Top 25 Breweries to Visit in the Mid-Atlantic 1-5
In case you missed it, here are the first three entries: 21-25, 16-20, 11-15, and 6-10.
If you would like to discuss this article, please do so here, but please remember to keep in mind that if you have a problem with the rankings, just assume I was two sheets to the wind when evaluating the breweries you disagree with me on, or have yet to visit your favorite watering hole.
5. Triple Crossing Brewing Company Richmond, VA
Yet another Richmond brewery, Triple Crossing has two locations, both of which are well worth visiting! Regardless of which location you visit (why not both?), you will be treated to a portion of their excellent rotating collection of very highly rated IPAs, as well as great stouts and porters, a good sour or two, and a few more approachable beers like a golden ale or lager. To soak up some of that beer, Triple Crossing offers up a great pairing with either grilled cheese or pizza depending on the location. Furthermore, both places have the breweries themselves on display, cool artwork, and nice patios to enjoy a drink or three on a nice day. Lastly, this place has the best board game selection of any brewery I have visited ranging from childhood classics to popular mainstream games to nerdy board games, and I mean nerdy in the best possible way. So if you want to add some top notch beer, really good cheesy food, and an excellent atmosphere to your board game night, I can’t think of a better place.
4. Peabody Heights Brewery Baltimore, MD
While not one of the bigger names on this list, even just here in Baltimore, Peabody Heights has a lot going for itself, both in the beer its putting out, but especially as far as the visitor experience goes. First off, the brewery is actually a Baltimore baseball historic site as it rests on the site of Old Oriole Park, which was briefly the home of the Baltimore Terrapins, but then the home park for the Baltimore Orioles of the International League from 1916 to 1944, when it burned down. The really cool part of that is that the brewery incorporates that history into its brewery and its excellent tours, which start off with an expertly guided history lesson through the museum quality Old Oriole Park displays, before going through the actual brewery. Another great thing about Peabody is the beer selection, which is greatly boosted due to the high amount of contract brewing that goes on here. Therefore, along with their own strong selection of beers, they offer up beers from a few other local breweries giving the visitor an unusual visiting opportunity to experience beers brewed on site from several breweries. The most noteworthy brewery on my recent visits has been Goonda Beersmiths, which brews some really great hoppy beers and collaborates with Peabody on the strong stout series titled POST. Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the free access to the pool and ping pong tables, or the nice patio space, which features corn hole and often food trucks to compensate for the lack of a kitchen.
Bonus: The Bruery Store at Union Market Washington DC
While The Bruery Store at Union Market is not actually a brewery, it is the East Coast retailer for one of the top breweries in the country, so it is well worth a visit. The Bruery along with their extensions, Bruery Terreux and Offshot Beer Co, have a diverse collection of top notch beer including hoppy beers, sours, wild ales, and barrel aged beers. The store has a great selection of the Southern California brewery’s beer, both in bottles / cans, and crowlers. I would also recommend becoming a member of one of their societies, which gives you access to some of their more rare, highly sought after beers such as the acclaimed Black Tuesday as well as a discount on all their beer.
3. Spring House Brewing Company Lancaster, PA
Located in downtown Lancaster, the Spring House Taproom has just about everything I look for in a brewery experience. It’s located in a cool spot where you can do things in the area and/or people watch while enjoying some beers, there’s a large non stagnant tap list featuring a diverse and unusual assortment of really good beer that isn’t commonly available, great pub food, a cool atmosphere, and shuffleboard! This taproom has a monster theme and the brewery has some excellent beers to go along with that theme, especially stouts such as Big Gruesome Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout, Lil’ Gruesome Peanut Butter & Jelly Stout, Kerplunk! Imperial Chocolate Stout, and Irish Donut. Spring House also has a good assortment of hoppy as well as more approachable beers. Speaking of their theme, Spring House has some really great monster artwork adorning the walls, which adds to the experience. To enjoy with your beers, you can choose from some really good wings. appetizers, or sandwiches among other options. So come for the beer, enjoy the food and atmosphere, and play some shuffleboard.
2. The Answer Brewpub Richmond, VA
The final Richmond brewery to make the list, which gives the capital of the Confederacy a whopping 5 out of the top 13 breweries on this list! So you may want to make a Civil War and beer themed trip in the near future. The Answer Brewpub has two things that really set it apart from almost every other brewery that I have been to: they have legit Vietnamese food and they have 60 beers on tap! The Vietnamese food is worth talking about, and certainly worth eating, and there are some games to play at the brewpub, but let’s focus on the beer. Only a third of the tap list consists of their own beer, but that still amounts to 20 beers, which are far from static. Some highlights of their highly acclaimed beers include Grand Larceny (double IPA), the 3 Scoops and Popsicle series’ of sours, King Kahuna (imperial stout), and an interesting twist of slushy fruit beers title Frozan. On top of that, The Answer has a really nice collection of about 40 beers, many of which are local and/or somewhat rare. This is a great place to have dinner or just pop in for a few beers, or just spend an entire night in order to enjoy the food as well as a reasonable amount of those 60 beers.
1.Tired Hands Brewing Company Ardmore, PA
The final brewery on the countdown is simply one of the very best breweries in the country! Tired Hands now has two locations to help meet the massive demand for their amazing beer: the OG location Tired Hands Brew Café and the Tired Hands Fermentaria. The best part is that they are only .3 miles apart and their tap lists are quite divergent from each other, so with both locations, they have over 20 taps of almost ever changing selections other than their two mainstays: HopHands and SaisonHands. Tired Hands is very aggressive with experimentation with ingredients, but somehow almost all of these unusual sounding beers come together in a special way. The brewery excels with hops as they have created all sorts of tremendous IPAs including the sought after Milkshake varietals, but they also do great with saisons, stouts, and an assortment of interesting low ABV beers. Tired Hands is easily one of the best places for food on this list as well with some tremendous sandwiches, small plates, and meats and cheeses leading the way. The ambience and artwork at both locations is also a huge plus. Lastly, it is hard to get their beer elsewhere, which makes visiting even more imperative.