Loudoun enjoys remarkable collaboration among its breweries—a tight-knit, entrepreneurial crowd. More than a dozen brewers gathered last week at Beltway Brewing Company to begin this year’s collaborative brew, a milk stout on which each brewer will then put their own spin.
The beer, Loudoun’s second collaboration beer, has been brewed and is fermenting in tanks at Beltway Brewing Company in Sterling. Over the next two weeks, breweries from around the area will sign contracts and get through regulatory hurdles to receive and put their own spin on that beer.
Patrick Steffens, owner at Loudoun Brewing Company in Leesburg, said he’s already got ideas.
“I really need to canvass the other breweries to see what they’re doing, because if we don’t talk about it, then, like, everybody will come back with a coffee stout,” Steffens joked.
For his part, Steffens is considering using coconut for a chocolate coconut milk stout, or a chai tea pumpkin pie spice blend.
Loudoun Brewing Company just missed opening in time to take part in last year’s collaborative brew.
“We had gotten our license I think a week after that beer was brewed, so we missed that one, so I was very eager to get in on this one,” Steffens said. “It’s a fun being able to be part of a collaboration with all the breweries.”
Jonathan Staples hosted a Christmas ball for breweries at Vanish, the tasting room at Black Hops Farm, before Christmas. He also expects to take part in the collaboration brew.
“I think it’s another example of things people are doing to say that we’re working to keep elevating Loudoun beer and the quality of what people do, and the excitement of the whole county,” Staples said. “As opposed to saying, ‘oh, come to my one place, and if you go back to D.C. that’s fine.’”