Loudoun Brewing Company, the pioneering nanobrewery that helped launch downtown Leesburg’s craft beverage scene, will celebrate its fifth anniversary this fall.

During most of those years, Phil Fust has been concocting his recipes—more than 160 of them—in a 30-gallon system, pushing out small batch after small batch. Fust upgraded this spring to super-efficient, high-tech system imported from Sweden. 

The result is a savings on his grain and hops bills, but, more importantly, double the beer in half the time. That doesn’t mean any less work for Fust, who can be found at the East Market Street brewery almost every day.

The system is one of less than two dozen in operation in the U.S., but it fits well into the small space available.

“This building, obviously, was never meant to be a brewery,” Fust said of the small office building that most recently housed a title loan company. “But it is and it works pretty good.”

Perhaps as much as the brewery space differs from others in Loudoun, Fust isn’t your typical brewer. He never even achieved home-brewer status before showing up to as a volunteer at the brewery.

“I never got my home system completely put together. I brewed in a couple people’s houses and then when I volunteered with the original owner here.”

Patrick and Alamna Steffens opened Loudoun Brewing Company in 2015, but their plans changed with the arrival of a new baby. Fust took over the brewing responsibility and then, took over as co-owner along with his wife, Shannon.

Among the most popular brews over the years have been the Loudoun United-branded Unified golden ale, the #LoudounLove collaboration red ale, the Loud & Brewing IPA, and The Dog’s Bollocks dry Irish stout.

While continuing to refine the use of the new brewing system—“I have to tell you, I was pretty intimidated when I first got it”—Fust also is looking to expand beyond downtown Leesburg.

“I’m having a good time, but it is a lot of work though,” he said. “I’ve been self-employed since I was 25 so hard work is not a problem.”

Loudoun Brewing Company is located at 310 E. Market St. in Leesburg’s Historic District and is opens at 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday and noon on weekends. Learn more at loudounbrewing.com.