It was on this date in Baltimore when I received one of the greatest buds on the planet, Coltrane – a stout, 14-pound Boston terrier with loads of intrusive curiosity and sulfur-scented butt rockets.
We’ve been through a lot in the past five years – failed relationships with women, unexpected and unwanted job promotions, all-access summer concert passes, a paid internship to travel the world and drink beer, and a marriage to a first-generation Guyanese woman from New York. From start to present, Coltrane has been there and managed to ease tensions and anxieties a time or two along the way.
Unknowingly to most, Coltrane also takes frequent outings in the DMV, where he often displays his high aptitude for nosiness in pet-friendly establishments. As the South Carolinian saying goes, “Those two are like bookends,” which perfectly describes our jaunts out on the town. If you see me (a Charleston, SC native, by the way), there’s a very high probability you’ll see Coltrane, and maybe even his beautiful Guyanese mother.
So where are these establishments that allow you to bring seemingly Napoleonic-complexed dogs and hot South American wives married to mathematically-inept guys from South Carolina?
Everybody wins! Who doesn’t love selecting session ales, checking out food trucks and meeting friendly strangers? These are some of the perks you get at breweries. I recently stopped by a few DMV area breweries so Coltrane could “socialize” (i.e., so his mom and dad could try some great and fresh local beer).
Black Flag Brewing Company
Living in downtown Silver Spring puts you in a sweet spot. You’re a few feet away from DC, a stone’s throw from Bethesda and Rockville, and a short 15-minute drive to Columbia, Md., which is also not far to take the day to kick back and have a few beers with Coltrane.
Enter Black Flag Brewing Company.
Right away, Black Flag jumped out at me because of its name. Though I’m not the biggest Star Wars fan (the brewery is home to a mural paying homage to the beloved sci-fi saga), I can appreciate the theme and the pet-friendly environment.
Coltrane and I wandered in and were immediately greeted by a couple dogs and friendly smiles. I found a menu, ordered a flight and found a new favorite beer, (the “Belgie”), while Coltrane took the brewery tour and was given a growler.
Black Flag Brewing Company: 9315 Snowden River Pkwy. Columbia, MD; www.blackflagbrewingco.com
Capitol City Brewing Company
Cap City is a brewpub (they serve food and beer), so pets aren’t allowed inside. But lucky for them, there is outside seating. However, on this day, sitting outside may not have been the best idea due to the slight chill.
But as chilly as it was, it didn’t take away my need to have a few beers. Just like every brewery I visit, I always fall in love with one. And on this day, I loved the Prohibition Porter. Malty, chocolatey and not too boozy – all the ingress of a love affair.
The only bummer was, I’m not convinced Coltrane had the best of times. The weather was not the coziest, but his mom managed to use a little ingenuity in keeping him warm (in the form of a pink scarf).
Once the weather warms up for certain, we’ll all be heading back for more Prohibition Porters.
Capitol City Brewing Company: 4001 Campbell Ave. Arlington, VA; www.capcitybrew.com
Right Proper Brewing Company
Brookland in NE, DC
I was excited to make a trip to Right Proper. I recently chatted with the executive director of the DC Brewers’ Guild, Kathy Rizzo, and she mentioned how awesome the beer and people are there. So Coltrane and I took a hump day trip to the Brookland neighborhood to toss back a few.
Though pets aren’t allowed in the brewery, Right Proper does have a “front yard” equipped with picnic benches. Coltrane was perfectly fine with those arrangements.
Since we came on a Wednesday, there weren’t loads of people or pets outside, so I thought it would be a good idea to call up a few of my Atlas Brew Works buddies and have a “dudes only” gathering. Always a good time, especially when Coltrane gets to bite and lick beards as well as lay out on Right Proper’s lawn.
As far as beer, try the Runcible (farmhouse IPA). Right Proper also has quite a few Berliner Weisse options for your sour cravings during the warm weather months.
Right Proper Brewing Company: 624 T St. NW, DC; www.rightproperbrewing.com
The DMV is an ever-growing and changing area, and a contributing factor to this truth is its many breweries. No two are alike, and a lot of them have pet-friendly environments. So the next time you want go out and have a beer, bring your dog. If Coltrane can dig it, I’m sure your dog can, too.