By Visit Loudoun
On a recent Friday afternoon, a collection of Loudoun farmers, winemakers, beer enthusiasts, county officials and yeast scientists gathered at the shaded bench tables of scenic Wheatland Spring Farm + Brewery outside Waterford to drink a beer. No ordinary beer. Wheatland’s new “Loudoun Grown Farmhouse Ale”–a hoppy, fruit-forward saison with hints of pepper and herb – was made entirely with ingredients grown in Loudoun, much of them on the farm itself.
“When people talk about ‘local’ beer in the U.S. it almost always has ingredients from elsewhere, be it grain or hops or fruit,” said John Branding, who established Wheatland with his wife Bonnie two years ago. “True local craft beer means ingredients should all come locally.”
Incredibly, that’s the case with Loudoun Grown, where everything in the beer from the grain (Three Monkeys Farm and Hanging Rock Hay & Grain) to the hops (Fabbioli Cellars) to the spring water (Wheatland) and even the yeast (extracted from Wheatland strains by Sterling-based yeast scientist Jasper Akerboom) is Loudoun grown.
August is Virginia Craft Beer Month—a great time to try new beers, new breweries and celebrate the communal, creative spirit that’s driving Loudoun’s dynamic beer culture.
No less than three new breweries have opened in Loudoun in the past six months, all of them adding a variety of tastes, styles and experiences to the scene. At Flying Ace Distillery and Brewery near Taylorstown you can dine on scallops and pork belly from gourmet food truck Polished Foxx while sampling craft fermentations such as Air Boss Pilsner with its hints of hay and honey;Harvest Gap Brewery in Hillsboro offers stunning views of grain fields and Blue Ridge Mountains to enjoy with your German style helles lager; sleek new Lost Barrel Brewing in Middleburg hosts live music, quiz nights, art classes and even auto shows to experience while sipping hand-crafted IPAs and hard seltzers.
Throughout August, many of Loudoun’s 30-plus breweries will celebrate with live music, yoga classes, beer releases and more. To get a taste of several local breweries at once, attend “Taste Leesburg” on Saturday, Aug. 14 on the Town Green by the courthouse. This day-long culinary festival will feature scores of Loudoun restaurants, food trucks, farm markets, wineries and breweries offering “tastes” of their finest fare. More than a dozen local breweries including Old Ox, House 6, Beltway Brewing Company and Leesburg’s own urban brew pub Loudoun Brewing Co. are taking part.
For information on Virginia Craft Beer month events and a list of Loudoun breweries, check out visitloudoun.org.