New Year, New Beer

The new year has arrived and life is slowly returning to normal.  The holiday decorations have been packed away, pine needles swept out the door, and lights unstrung.  Holiday cheer has evaporated; only cold weather remains.  The year restarts and time continues its march onward.  But what does this year bring?  As we clear our heads from the season’s revelry, what do we see on the horizon?

New opportunities are waiting to be found: breweries to visit and brews to sample; undiscovered bars to try. and if lucky, inhabit; adventures to undertake.  2011 is only a few days old, full of possibilities, excitement, and plenty of beer.  So what might this year bring?

Brewery tours are an excellent way to discover fantastic new brews.  Luckily for me, Washington has several dozen small to medium-sized breweries in close proximity.  Virginia and Maryland alone are home to nearly 20 within an hour or so from downtown DC.  In addition to the craft and microbreweries dotting the mid-Atlantic countryside, regional breweries like Flying Dog are expanding their brewing and distribution operations.

If you’re willing to drive a little further, Pennsylvania and Delaware host larger, mainstream breweries such as Yuengling and Dogfish Head.  From a few minutes to a few hours, any number of facilities can be found, toured, and tasted; brews number well into the hundreds, mere minutes from my doorstep.

With so many breweries close by, the most difficult decision will be choosing which one to visit first.  Thankfully the year is young and months are waiting to be filled with quick trips to nearby locales.  A weekend comprised of a pleasant drive through the Piedmont’s rolling hills to taste some freshly crafted beer is an activity that can be undertaken in any season.  The only necessity is a tank of gas.  And good company.

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Published in: on January 5, 2011 at 10:39 pm  Comments Off on New Year, New Beer  
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