If early indications are anything, Black Walnut Brewery is looking to a bright future in downtown Leesburg.
The new brewery held its soft opening at its 210 S. King St. location during First Friday events June 3 and had such an overwhelming response that the brewery has had to close its doors for another three weeks to brew up a new supply for its thirsty customers.
“It was very encouraging,” brewer and Black Walnut owner Patrick Wilt said this week of the response.
Wilt said the response to the two IPAs on tap was especially strong. In addition to the IPAs, Black Walnut boasts an eclectic mix of brews, from a blonde ale to Hefeweizen to German pilsner malt and Imperial stout, to name but a few.
Each brew is named after a dog, as Black Walnut’s owner and Tasting Room Manager Juliana Derosa are animal rescue enthusiasts and dog lovers. The brewery is both a dog- and family-friendly establishment, with canine companions allowed on the back deck and young ones able to enjoy the outdoor space, set among the brewery’s black walnut trees.
For Wilt, as with others in Loudoun’s exploding craft beer movement, the opening of his own brewery came after years of dabbling in homebrewing and encouragement by family and friends who were fans of his brews. When the property in the historic district became available, Wilt saw it as an ideal location to open the kind of brewery he wanted, and he’s been renovating both buildings on the property in preparation for the opening.
While the quality of the beer is what will keep customers coming back to Black Walnut, both Wilt and Derosa point to its location, and the outdoor space in downtown, as a strength. Wilt notes the growth of other craft brewers within walking distance and thinks it will only help to market downtown Leesburg as a destination for beer lovers.
“This is a great location. We are within two to three blocks of a dozen phenomenal restaurants. You can walk two blocks and be at Crooked Run Brewing, three blocks Loudoun Brewing Company; when Black Hoof [Brewing Company] opens that will be two blocks away. This is going to be a great destination location,” he said. “So folks can have dinner at Tuskies or Lightfoot or anywhere else and walk two blocks and relax on our deck and enjoy a couple of beers.”
Hopes are to reopen Black Walnut for good within three weeks. Wilt advises the public to check out the company’s Facebook page, Black Walnut Brewery, for information about the reopening.