In my commute to work, I veer off the W&OD Trail around mile marker 4 to join the Custis Trail as detailed in my W&OD post on North Arlington. This past weekend, I remained on the W&OD to ride where the sidewalk begins - in South Arlington. This stretch of the trail is flat and scenic, even along Four Mile Run Drive which is aligned with community gardens. When the trail ends, hang a right on Shirlington Drive, catch a bite at the Weenie Beenie Sandwich Shop or head into Shirlington and Capitol City Brewing Co. Cap City produces decent beers - particularly their Signature beers - try the Capitol Kolsch during a ride. They also produce several seasonals - even a Farmhouse Saison so expand your palette.
Now, for the adventurous, Alexandria's Port City Brewing Company is only four miles away. There are multiple routes you can take, so I highly recommend using theCompass Winery Brewery Distillery locator to integrate into your device's navigation feature. I selected the Quaker Lane route which entailed a steep hill on my return, but it did pass a Civil War historical marker. I arrived to a packed brewery, even with the second bar and the seating area in the brewing area. Today was their Oktoberfest release day, and despite usually trying to avoid this style (many are too sweet and malty), the beer-tender talked me into one. Glad he did. This beer was far from overly sweet and had a bit of smoke at the tail. I saved room for the Ways & Means, a rye beer that is funky, spicy, and a session beer. Perfect for cycling - except when you have 17 miles to home. Safe travels.