WWBG: Local Brewery Tours

Editor’s Note: This weekly sponsored column is written by Arash Tafakor, owner of Georgetown Square Wine and Beer (10400 Old Georgetown Road).

For the next few weekends I’m going to be doing some cool local brewery tours that my colleagues have recommended. These tours are a great opportunity for any beer lover to see how beer is brewed and the process each beer goes through all the way to bottling.

Each brewery tour is different, some give only in-depth tours, some give lessons on brewing and some have their own restaurant and brew pub so you can wash down fresh brew with a great meal. This combination of small amounts of free beer and food make a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Being in the D.C area we are lucky to be able to visit many breweries either inside or outside the Capital Beltway. Here are a few tours on my schedule for the next few weeks.

Flying Dog Brewery Frederick, MD

Originally brewed in Colorado, Flying Dog purchased Frederick Brewing Company in 2006 and moved its entire brewing operations right in our area. Flying Dog built a state of the art facility that can produce up to 100,000 barrels of beer a year. This is a must go to tour. Flying Dog has a number of different beers they brew every day. Known for their artistic labels and numerous styles of core beers Flying Dog is not only a local favorite but also a national powerhouse in the beer industry. Reservations are required.

Port City Brewing Company Alexandria, VA

This tour is also should be on the top of your to do list. Port City was originally formed from a Small Business Administration loan. Bill Butcher, owner and brew master of Port City, even spoke at the Democratic National Convention about how the loan got his brewery up and running. Politics aside, I’m a huge fan of this loan, because Port City makes great beers. Their equipment is state of the art and facilities are brand new. The tours are usually small and the guides encourage questions, making this a great learning experience. Reservations are not needed.

Heavy Seas Brewery Halethorpe, MD

Owner and brewmaster Huge Sisson is responsible for the legalization of brewpubs in the state of Maryland. After leaving his family owned brewpub in 1994, Sisson founded Clipper City Brewery to satisfy Baltimore beer lovers after National Bohemian relocated out of Baltimore. As the craft beer industry expanded Sisson introduced a high gravity line called Heavy Seas. The Heavy Seas line took off and eventually became the new brand of Clipper City. As for the tour itself, I’ve heard amazing things about how fun it is. They have excellent beers and great food to compliment. Reservations are recommended.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BethesdaNow.com.

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