Washington DC is a city steeped with boozy history. In the last decade, the city has not only paved a beer and wine footprint, but locally distilled spirits are residing on local restaurant cocktail menus and liquor store shelves. Whiskey, rum, vodka, and gin barely scratch the surface, securing necessary proof that not everyone in DC works for the government.
Leave it to the Nation’s Capitol to lead a distillery movement of post-prohibition liberation, social activism, and melting pot portraiture. Northwest Ivy City, referred to as the ‘distillery row of DC’, accommodates Washington DC’s growing dedication to locally distilled spirits. Between distillery gardens, bars, tastings, and tours, Washingtonians can pursue a shared affection for craft spirits and fabulous cocktail infrastructure.
Best Washington DC Distilleries That You Should Visit
Green Hat Distillery
- Address: 1832 Fenwick St NE, Washington, DC 20002
- Bar and Gin Garden hours: Saturdays 12pm-8pm, Sunday 1pm-6pm
- Tours: Limited tours and guided tastings available, visit Green Hat Distillery website to book a tour
The Green Hat Distillery origin story is captivating, humorous, and the most ‘DC’ booze story imaginable. A legendary 1920’s DC figure, The Man in The Green Hat delivered the outlawed ‘demon drink’ to Capitol Hill offices and lawmakers during America’s prohibition. Years later, Green Hat became the first local distillery to serve DC after prohibition ended.
Green Hat Distillery pays tribute to this Capitol Hill icon with four premium gin varieties. Tours can be booked online for an inside look at the Ivy City location or visit the Green Hat Bar and Gin Garden for creative gin cocktails on Saturday and Sunday.
Schneider’s—Capitol Hill’s resident liquor store—sells Green Hat Gin that sits just blocks away from the 1920’s action. Washington DC bars also captivate the botanicals of this bottled history buff in cocktail abundance.
Visit the Green Hat Gin website for gin cocktail recipes
One Eight Distilling
- Address: 1135 Okie St NE, Washington, DC 20002
- Retail Hours: Friday 3pm-7pm, Saturday 1pm-7pm, Sunday for 1pm-5pm
- The Still Yard: Saturday 1pm-7pm
- Tours: Only virtual tours and tastings are available at this time
Like Green Hat Gin, One Eight Distilling takes note from Washington DC’s political undertones. This no shortcut, bold flavor DC distillery is named after Article One Section Eight of the US Constitution, which states that a district can serve as the nation’s capital, just as Washington DC does.
One Eight Distilling uses regional rye, corn, and wheat from nearby states for District Made spirits, including award winning bourbon, rye whiskey, gin, and vodka, in addition to Untitled Whiskey offerings. The Still Yard—One Eight’s indoor and outdoor cocktail bar—serves craft cocktails and whiskey flights to crowded, happy tables. Retail items are available at The Bottle Shop for fans to buy District Made and Untitled products, to-go cocktails, mixers, and One Eight merchandise.
One Eight now offers virtual tours and tastings and private tours/tasting can be arranged by contacting One Eight Distillery
Thrashers Rum Distillery
- Address: 1130 Maine Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024 (Directly under Tiki TNT Rum Bar)
- Tours: Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm
Native to District Wharf’s Potomac River location, Thrasher’s Rum Distillery sits underneath the popular Wharf Tiki TNT Rum Bar hangout. Head rum distiller Todd Thrasher honors Guyanese-style rum, taking inspiration from South Pacific notes of caramelized molasses to inform a unique English Caribbean rum variety.
Scenic views of the river feature alongside the playful rum cocktails at Tiki TNT’s multilevel bar, but tastings and tours run 10am-5pm Tuesday through Saturday every half hour on the the half hour for those who want a behind-the-scenes look into metropolitan rum distilling.
Email [email protected] to book a tour, and upon arrival, look for the Thrasher’s Rum smokestack and double doors to start the tour of this rum distillery in DC.
Gold, white, spiced and green-spiced rum are for sale at the distillery.
