This weekend some friends and I finally got out to tour some of the local craft breweries in the Washington D.C. area.  If you live in the region and have family coming in for the holidays, you should consider making a visit - a great reason to get you all out of the house.  Both breweries are staffed by the friendliest people, and the tasting room atmosphere was relaxed and fun.

DC Brau 

This is the first brewery to operate in Washington DC in over 56 years, after the last brewery closed in 1956.  Strongly believing in operating locally, a lot of their ingredients are sourced from farms in Virginia and Maryland, and expended grain from the brewing process is sent back to farms for livestock feed.  Lucky cows!  Their beers are tasty and have perfect political and DC references in their names, further embracing the city.  A free tour on Saturday afternoons includes four 4 oz. tastings of whatever was on tap that day.

Port City Brewing in Alexandria, Virginia

I can't believe it took me so long to take a tour of Port City, since it's just down the street from me.  The tasting room is very large and has two pouring bars plus several tables that encourage people to stay a while to enjoy the beer and conversation.  What's that you say?  Conversation??  The tours - held in the evening on Thursdays and Fridays, afternoon and early evening on Saturdays, and afternoon on Sundays - cost $9, include six 6 oz. tastings, and may get a bit on the corny side depending on the tour guide, but they are still informative and you can't fault someone for passion and enthusiasm. Oh and the beers are great, which is most important, right?