Have been checking out some local places of imbibement lately and have had much fun. What else is there to do after hiking and running vs. supporting the locals while refueling?
#1 Forge Brew Works, Lorton, VA
Visited this one after hiking in Prince William State Park in VA. The hike also turned into 15 vs 9 miles. Great signage in that park, let me tell you. In the brewery’s tasting room, they have well over a dozen options on tap, from traditional to seasonal brews and you can get 4oz samplers at a great price to get a feel for the menu. My friend and I each got a spread of the 4oz pours so we could tackle the taps effectively. Some were very creative, some not up my alley, but awesome to check out. Dog friendly place (which is why we went — they have tons of water and treats for them) and you bring your own food if you want to munch on anything.
(Jet was passed out on the floor while we were sipping, eating and watching football)
#2 Distillery Lane Ciderworks, Jefferson, MD
I keep calling this a cidery because it goes with the flow of the sentence with winery, brewery… Ok, so it’s a distillery. They distill (hard) cider. Anyway, on we go. I mapped this out to visit after completing a half marathon as part of refueling. As a map point, it’s about 30 minutes from Harper’s Ferry and maybe an hour+ from DC. They have a big range of hard cider, from bubbly stuff, to ones with some additional flavor influence (fruit, sweet), to dry & sweet, to barrel-aged stuff. I never knew there was so much to this. When you buy your tasting, you get to pick whatever you’d like to taste — $5 for 4 pours, and the souvenir glass. And when you go with somebody else…sip & share, share & sip.
The whiskey-barrel influence stuff–nice! The cherry and maple (independent) fused stuff, yeah, not so much. The bubbly — where’s my champagne flute? They also have that regular apple cider that you don’t need an ID to buy and those healthy apple things that you buy to just add at this cool place.
#3 Big Cork Vineyards, Rohrersville, MD
(cork stool, oh yes)
It’s 5-10 minutes from the cidery, darn, I meant distillery. Isn’t cidery just a natural name? That’s why we visited it next. I’d tasted their wine a couple times at local farmer’s markets. But, they just opened they gorgeous tasting room this year. My friend and I decided to split a tasting so we splurge and went for the big one — 7 wines — watch out! It was $14 for this ‘more’ tasting.
Some were ok, nothing to write home about. There is still just something missing in MD wines. VA is gaining power and MD is next door so I don’t know why they can’t do it (at least for me, though I know I’m not alone in that comment).
#4 Right Proper Brewing Company, Washington, DC
Was simply googling breweries in DC and this one came up. Had never heard of it so had to investigate. It’s in the Shaw-Howard area of DC. So much on tap, innovative options, what do I pick? You can get half pours (no flight options). My friend and I opted to play with the wolves and ordered some Wild Wolves and Raised by the Wolves. We had some sips to ‘sample’ before ordering our half pour of choice too. I stopped here before a big dinner so didn’t get to do enough investigation but definitely plan to go back to do a deeper search.
#5 Boxwood Winery, Middleburg, VA
Located in a historic, very nice area 1-1.5 hours outside of DC, this winery is growing well. They used to have a nice tasting room/wine bar in Friendship Heights which has unfortunately closed. They still have one at National Harbor and in Reston. These are definitely VA wines, unique tastes and good to keep an eye on. I like a couple but I just can’t justify paying the price for some of them. The price was $10/tasting, and we got to keep the glass (add to the collection).