With the opening of the 3 Stars Brewery last weekend, D.C. now boasts three full-service breweries that throw open their doors for tastings and growler fills every Saturday. If you’d like to drink local over the long weekend, here’s a suggested brewery crawl (they’re not that far from each other) and what to expect.
Open: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Bladensburg Road brewery — the first one in D.C. since 1957 — is opening its doors at 11 a.m. in honor of Labor Day weekend. The excellent On The Wings of Armageddon Imperial IPA is making a special return to the taps, and the 13th Street Meats butchers will be grilling in the parking lot.
Free brewery tours will be offered at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m and will fill up quickly: Last week, there were 75 visitors on the first tour and 60 on the second.
Expect six to eight beers available for growler fills ($10 to $13 per 64-ounce pour). Everyone 21 and over receives four tasting tickets.
Open: 1-4 p.m.
The new kids on the block mark their second week by pouring a test batch of a lime-basil saison. If people like it, says brewery co-founder Dave Coleman, it may become a regular feature. (The Urban Farmhouse Saison was easily the most popular beer going into growlers at the brewery last week.) Tours of the Takoma brewing facility will be offered at 2 and 3:30 p.m.
3 Stars’ tasting and growlers are the most expensive around: It costs $2 for each four-ounce pour from the taps in the tasting room (which doubles as the 3 Stars Homebrew Shop), including the lime-basil brew mentioned above. Growlers of the Urban Farmhouse cost $15 per fill; growlers of the Pandemic Porter and Southern Belle imperial brown ale cost $20.
Open: 12:30-4:30 p.m.
Chocolate City is the smallest of the D.C. breweries – visiting is like checking out your friend’s overstuffed garage – but there are free tastings of whatever beers are on tap, and filling a growler costs $10. The facility really isn’t big enough to warrant tours, per se, but the owners and brewers are on hand to talk about what they’re making.
This week, the Something Stuffed food truck will be parked outside, serving empanadas, burritos and dumplings.
Read more from the Going Out Guide: All local breweries that offer growler fills