A bartender at Mad Fox Brewing Company in Falls Church pours beer for Kevin Lewis (black shirt) and Sarah Owens. (Evy Mages/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

That’s why the fine folks at Northern Virginia Magazine have performed an invaluable public service by publishing a superb roundup of the best breweries, bars and retail shops for top quality beer in our area. “Virginia is a hotbed of craft beer,” restaurateur Greg Engert of the Neighborhood Restaurant Group tells the magazine, and as far as I can recall, he is very right.

You’ve got top-notch beer stores like Arrowine in Arlington and Rick’s Wine and Gourmet in Alexandria; beer-loving restaurants like the Cock & Bowl in Occoquan, MacDowell Brew Kitchen in Leesburg; breweries like Rock Bottom in Ballston, Vintage 50 in Leesburg, Mad Fox in Falls Church, Port City in Alexandria ... the list goes on. The piece by Stefanie Gans, Sally Traynham and Joey Hernandez also gives you a guide to beer geek terminology and shows how Port City uses oysters in beer. It’s a great package. I’m saving it with the rest of my beer notes.

More from the Washington Post:

Beer Madness: The Post’s annual suds showdown

Going Out Guide: Bars with the best beer selection

Going Out Guide: Breweries that offer beer to go