Is there anything better than the smooth glide of a frosty beer down your throat on a hot summer afternoon? Probably not much. Unless it’s being able to enjoy that icy brew while also enjoying some quality family time. And now that we can get out and about again, getting that family time at home just isn’t going to cut it. That’s why we love these local breweries. They invite us to come enjoy a delicious craft beer and bring the whole fam with us!
Hellbender Brewing Company
Hidden in a residential neighborhood, this brewery named after an endangered American salamander, Hellbender Brewing Company is a family-friendly brewery that is absolutely fascinating in so many ways. They were the first brewery on the East Coast to install a mash filter, which makes their brewing process more efficient, quicker, and using less water. On top of that, they’re so family-friendly that they have games like Candyland and Chutes & Ladders. One family said it was so low-key, their baby slept in his stroller while they played darts. They even have a changing table!
Bonus: Before you head to the brewery, get in some educational time by watching the 10-minute documentary on the Hellbender salamander on their site. The documentary premiered at the brewery. There’s also some written info the kids may find fascinating too.
5788 2nd Street
NE Washington, DC 20011
Denizens Brewing Co.
When the family-owned Denizens Brewing Co. says everyone has a seat at their table, they mean it – kids both two- and four-legged included. Families and dogs are welcome at the brewery that was the first production brewery in Montgomery County, MD. With two locations, Silver Spring and Riverdale Park, Denizens is a great place to throw back a pint or two with both friends and family. They do require that dogs stay in the outdoor spaces and kids stay seated with strollers left at the door, but they’ve got changing tables in the bathrooms. And if you’re not into beer, they’ve got ciders, wines, and craft cocktails.
4550 Van Buren St
Riverdale Park, MD 20737
1115 E W Hwy.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
The little black dress of breweries, Caboose Commons is perfect for a girls’/guys’ night out, date night, or family night. Not only do they have a wide selection of craft brews, but they have an actual kids menu (only three options, but they are the three that kids always pick, so they know their patrons!). Not in the mood for a brew right now? Head to Caboose Commons for breakfast too. Get a coffee or tea from their full coffee menu and relax with the kids. Dogs are also welcome (but only in the outdoor spaces).
2918 Eskridge Rd
Fairfax, VA 22031
Dog Haus Biergarten
Craft beers with craft dogs and sausages – what could be a better combo? How about knowing the whole family will be happy after a meal at Dog Haus Biergarten? Dish up some dogs, burgers, sausages, or chicken – all hormone and antibiotic free – with fries or tots and let the kids enjoy some root beer while the grownups enjoy a delicious craft beer or two. For a real treat for the kiddos (and you too), try one of their corn dogs made with house made root beer batter. This biergarten is perfect for the whole family whether it’s a quick dinner after work or a laidback lunch on a lazy weekend afternoon.
7904 Woodmont Ave
Bethesda, MD 20814
Leave the hustle-and-bustle of all-things-metro behind at this rustic, barn-like brewery off Route 28 near Manassas. Tucked away behind a small, suburban strip mall, Eavesdrop offers plenty of space for kids (and adults) to run and play outdoors. You'll find the usual beer-garden staples, like cornhole, on the property. The patio area is expansive with numerous picnic tables; outside food is welcome and encouraged. Weather permitting, there is an outdoor fire pit for roasting marshmallows. The indoor space is small, but does feature board games and a popcorn machine.
7223 Centreville Rd., Ste. 115
Manassas, VA 703-420-8955
Port City Brewing Company
This tasting room has all the beer hall gaming classics for an entertaining afternoon: giant Jenga, ladderball, darts, cornhole and more. It's the old school arcade games -- which don't cost a penny -- that are sure to please the 6 and up crowd. Picnics are allowed; there are plenty of tables to enjoy a meal and a beer, but only a handful with shade.
3950 Wheeler Ave.
Dirt Farm Brewing
If you're headed to Loudoun County for a pick-your-own pumpkin experience, a stop at Dirt Farm is a must. Nestled on the side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Dirt Farm not only serves exceptional beers but it offers outstanding views. Kids will enjoy grabbing a meal here: Dirt Farm offers house-made flatbreads. You’ll find plenty of toys and attractions on-hand to entertain the little ones, like tubs of bubbles, monster-sized trucks and more.
What’s happening: Upcoming events include Teacher Appreciation Week (June 21-25), Live Music, and Market on the Mountain. Their Fourth of July at Dirt Farm is also a great way to see multiple fireworks displays.
18701 Foggy Bottom Rd.
Peabody Heights Brewery
The largest brewery in Baltimore City is also the most kid-friendly; Peabody, located in the Abell Neighborhood, offers tours and tastings every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. In addition to the industrial-style tasting room, you’ll also find outdoor seating. The real draw is the dedicated kid play space, that includes two bookcases filled with children’s books, a train table, ride-on toys and more.
401 E 30th St.
Dacha Beer Garden
Every day feels like Oktoberfest at this German-themed bar. Kiddos can hang at the picnic tables flanked by a giant mural, while the grown-ups pop over to the walk up bar and try to figure out whether they want mead, cider, or an impressive selection of Deutschland authentic beers to drink from “Das Boot.” We’re not lying, they really do come in a boot glass, so make sure the kids have their favorite sippy cups so they don’t get jealous. Note: The toilets here are of the portable variety, but regulars swear they are the cleanest outdoor bathrooms ever.
1600 7th St. NW
If you want to give your pint-sized world traveler an authentic Oktoberfest experience, without the cost of airfare, then check out Biergarten Haus. Little ones will chow down on traditional German food like Spatzle mit Ziegenkaese (mac and cheese), Kartoffelsalat (warm potato salad) and Wurstplatten (sausages). Adults can sample some of the top German beers (Spaten, Eggenberg, Hofbrau). Everyone gets to jive to the surprise appearances by polka bands.
1355 H St. NE
H Street Corridor
Westover Beer Garden and Haus
Locals swear that Westover Beer Garden and Haus is the best place to hang with kids and enjoy a brew on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Hidden within the Westover Market, the Beer Haus is super fam-friendly with lots of other parents grabbing some shade and testing out one of the 16 micro brews they have on tap. With a giant volcano mural and twinkling lights outside, little ones will feel like they’ve stepped into a fairy tale oasis.
5863 Washington Blvd.
Tucked away on 14th street is a marriage of American and Bavarian culture. Garden District is a fun, kid-friendly BBQ joint that pays homage to the biergartens of southern Germany with rows of picnic tables anchored by Hofbrau Munchen umbrellas, which help keep little melons from roasting in the sun. Kiddos can tuck into some homemade cider donuts, while Mom and Dad sip an ice cold draft of Weihenstephaner hefe-weissbier or Kostritzer Schwarzbier (both are top German beers). For extra good little girls and boys, Garden District offers Coca-Cola Classic with real sugar, or Boylan’s orange cream soda.
1801 14th St. NW
featured photo: iStock