Explore Alexandria's Brewing History - Atlas Obscura Experiences

Explore Alexandria's Brewing History

1.5 hours
$30 per person
Up to 10 people
See Dates
$30 per person
Alexandria, Virginia
What We’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.

Where We’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.

About Your Host

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!

For questions about this experience, please contact me directly through Airbnb.

What Else You Should Know

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!

Group Size

There are 10 spots available on this experience.

Who Can Come

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!)
  • Weather-appropriate clothing
  • Well-behaved dogs are welcome!
  • Water
Cancellation Policy

Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase. See cancellation policy.

Dates and Availability

There are no upcoming experiences at the moment. Fill out the form below to be notified when we add new dates.

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