Google “lawnmower beer” and you’ll find a dozen sites defining it, listing the best kinds, and specifying craft breweries that make it.
Why is this such a popular notion? Because while sipping poolside lager feels good, there’s something about a hard-earned beer that tastes even better.
Just ask Alexander Ovechkin or any of our DC Fray athletes: win (ideally) or lose (statistically half of you anyway), there’s nothing like a cold one after the big game.
But since few Washingtonians are lucky enough to have lawns to mow and because you and Ovechkin may want a few beverages in between seasons, we’ve got another way for you to earn your beer.
Keep scrolling, pick a route, get on your bikes and ride!
If you’re new to biking in DC, this is a great opportunity to see just how bikeable your city is. If you’re a daily commuter, use this as an opportunity to convince reluctant friends to hop on two wheels. A couple of pointers:
1. Get an early start, preferably not hungover. Biking to breweries is not a good nighttime activity.
2. Dress appropriately: good shoes, weather appropriate clothing, helmet, sunglasses.
3. Bring your ID and credit card. We’re working on it, but city-wide free beer is not yet available.
4. If you decide to rock a backpack, consider packing water, a rain jacket, an extra t-shirt, a snack, and perhaps an emergency bike tire pump.
As far as bikes go, you can either bring your own or make use of the several bike-shares in DC. Each has its own advantage. If you have your own bike, you have more flexibility with the timing and won’t be looking for bike-share docks instead of heading into the brewery.
To save you from some of that hassle, our map includes Capital Bikeshare docks that are nearby each stop. Choosing to bikeshare means you can cut your trip short with an Uber whenever you want, and you won’t have to worry about getting your bike home once you’ve had a few. Whichever option you choose, the route below should be doable for most.
Fortunately for us, the DC area boasts plenty of breweries. This route can serve as a starting point but as the journey goes on, make it your own. Changes in weather, new brewery friends, or an urgent need for coffee might call for detours. That’s half the fun.
Think of this tour as a choose-your-own-adventure and use our handy map below to guide you. We’re not going to tell you what to order at the bar or micromanage how you get there, but here’s the basic plan:
Summary: Hit two of DC’s finest breweries, fuel up at Union Market, cruise down the 4th St. bike lane, and proceed from Navy Yard to finish up with coffee, booze, bike maintenance, or all of the above at the Wharf’s District Hardware. Finally, dock your bikeshare or bring your bike on the metro to either head home… or keep the party going.
DC Brau, 3178 Bladensburg Rd NE
District Hardware & Bike Shop, 730 Maine Ave SW (the Wharf)
Total Distance: 8.1 miles
Awesome Spots To Hit Along the Way
The Don’t Be An Idiot Section
While we very much enjoy bar crawls, it is important to note that a biking brewery tour is not a bar crawl. This is namely because rather than walking (which many people can do drunk) you will be riding a bike, which you should not do under the influence. The whole point is to get have some beers and enjoy yourselves, but the biking element means you must make a few considerations.
Stick to the Bike Paths
Minimize time on busy roadways by staying on the bike paths. There’s a lot of them in DC, so take advantage!
Union Market is not a brewery, but it’s on the route because eating is a good idea. Also (from personal experience here), while flights of beer might seem like a good idea, after a few more miles you might appreciate opting for the pint instead. Also, Lance Armstrong wanted us to remind you to keep drinking water.
Most people burn off about one drink an hour. So if you pace yourself, biking home after the last stop is an option. Alternatively, the metro permits bikes all day on Saturdays and Sundays (click here for details). Some Lyft Plus and Uber XL drivers might allow you to throw your ride in back, but having a friend pick you up is also a good idea. Remember, you can always adjust your route so that the last stop is closer to your house… dare we suggest post biking brewery tour house party?
We’re jealous because you’re in for a lot of fun. Keep an eye on our blog for a Virginia version of the biking brewery tour and a DC Fray guided bike tour!
View More Articles By Sean O’Neill