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D.C./VA/MD Recommendations

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by kmello69, Dec 28, 2012.

  1. kmello69

    kmello69 Advocate (645) Texas Nov 27, 2011 Verified

    Yeah, I'm going to be "that guy". I searched for threads on these areas but nothing fit exactly what I'm looking for, so here goes.

    Next month (Friday 1/4) I'm flying into Reagan, driving to Dulles to pick up a buddy, then driving to Frederick, MD. Stay there a few days, then back to D.C. (1/7) and staying at the Intercontinental right by the White House a few more (leaving 1/9).

    Any good bottle shops I can stop at between Reagan and Dulles? I'll have a car, and 3 hours to kill, so I can make a broad loop, and would like to pick up some things to drink while in MD. Also, what are good bars/bottle shops that would be walking distance or a short train or cab ride from my hotel in D.C.? Planning on trying to go to Old & Sour @ Meridian Pint on the 8th, and hit Churchkey, but what else should I check out?

    Any help you can offer would be appreciated, and I'll gladly reciprocate if any of you ever come down to Austin! :)

  2. stereosforgeeks

    stereosforgeeks Advocate (540) Virginia Jul 10, 2005 Verified

    I always shopped at Ricks, which is closing, but you can try Norms in Vienna. As for breweried DC Brau and Port City are around. If you can find On The Wings of Armageddon it's DC Braus best. Frederick has Flying Dog. Just up north in PA (an hour or so) you have Troegs. South of the city in VA you have Blue and Gray in Fredericksburg (45 min drive with no traffic or VRE/Amtrak) and a bourbon distillery which has a great 18yo bourbon. In Richmond youve got Hardywood and Center of the Universe (new). Sedona Tap House almost has the largest selection of beer on the east coast in Midlothian.

    Hope that at least gives you some ideas.
  3. cj8311

    cj8311 Savant (370) Maryland Nov 12, 2008

    for the Reagan / Dullles VA loop, Norms's metioned above is solid. Whole Foods Fair Lakes is also a pretty great spot. bunch of bottles and 6ers, something like 20 taps which are 100% craft, and they do growlers (they had BCBS growlers recently). if you're on facebook search for 'Whole Foods Beer Market" they update what they get in and what's on tap every day

    Fredricksburg and Richmond seem like crazy talk to me, especially if your'e going to be travelling during rush hour.

    not many bottle shops w/i walking distance of your hotel, thats sort of a dead zone for that. Connecticut Ave Wine in Dupont is theoretically walkable tho maybe not in January weather. but def a short cab ride, and you'll find stuff there like Surly, Alpine, Russian River, Three Floyds that doenst officially get distributed here. you also find wild prices for some of that stuff, because they've brought it in themselves.

    Rodmans, Chevy Chase Wine, and Magruders are 3 pretty great bottles shops at the top of DC. not super close, but probably 20 mins by cab (non rush hour)
    skivtjerry likes this.
  4. stereosforgeeks

    stereosforgeeks Advocate (540) Virginia Jul 10, 2005 Verified

    Ohh I forgot about Connecticut Ave Wine!

    Frederick is just as far from DC as Fredericksburg, which is why I mentioned it. It has a pretty similar traffic pattern as well. I drive or take the VRE daily and as long as its not summer it's fine. Leaving at 730 I am at work by 820 most days. Richmond is obviously further but with all the hype Hardywood has been getting I figured Id mention it.
  5. Carrman

    Carrman Disciple (70) Maryland Dec 20, 2012

    There are also a number of places in the Frederick area that are worth checking out. Aside from Flying Dog brewery, there is Ye Olde Spirits Shoppe in Frederick, they have a pretty extensive selection. And there are 3 bars;
    Frederick has The Roasthouse Pub, they have 20 craft beers on tap. Just outside of Frederick is Dan's Restaurant and Taphouse, they have 24 and north of Frederick, in Hagerstown is Always Ron's and they have 30 and really get some good stuff.
  6. I am mostly familiar with the Dulles area. I agree that Norm's in Vienna and Fair Lakes Whole Foods are the good ones you should not pass by. May as well hit up Vienna Whole Foods if you are at Norm's, they had Sucaba on the shelf for a couple weeks this year so you never know what youre going to find. There are a few more spots in the area. There is a total wine in Chantilly not too far from Dulles (also a Dogfish Head Alehouse in the shopping center, and its minutes away from Fair Lakes Whole Foods), and one in Sterling the other direction from Dulles. There is a MOM's Organic Market in Herndon that doesn't have anything too rare, but they do have some good stuff and local stuff, and no one knows about it so I think they still have some year+ old Yeti and Ten Fidy on the shelf. There is also the Lost Rhino brewery in Ashburn not far away. In Centreville and Sterling and I think Merrifield there is Sweetwater Tavern restaurants that brew their own beer, some of them are pretty good, and they do sell growlers. A little further out is Cork & Fork in Gainesville but its not worth the trip from Dulles, they dont have that much. Wegmans in the are has a decent selection, and actually the Giant grocery stores have started stocking up on good brews lately.
  7. Arrowine on Lee Highway is basically right in between Reagan and Dulles. They get some awesome stuff and the beer manager (Nick) is super knowledgeable. The Whole Foods in Clarendon sometimes gets some really solid stuff, but it can be hit or miss. Right now they have BCBS and Sculpin on the shelves for example.
  8. dhartogs

