Top Things to Do for Craft Beer Lovers in Alexandria, VA

Alexandria, Virginia, located on the waterfront just minutes from Washington, D.C., is a go-to destination for craft beer lovers, complete with one of the best small breweries in the U.S., themed beer tours, events like beer yoga and pedals and pints, and plenty of bars and pubs to sample the best craft beers in the region.

We’ve rounded up our favorite experiences for craft beer lovers in Alexandria, with enough fun to keep your thirst quenched all summer long.

Alexandria Breweries

Port City Brewing Company

Image Credit: M. Enriquez for Visit Alexandria

Port City Brewing Company is one of the Best Small Breweries in America, located in Alexandria’s West End neighborhood with a hopping calendar of events. In addition to regular brewery tours and tastings, you can join Port City social events like Joggers and Lagers, Beer Yoga, Pedals and Pints and live music and rotating food trucks. Of course every event has plenty of Port City’s brews on tap including their flagships Optimal Wit, Downright Pilsner, Essential Pale Ale, Monumental IPA, Port City Porter, Ways & Means Sessions and special seasonal brews throughout the year. Beer enthusiasts don’t want to miss the 4th Annual Old Town Pub Crawl on July 8, 2017. Check out Port City’s events calendar for more information on all their happenings.

Portner Brewhouse

Image Credit: M. Enriquez for Visit Alexandria

Opened in spring 2017, pre-Prohibition inspired Portner Brewhouse in Alexandria’s Van Dorn neighborhood is a can’t-miss destination for craft beer lovers. Sisters Catherine and Margaret Portner are honoring their great-great grandfather’s legacy 100 years later by brewing up historic family recipes from Alexandria’s Robert Portner Brewing Co., the largest pre-Prohibition brewery in the South. Portner Brewhouse also serves contemporary German-American cuisine and offers the public an opportunity to taste and rate home-brewed recipes in the one-of-a-kind Craft Beer Test Kitchen™. If you’ve ever wanted to start your own brewery or see one of your beers on tap, the Craft Beer Test Kitchen™ at Portner Brewhouse is your chance.

Brew Tours

Frights and Pints Tour

Image Credit: Chadwicks

Alexandria is well known as a craft-beer destination and a historical hotspot with some of the best ghost tours in the region. What do you get when you combine the two? The Nightly Spirits Frights and Pints ghost tour in Old Town. On this 2.5 hour tour, visitors follow a costumed tour guide walking through Alexandria’s most haunted and historic spots while stopping at 3 to 4 different pubs along the way. It’s a fun and unique way to spend a night with friends, and can be booked for private groups.

Historical Pub Crawl 

Image Credit: K. Summerer for Visit Alexandria

On Discover Alexandria’s Historical Pub Crawl, you’ll learn about some of Alexandria’s famous residents and the role of beer and pubs in Old Town’s history. Learn more about the history of the city, its beer, brewers and more while you enjoy some of the best beer in town.

Alexandria’s Historic Breweries Guided Tour and Tasting

Image Credit: Union Street Public House

Offered on special dates, you can hop on Alexandria’s Historic Breweries Guided Tour and Tasting with Alexandria’s Historic Breweries author, Garrett Peck, and Portner Brewhouse co-founder, Catherine Portner. This guided walking tour around Old Town Alexandria explores the foundations of local brewing. The tour includes highlights from the Historic Breweries Self-Guided Walking Tour and Pub Guide, a Portner Brewhouse-sponsored beer sampling, and culminates at one of Alexandria’s current Hop Stops. Each tour will feature local homebrewers that are interested in your feedback as part of Portner Brewhouse’s Craft Beer Test Kitchen™.

Historic Breweries Self-Guided Walking Tour and Pub Guide

For those of us who prefer to drink in Alexandria’s rich history at their own pace, there’s Alexandria’s Historic Breweries Self-Guided Walking Tour and Pub Guide. Written by Capital Beer author Garrett Peck, this brochure directs beer-lovers through nearly 250 years of brewing in Alexandria, with designated “Hop Stops” pointing to top places to pause for a pint. Did you know that the capital region’s burgeoning craft beer scene has its roots in Alexandria? See the sites of 10 historic local breweries and then head to Port City Brewing Company for a tour of its modern craft brewery.

Brewing History: Beer Tasting, Tour & Dinner at Mount Vernon

On October 20, 2017 learn more about how beer was brewed and enjoyed in early America during the Brewing History: Beer Tasting, Tour & Dinner at Mount Vernon. The evening begins with a private tour of the Mansion and special 18th-century brewing demonstration in the historic area that will focus on the beer that would have been consumed by Washington. Following the tour, guests will enjoy a reception, beer tasting, and a four-course menu. Each course will be paired with beers.

Alexandria Bars and Pubs

Image Credit: K. Summerer for Visit Alexandria

In Alexandria, you’d be hard-pressed to find a restaurant or bar without an excellent list of brews on tap. We take our beer seriously in the Port City, which means craft beer lovers are in luck here. Restaurants like Pizzeria ParadisoBilbo BagginsChadwicks, Columbia FirehouseBlackwall HitchVirtue Feed & Grain,  and more have extensive beer menus, some with over 200 bottles or drafts to choose from. Lost Dog Cafe in the Parker-Gray/Braddock neighborhood will even include beer in their delivery service. Pubs like Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub, Daniel O’Connell’s and Union Street Public House also have excellent bars for beer lovers.

For more things to do in Alexandria, click here.

Header Image Credit: M. Enriquez for Visit Alexandria


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