Excursion: Happy Hour Brewery Hike

Hellbender Brewing Company
Hellbender Brewing Company

It’s Thursday, your workday is almost over, you’re bored with the normal happy hour spots, and you want to get some exercise but don’t feel like going to the gym.

Consider something completely different.

Why not check out some of your local breweries on foot?

Skip the car and the bikes. Strap on your walking shoes and visit Hellbender, 3 Stars and Denizens all in a few hours.

Since DC breweries can now sell full pints and beer flights in the evenings (expanding from the traditional growler hours they operated on the weekends), many have opened their doors for a few hours on Thursday and Friday evenings.

Most are located in the Northeast quadrant, and are not easily accessible without a car. Easy fix. Walk. Besides, drinking and driving is never a good idea…

Here is one hike you can consider, completed successfully on April 9, 2015.

What: Happy Hour Brewery Hike
Days to try: Thursday or Friday evening
Breweries to visit: 3
Distance: 4.1 miles
Time walking: 1 hour 30 minutes

Itinerary:
Start: Fort Totten Metro (between 5:00 and 6:00pm)
1st Brewery: Hellbender Brewing Company (Hours: TH/FRI 4:00-8:00pm)
2nd Brewery: 3 Stars Brewing Company (Hours: TH/FRI 4:00-8:00pm)
3rd Brewery: Denizens Brewing Company (Hours: TH/FRI 4:00-11:00pm)
Depart: Silver Springs Metro

 

Hellbender Brewing Company is DC’s newest production brewery, opening late in 2014. They offer a small, but good selection of beers, including the Red Line Ale (available throughout DC) and Bare Bones Kolsch. They also have a very tasty Compass Coffee Stout, where the Cardinal Blend they use comes from Compass Coffee (7th St NW in Shaw). Highly recommended.

Get a flight of four beers ($6) and sample away in the well-designed, and not too small tasting room. Also see the Hellbender Tap Finder.

 

3 Stars Brewing Company continues to produce good beer with cool sounding names. Zombie Date Night (Imperial Porter w/ Raspberries), Two To the Dome (Double IPA) and Ebony & Ivory (Imperial Brown w/Cocoa Nibs & Vanilla Beans) to name just a few. We could smell the new Above the Clouds, a fine Farmhouse Pale Ale, batch they were brewing as we entered. So of course we had to try it and can report it is a fine addition to their already robust beer offerings.

3 Stars has expanded their tasting space quite significantly since I last visited. I went when they were new (early 2013) and the tasting room was in the same space as the Home Brewing store.

Get a flight of four ($6) and sit on one of many picnic-style tables and enjoy the view of the artwork on the walls and the inner-workings of the brewery.

 

Denizens Brewing Co. offers up the most classic beer name thus far, the Shirtless Horseman (a Russian Imperial Stout, that can only be a Putin reference…). All of their beers are good, but they also partner with the BBQ Bus for excellent BBQ with tasty sides.

Now that you’re hungry from drinking and walking, make sure you get one of the Picnic Plates or the Bus Sampler. They do have vegetarian options, the chili and Falafel burger are both purportedly good. I also recommend the Crinkle Cut Fries dipped in one of four BBQ sauces.

Experience neighborhoods you may never visit living in DC and have a few pints.

 

Up Next: Saturday Brewery Hike (aka Right Proper, DC Brau, Atlas Works and Bardo)

Find the complete Happy Hour Brewery Hike route via Google Maps

Happy Hour Brewery Hike

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