2016: Another Big Year for Loudoun Breweries

Loudoun’s famously booming brewery scene had another banner year in 2016.

The Alcoholic Beverages Commission reports 21 businesses operating brewery licenses in the county, ranging from well-established local favorites like Lost Rhino to relative newcomers like Dog Money, and more are on the way.

Twinpanzee Brewing Company in Sterling filed its application with the county Department of Planning and Zoning earlier this month. The county’s Department of Economic Development snatched Antonio and Maha Maradiaga’s planned brewery from Fairfax as their plans came up against bureaucratic headaches there. The family now has plans for a location in Sterling.

Meanwhile, B Chord Brewery continues its battle to open in western Loudoun. Owner Marty Dougherty faced stiff opposition to his plans for a farm brewery on Foggy Bottom Road in Bluemont, and earlier this year the Virginia Alcoholic Beverages Commission overturned a hearing officer’s recommendation, striking down B Chord’s license in that location.

Now, B Chord has moved across Rt. 7 to Williams Gap Road, and many of the same objectors from Bluemont have followed it. Dougherty argued his case before an ABC hearing officer in October and is still awaiting a decision.

Meanwhile, Black Hoof on King Street in Leesburg and Solace Brewing Company in Dulles are under construction.

A number of breweries have opened this year—including Dog Money Restaurant and Brewery and Black Walnut Brewery in Leesburg and Jacks Run Brewery in Purcellville. Black Walnut was met with such an enthusiastic reception that after its opening day, it had to shut back down for several weeks to brew more beer.

And even more breweries celebrated their first anniversary this year, including Quattro Goombas Brewery in Aldie, Dirt Farm brewing in Bluemont, Lost Rhino Retreat in Brambleton, and Loudoun Brewing Company in Leesburg. One of Loudoun’s oldest farm breweries, Barnhouse Brewery, expanded into a new space just north of Leesburg after quietly ticking along for years.

Vanish near Lucketts will celebrate its one-year anniversary in January, and Jonathan Staples’ tasting room at Black Hops Farm arrived with a splash. The farm is partnering with Michigan-based Pilot Malt House to bring Virginia’s first dedicated malting operation to Loudoun, and renowned chef Bryan Voltaggio has designed the tasting room’s menu.

And Loudoun breweries made a strong showing at the annual Virginia Craft Brewers Guild awards program. Lost Rhino Brewing Company, Dirt Farm Brewery and Old Ox Brewery each won first place awards. Corcoran Brewing Co., Beltway Brewing Company, and Old 690 Brewery Company also took home medals.

 

rgreene@loudounnow.com