal in 2015, so it’s a great beer to checkout.
- Mad Fox Brewing – Mad Fox combines good beer and good food in a lovely family friendly restaurant in Falls Church, VA. I know putting this on the list comes as no surprise to anyone – a simple search of my blog turns up many posts about events and evenings there. I’ve been following Bill Madden around for years because of my love for Wee Heavy, but I’ve (somewhat) recently fallen in love with another beer – Orange Whip, an IPA made with citra hops. And Mad Fox recently started a run club as well, so yes, it is possible to combine beer and running.
- Fair Winds Brewing- Fair Winds is a fairly new to the scene brewery. We got to know the head brewer when he worked at Mad Fox and just recently got the chance to go out and check out his new brewery. It was totally worth the drive! His Ghost of the Mariner Imperial Stout will knock your socks off (both because it’s awesome and because of the high alcohol LOL) and they recently won a gold medal for the Siren’s Lure Saison. I was also pleasantly surprised to love the Howling Gale IPA. (And if you are feeling really wild and crazy, go across the street and check out Forge Brew Works. I haven’t been there yet…)
- Caboose Brewing – This brewery has a lot going for it, not the least of which is it’s location steps off of the W&OD trail. Want a beer on your bike ride or after your run? This is your place. Add in some yummy snacks and tasty beer and who wouldn’t want to take a pitstop here?
Besides being great breweries, they are all an awesome part of the brewing community. Twenty area breweries (including all 5 of the above) gathered together and brewed a beer that will be served starting January 29th in all the participating breweries. The beer is a Belgian Pale Ale and it’s called Kerri’s Cure. All proceeds from the beer will be going to pay for medical costs for Kerri Rose, the wife of Forge Brew Work’s brewer, as she battles stomach cancer.
I feel like I’ve only barely scratched the surface. There are so many more breweries that have just opened or are about to open that I haven’t had a chance to try. I think I need to make it my mission to try them all and report back on which are the best LOL.
Have you ever been to a brewery for a tour? Or visited a brewpub for a beer and a meal? What’s your favorite? (I’m always looking for new places when we travel…)