Washington, DC is known as a haven for craft beer. And whether you’re a townie or a tourist, you simply need to experience DC’s top rated breweries and get a taste of their taprooms during this seasonal rotation! Here are 5 of the top rated breweries in DC, and the beer you have to try when you visit them:


A brewery named after an incredible 2-foot salamander is a good way to start your beer journey through DC. To do their part in saving these creatures, Hellbender employs a Belgian-made mash filter to reduce the energy they use, and lessen their adverse environmental impact. They do it and do it well with the delicious beers they have available, both seasonally and year round. One of those beers is “Red Line.”

Red Line: This is an American Red Ale on Hellbender’s seasonal rotation. It’s hop-forward with a great balance of a range of tastes that takes you from tropical fruit to toffee — a flavor profile perfect for enjoying no matter what the weather may have in store.


In 2011 DC Brau became the first DC brewery since the 1950’s to have beer available both in DC’s local stores and ready on tap at places outside of its production facility. Now, more than 7 years later, DC Brau is still saving the day with its award winning beer. And there’s no other way to enjoy DC without trying DC Brau Brewing Company “The Public!”

The Public Pale Ale: Paying homage to the classic American Pale Ale style, this beer is a must-try while visiting Washington, DC. It is their most popular offering and can be found all over the Nation’s Capital. The bitterness backed by C-60 and Vienna malts which lend notes of rich, yet semi-dry caramel followed up with a nice white grapefruit and citrus aroma will lead you wanting more all year round. Drink like the locals with this classic Pale Ale.


Don’t be fooled by the name; 3 Stars Brewing delivers a steady stream of unique 5 star brews throughout every season. Known for their creativity (and slew of awards), 3 Stars is sure to be an exciting stop. So grab your date and head to 3 Stars Brewing to enjoy a hearty glass of “Zombie Date Night.”

Zombie Date Night: Warm yourself up a bit by cozying up to your Zombie Date Night, a sweet Imperial Porter with raspberries and cocoa nibs. You’ll be swept away by the chocolate and coffee aromas, sweetened with notes of raspberry and dates. The aroma will follow through with a roasty, dark chocolate, light hoppy taste and a sweet finish. And if that’s not enough to get you going, a generous 9.6% ABV should do the trick.


You’ll regret it if you don’t make a stop at Port City Brewing. They might be a little farther off the path down in Alexandria, VA but you can make a night of it by going during one of their many taproom events, or take a stop there (and several other breweries on this list!) on a beer tour around DC with City Brew Tours. Either way, be sure to try “Integral IPA”

Integral IPA: Freshen up with the massive, yet approachable, hop character of pineapple, melon and guava in this finely tuned beer. No need to worry about the Zombies above following you to this stop because they’re too afraid of the Hopzooka, a patented key to this beer’s success from the 2015 GABF Small Brewing Company of the Year.


The Public Option is rightly named, as the public has rated it one of the top 5 breweries in DC. With its down-to-earth vibe and reasonably priced beers, this is the perfect way to wind down and end your night of brewery escapading. If you’re feeling too tipsy do math at this point, don’t worry about it! The Public Option practices a no tipping policy (but if you’re also too tipsy to remember you don’t need to tip, the money will go to a staff-picked local nonprofit, so it’s a win win). Kick back, relax, and enjoy a Sam’s Stout.

Sam’s Stout: You can’t go wrong at the Public Option, but the Sam’s Stout is perfectly balanced and a lovely beer to appreciate before calling it a night. It’s lightly hopped, with black and roasted barley, lactose, and tons of flaked oats. This beer is incredibly drinkable, and talk about smooth!

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