DC Drink Local Guide


Photography by Dave Mentzer

You guys already know that I’m a huge advocate of shopping small and local, but I haven’t talked about drinking local very much. Over the past few years, the DC drink scene has exploded bringing with it breweries, distilleries, and more. I love the authentic experience you get from drinking at the same place where the beverage was made, and have a feeling I’m not alone, so I’ve rounded up my favorite local spots for sampling the District’s best spirits and brews.

DC Brau: Dave and I went to DC Brau for a few drinks and we drank a few too many, but still had a blast. The brewery is located in a warehouse district, but inside, it’s filled with graffiti from notable DC artists, two bars, and the staff is extremely knowledgeable and welcoming. We had a great time touring the space and they even let us in on a secret IPA/Pilsner mix that one of the bartenders created and isn’t available in stores! Definitely worth the trek to NE, DC

Republic Restoratives: the first reason I love this place is because it’s woman-owned – which is super badass – but the reasons don’t stop there. The distillery space is adorable, the cocktails are dangerously delicious, and the bartenders and marketing team are insanely accommodating. I can’t wait to make another trip out to Ivy City with the manfriend to show him how amazing the distillery is!

Cotton & Reed: located right next to Union Market, this is DC’s first rum distillery. Fun fact — the owners met each other while working at NASA and left their corporate jobs to open the distillery as a passion project. With amazing decor and unique cocktails, this is a must-see spot the next time you’re shopping at Union Market

Right Proper Brewing: I love this brewery — not only because it’s just a few blocks from my place, but I’ve always had an amazing experience there. I didn’t even realize how many milestones I’ve celebrated at this brewery – first dates, taking my brother out in DC for the first time, ringing in NYE 2017… – until I was writing this blog post. The brewery has amazing food, and brews to suit any palette from IPAS to wheat beers to funky stouts

Bluejacket Brewery: tater tots, fried cheese curds, and craft beer…need I say more? Bluejacket Brewery was one of the first spots I went out to when I moved in DC and I still love it just as much as I did in 2014. The ever-evolving beer list is fantastic, the space vibrant and lively, and the food is amaze. My old roommate and I once went there and ordered $20 of just potato-based products…

Jo A. Magnus & Co.: this distillery is new to me and I want to tell everyone I meet about it. I had the pleasure of meeting one of the Distillers and Marketing Manager at an event my company hosted a week ago and I was blown away by the quality of the spirits. Originally a bourbon distillery, Jo A. Magnus also makes gin and vodka and it’s the best gin I’ve ever had. So smooth I drank it with just an ice cube! Bonus points, it’s located above Atlas Brew Works, so you can hit both in the same visit! (It’s also around the corner from Republic Restoratives!)

ANXO Cidery: tucked in a super cool space in Truxton Circle is one of DC’s first ciderys and pintos bar, ANXO. (I have no clue how to pronounce it.) I went here for a dinner while a college friend from out of town was visiting, and while I’m not a huge fan of small plates, I loved the experience we had here. You can get a cider flight to sample all of their offerings, and the staff was very eager to explain the cider process to us! I might not go back for dinner, but would definitely go back for happy hour and drinks!

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