Cotton and Reed
- Address: 1330 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002 (Union Market)
- Tasting Room Hours: Monday-Thursday 4-12pm, Friday 4pm-2am, Saturday 12pm-2am, Sunday 12-10pm
- Tours: Two tours conducted every Saturday at 12:30pm and 1:30pm.
As DC’s first rum distillery, Cotton and Reed encapsulate’s America’s melting pot mentality with rum inspired from around the world, merging distinct rum styles into a one-of-a-kind identity. Both tropical and English influence and a high distillation proof maintains a ‘light’ and ‘mojito-able’ final product. Cotton and Reed is not just a mover and shaker for the future of rum in Washington DC, but for the whole of America.
Forty-five minute distillery tours are held twice a day every Saturday and casual tasting room options include an indoor rum bar and outdoor ‘streatery’ patio. Tasting menu items range from ‘light and fizz’ and ‘boozy’ to ‘hot’, ‘shaken’, and ‘slushie’.
- Address: 1369 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
- Hours: Pick-up only at this time from 11am-5pm every day
- Virtual event information available online
Women owned, crowdfunded, and intentionally ‘disruptive’, Republic Restoratives Distillery is pushing the boundaries and breaking the traditional American spirit mold. Inclusivity is a cornerstone of the Republic Restoratives narrative, where traditions are broken in the best way possible and diversity is valued above all except the quality of spirits.
The variety is vast at Republic Restoratives, covering all the spirit bases…bourbon, apple brandy, vodka, rye whiskey, and ‘madam’ whiskey that celebrates the first female, black, and South Asian Vice President Kamala Harris. The tasting room is currently closed, but patrons can pick up all bottled spirits for at-home consumption.
Don Ciccio & Figli’s
- Address: 1907 Fairview Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
- Tasting room and Bar Sirenis hours: Saturday 1pm-8pm
The origin of this Washington DC distillery starts nearly two centuries ago in the Italian town of Atrani on the Amalfi Coast. Here, Amalfi native Vincenzo curated a superb collection of Italian liqueur recipes, including Amaro.
After multiple reinstatements of Vincenzo’s magical touch, Washington DC welcomed Don Ciccio & Figli’s in 2012, where Italian herbal liqueurs are handcrafted in small batches. Bitters range from ‘beautifully bitter’ to ‘seductively sweet’ and cordials merge sweet, fresh, and herbaceous qualities.
The Ivy City tasting room is open on Saturdays from 1pm to 8pm with limited seating and the Bar Sirenis serves Amalfi-inspired cocktails on the Bella Vista patio and indoor lounge, keeping to the Don Ciccio & Figli’s motto…‘born in Italy, reborn in the USA’.
- Address: 600 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001
- Hours: 7am-10pm
- Spirits available at Farmers & Distillers and it’s sister restaurants
The Founding Farmers restaurant family is a household name for many DC families. But more recently, the dining empire expanded the ‘source-matters mission’ to include spirits when they opened a small batch distillery in 2016. The small distillery is housed inside one of many Founding Farmer restaurants, Farmers & Distillers.
As a farmer owned distillery, ingredient quality and farmer loyalty is at the heart of this small yet impactful award winning DC distillery.
Sample the Founding Spirits’ selection of vodka, dry gin, bourbon, and American Amaro at the on-site distillery at Farmers & Distillers or at any sibling restaurant (Founding Farmers and Farmers Fishers Bakers).
George Washington’s Distillery
- Address: 5513 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy, Alexandria, VA 22309 (2.7 miles from Mount Vernon main entrance)
- Tours: Saturday & Sunday, open April-October (Admission by tour only)
When America was only a wee baby, George Washington’s Distillery was one of the largest whiskey distilleries in Washington DC… and the world, producing almost 11,000 gallons in 1799.
Today, the small-scale distillery continues to operate and yield drinkable spirit batches of both aged and unaged varieties true to the traditional 18th century model.
Visitors can tour the Mount Vernon distillery from April to October and learn more about George Washington and Farm Manager James Anderson’s distillery endeavors. George Washington’s rye whiskey, straight rye whiskey, and rum, as well as apple and peach brandy, are available for purchase onsite.