Four Favs from the Metropolitan Beer Trail

on the Metropolitan Branch Trail
Metropolitan Beer Trail

Seven of DC’s most popular breweries and bars have come together to form the Metropolitan Beer Trail.

Each location is walkable or bikeable from the Metropolitan Branch Trail, which stretches from Union Station to Brookland along the Red Line.

Starting on May 14, the Metropolitan Beer Trail kicks off with a digital passport and discounts. The first 300 who visit all seven breweries get a t-shirt.

I’ve been biking along the trail for years and watched it grow from being lined with abandoned warehouses to blooming with breweries.

Here are my four favorites along the MBT.

metrobar

Metrobar
outdoor seating and a Metro car at metrobar

A Metro-themed bar with a Metro car in it? How cool is that? Located just off the MBT, this outdoor beer garden is a great spot to grab a drink and a Metro selfie.

Metrobar opened during the pandemic. The Metro car was delivered in two pieces and assembled on site. The car is being fixed up so that you’ll be able to eat and drink inside of it.

They have a great selection of local beer, there’s a food truck out front (the soul food one is great) and I really like their Old Fashioned. Or as they call it, a Metro Fashioned.

Metrobar does a great job at connecting with the DC community. There’s always some sort of event going like a band, movie or photo exhibit. They even had a book signing for authors, where I signed copies of my book LIKES.

City-State Brewing

The Flavor of the District
Tiny beers at City-State

Watching trains while drinking a beer – that’s the dream, isn’t it?

Located less than a hundred yards from metrobar, City-State is up a set of stairs from the trail. On their elevated perch, enjoy a DC-themed beer (like their 8 Wards IPA) and watch MARC and Amtrak trains roll westward. You can smell the hops inside – it’s a real brewery.

City-State is also the most kid-friendly brewery on the trail, too, with games and toys for the little ones.

Dew Drop Inn

bike parking at Dew Drop Inn
bike parking at Dew Drop

DC used to be full of dive bars like Dew Drop, places with squeaky stairs and pleather-covered bar stools. This is about the only one left.

It’s the spot to make bad decisions at the end of the night as you drink bourbon and coke. BBQ is available.

Dew Drop is at the end of the trail part of the MBT. On 8th St, the trail turns to road for reasons known only to the planners at District Department of Transportation.

Red Bear

FurROARi
a low alcohol beer at Red Bear

Red Bear is the place to eat on the Metropolitan Beer Trail. Located across from the NoMa Metro Station, and next to REI, the beer is good but the cheese curds are delicious. They are a perfect way to soak up some of the booze.

Inside is unfathomably loud so sit outside.

The connection to the MBT is a little tricky. To get to the trail from Red Bear, go under the bridge and make a left up the ramp.

Tips

For those attempting the Metropolitan Beer Trail by bike, Metro, car or foot:

  • If biking, bring a lock. While back racks are available, some (like at City-State) are out of view from the brewery.
  • If you’re trying to do all seven bars and breweries at once, consider drinking  low-alcohol or sampler sizes. Non-alcoholic options are available too – metrobar has a good lemonade.
  • The MBT is very convenient for the Metro. The Rhode Island Avenue stop on the Red Line is right next to the trail.
  • Walkers/runners might consider starting at Dew Drop and working their way downhill to Red Bear.
  • If driving, there’s parking at metrobar; otherwise you’re on your own.
  • The MBT is an urban trail. There’s usually plenty of people around, so I’d call it safe, but be aware of your surroundings.

 

Author: Joe Flood

Joe Flood is a writer, photographer and web person from Washington, DC. The author of several novels, Joe won the City Paper Fiction Competition in 2020. In his free time, he enjoys wandering about the city taking photos.

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