*Please plan responsibility and use a designated driver when traveling the brewery trails in Virginia.*
Right across the Potomac from Washington, D.C. the Northern Virginia region of the Commonwealth is an interesting blend of historic urban areas, suburban communities, and rolling farmlands at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. But each of these landscapes have something in common; they all are home to a surprising number of award-winning craft breweries. Out of Virginia’s over 200 breweries, Northern Virginia has about 60 craft breweries along five beer trails, offering several distinct day trips for those looking to discover what Virginia’s craft beer scene is all about. Use this guide to plan your brew-based outing along the beer trails of Northern Virginia.
—BELTWAY BEER TRAIL—
As the largest beer trail in Virginia, the Beltway Beer Trail is made up of 29 breweries in the Fairfax, Prince William, Manassas, Alexandria, Falls Church, and Arlington areas of Northern Virginia. With the furthest north just outside of Reston and the southern portion of the trail near Woodbridge, every brewery is within a 35-mile drive of each other. Plan Your Route
Water’s End Brewery—Lake Ridge
Photo Credit: Josh Fournelle
The 1,800 square-foot tasting room at Water’s End Brewery is bathed in natural light from the expansive glass windows, but on sunny weekends, grab a seat on the brewery’s patio, which is actually the drive-thru for the neighboring bank during weekdays. This fact speaks to the brewery’s relationship in the community, where both businesses and locals are eager to support the burgeoning craft brewery, newly opened in September 2016. Since their opening date, they have been busy formulating new beer recipes, with 28 distinct beers under their belt to date. They aim to keep about six to eight beers on tap at all times, with only a single staple remaining on the menu, their “Damn Beer”, a refreshing and drinkable golden ale. Every other beer on draft is selected from a steady supply of experimental and seasonal batches produced by the brewing team, giving you the opportunity to try new creations with every visit to the brewery.
Caboose Brewing Company—Vienna
Founded in 2015, Caboose Brewing Company was the first brewery to open in Vienna, bringing a farm-to-table philosophy and a commitment to environmentally sustainable practices to both their brewing process and their food menu. They test out a variety of beer styles, and visitors should sample the flight to get a taste for their innovative brewing practices. The brewery is right off the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, making it a popular spot for cyclers to take a break from their ride and enjoy a much-deserved craft brew.
Lake Anne Brew House—Reston
Photo Credit: Charlotte Geary
Lake Anne Brew House provides small-batch, hand-crafted beers in their nano-brewery taproom, which sits right off the water in Lake Anne Village Center Plaza. Owned by husband-and-wife team Jason and Melissa Romano, Jason runs the …read more