    dhartogs Savant (410) Virginia Apr 29, 2010 Verified

    Leave DCA, hit up Arrowine, then make your way to Norm's and Whole Foods, Total Wine in Chantilly, then pick up your friend in Dulles. For DC you are in a decent location to hit a fair amount of stuff, you can walk to ChurchKey and the Wholefoods on P st. For Whole Foods, stop at their coffee bar and see what they have on draft, get a pint of something, then go check out their bottle selection. Conn. Ave Liqurs gets some random and hard to find stuff, but you will pay for it. (Surly, Cigar Ctiy, etc.)
  9. ao125

    ao125 Savant (335) Virginia Dec 1, 2010

    Yup. When you leave DCA, drive up the GW Parkway to the Spout Run exit, bang a right on 50 (or is that 29?) in front of the Pawn Shop and head up to Arrowine. If you're hungry, stop in at The Italian Store and get a sub, Then come back down and get onto 66 and head out to Norm's. After norms, go down 123 to 7 and then get onto the Dulles Toll Rd.
  10. John_M

    John_M Moderator (1,205) Oregon Oct 25, 2003 Staff Member Verified

    Always Ron's is great, especially for Hagerstown. However, it's also 30 miles away, and while that's not an insurmountable drive (it's all interstate until you get to Hagerstown), if the OP is going to drive that far, he might as well head in the other direction and hit Alewife, Max's or Hudson St. Stackhouse in Baltimore. All of those places are superior to Ron's (IMHO); Max's is arguably one of the best beer bars in the country (over 100 imports and craft offerings on tap and a huge bottle selection). Just saying....
  11. C20Percent

    C20Percent Savant (325) Virginia Aug 24, 2011

    If you're on Route 28 and you have an extra 20 minutes to kill before hitting Dulles you can always stop at the Wegmans in Sterling. It's right off the highway. Found some BCBS there not too long ago.
  12. dhartogs

    dhartogs Savant (410) Virginia Apr 29, 2010 Verified

    it's 29.
  13. skcusab

    skcusab Disciple (50) Dec 28, 2012

    Where ever you are find the local brewer, brewery, etc... that is the way to go normally you will find something new, you'll be supporting the local brewer/brewery, and most importantly supporting the local economy.
    SupremePie likes this.
  14. The Wegman's just outside Leesburg, Virginia, has a very nice selection. A little better than the one next to Dulles, in my opinion.
  15. why not instead of cruising 66 to Norms head west/south on 29 into Falls Church and hit up Red, White and Blue. Also, no one has mentioned the Great Wall of Beer at Westover Market.
  16. dhartogs

    dhartogs Savant (410) Virginia Apr 29, 2010 Verified

    I don't want the guy to go broke.
    raveskdr and El_Zilcho like this.
  17. kmello69

    kmello69 Advocate (645) Texas Nov 27, 2011 Verified

    No worries - I budgeted for this! :)

    Any ideas on where to snag a styro-shipper too? Thanks for all the awesome ideas - looks like I'll have plenty of options!

  18. dhartogs

    dhartogs Savant (410) Virginia Apr 29, 2010 Verified

    I'd ask the wine stores, maybe the guys at Arrowine or Norm's have some shippers they can give you and some extra packing material.
  19. mayorQuimby

    mayorQuimby Savant (290) Indiana Jun 5, 2009 Verified Subscriber

    The Total Wine in McLean off Chain Bridge Rd is a worthwhile stop as well. If you're cruising on GW Parkway its only a 10 minute detour or so.
  20. kmello69

    kmello69 Advocate (645) Texas Nov 27, 2011 Verified

    I hit Arrowine and Norms yesterday, as well as Ye Olde Spirits Shop in Frederick (still have BCBS and Coffee on the shelves, btw) and they all gave me funny looks and shrugs when I asked about Styros. I'll keep looking, but might just have to work 10 bottles into my suitcase. :)

    Thanks again for all the help, guys!
    dhartogs likes this.
  21. smakawhat

    smakawhat Poobah (1,315) Maryland Mar 18, 2008 Verified Subscriber

    If you were anywhere near MD, I would just give you a stryo shipper I have plenty...
  22. kmello69

    kmello69 Advocate (645) Texas Nov 27, 2011 Verified

    I'm in Frederick until tomorrow, then in DC until Wed...
  23. ao125

    ao125 Savant (335) Virginia Dec 1, 2010

    I went into Westover for the first time on Saturday. I'll give them that they had a rather large selection. My problem with Westover though, is that everything is fairly disorganized and I had to lap the store twice, before I could figure out what I was going to buy. The staff seemed nice and they did have a large selection - I just don't know that it was really that much better than Total Wine, with a touch of Arrowine and Norm's.