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Explore Alexandria's Brewing History

Alexandria, United States

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Experience hosted by Garrett

90 mins
Up to 10 people
Hosted in English

What you'll do

On this 90-minute walking tour, we’ll make our way along charming cobblestone alleyways and the historic warehouses of the Alexandria waterfront to explore the three locations where Andrew Wales brewed beer starting in 1770.

We'll gather at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, where Andrew and his wife Margaret are buried (they were founding members when the church opened in 1772) and learn what brought the Waleses to Alexandria. Our walking tour covers about 1 mile and features three of Wales' Old Town brewing sites, his long-running commercial relationship with George Washington, and rare brewing , tavern and ship artifacts in the Alexandria Archaeology Museum. Bring your camera! Old Town oozes charm, and we'll explore charming cobblestone alleyways, the old embankment of the Potomac River, archaeological excavation sites, and historic warehouses. Those with time and thirst afterward can join me for a beverage (cash bar) at one of the many fine establishments near the waterfront.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic underway, the entire tour will be conducted outdoors and in accordance with social distancing guidelines. Your host will wear a face mask and bring hand sanitizer, and guests are encouraged to wear facial coverings as well. Experiences will have no more than 10 people.
Other things to note
Give yourself plenty of time to get to Old Town. And if you are driving, please consider parking in the garage below City Hall. You won't have to worry about getting a parking ticket!
On this 90-minute walking tour, we’ll make our way along charming cobblestone alleyways and the historic warehouses of the Alexandria waterfront to explore the three locations where Andrew Wales brewed beer starting in 1770.

We'll gather at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, where Andrew and his wife Margaret are buried (they were founding members when the church opened in 1772) and learn what brought the Waleses to Alexandria. Our wa…

Garrett's commitment to safety

This host committed to Airbnb’s COVID-19-related safety and cleaning guidelines—including adhering to social distancing guidelines, practicing good hygiene, and ensuring that all participants wear a mask.
Learn more
From $30
/ person
Sat, Nov 28
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Join 2 other guests
$30 per person
$30 per person
Availability for this experience is rare.

Meet your host, Garrett

Host on Airbnb since 2019
  • 24 Reviews
  • Identity verified
Hi. I'm Garrett, a member of the Atlas Obscura community.

I am an author, historian, and tour guide in the nation's capital. While I was writing a history of brewing in the D.C. area called "Capital Beer," I became enamored with the history of our very first brewer, a Scottish immigrant named Andrew Wales. Before I knew it, I was writing Wales's biography. It was a lot of fun to research, mostly based on archival and field research. It was like going on a treasure hunt. I can't wait to share these hidden gems of Old Town Alexandria with you!
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In partnership with Atlas Obscura

Selected by Atlas Obscura
This experience is offered directly by a member of the Atlas Obscura community and has been selected by Atlas Obscura.


Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura is a global community of explorers, who have together created a comprehensive database of the world’s most wondrous places and foods. Community members also host their own experiences, providing special access to the world’s hidden wonders, local marvels, and gastronomical wonders.

Where you'll be

On this fun outdoor walking tour of Andrew Wales's three "lost" historic brewery sites in Old Town Alexandria, you'll explore charming cobblestone alleys, see magnificent archaeology finds, visit the colonial Scottish church, and learn the amazing history of brewing in colonial America from Wales's arrival in 1770.

Rated 4.96 out of 5 from 24 reviews.

Ewa
October 2020
This was our second outing with Garrett and we truly enjoyed it. Garrett has deep historical knowledge and appreciation of history and the places he shows. And he's able to communicate not just what he knows but also his enthusiasm. We'll never walk through Alexandria again without thinking about its history!
This was our second outing with Garrett and we truly enjoyed it. Garrett has deep historical knowledge and appreciation of history and the places he shows. And he's able to communi…
Terri
February 2020
Garrett is a wonderful storyteller! I loved learning how a Scottish man built a brewing empire in Alexandria. Along the way Garrett educated us about the history, community and architecture of this “international port city.” Excellent time!
George
February 2020
Garrett helps immerse you in the history of Alexandria and our country while keeping the experience lively and fun. I guarantee you will come away having learned something that amazes you enough to share with your friends when you get home. The walk is easy and the time spent more than worth it.
Garrett helps immerse you in the history of Alexandria and our country while keeping the experience lively and fun. I guarantee you will come away having learned something that ama…
Sally
February 2020
This walk was great. It was casual and interactive. Garrett knew the information inside and out. The topic was interesting and Garrett also knew many many more things about the area and could point out other items of interest along the way. I would definitely do another tour with him.
This walk was great. It was casual and interactive. Garrett knew the information inside and out. The topic was interesting and Garrett also knew many many more things about the are…
Gail
February 2020
I really enjoyed the tour & think we lucked out as it was a small group of us so we were really able to take advantage of Garrett’s knowledge & interest in the topic. He was well prepared, had a good mix of personal stories & presented information in a number of different ways which is always helpful since folks come to tours for different reasons. I plan to go to another tour led by Garrett as I found him to be lovely — he knew his stuff & took time talk to everyone in the group & was clearly observant of group dynamics & able to navigate that well (i.e. talkers vs listeners).
I really enjoyed the tour & think we lucked out as it was a small group of us so we were really able to take advantage of Garrett’s knowledge & interest in the topic. He was well p…
Margot
January 2020
A very interesting look at something I knew nothing about. Garrett was fabulous, knew his stuff and made the day fun and informative. I really enjoyed going into the archaeological museum seeing some of the artifacts from the time period we talked about. I also loved the Torpedo Factory remade into an art center. If I hadn't been so sick I would've loved to spend more time there as well as exploring the rest of lovely old town. Thank you Garrett, my beer at the end was good too!
A very interesting look at something I knew nothing about. Garrett was fabulous, knew his stuff and made the day fun and informative. I really enjoyed going into the archaeologic…

Choose from available dates

1 available
  • Sat, Nov 28
    10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    Join 2 other guests
    $30 per person

Things to know

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

Guest requirements

Up to 10 guests ages 18 and up can attend. Parents may also bring children under 2 years of age.

What to bring

Camera

Closed-toe shoes (no flip-flops!)