A handful of people are laboring quietly behind acres of cornfields on a farm near Taylorstown to bring an expansive new brewery, distillery and restaurant soaring into Loudoun.
The opening of Flying Ace brewery and distillery is still months away, with a lot of regulatory hoops still to jump through—but the vision is taking shape. Already parked above what will one day be a bar is a half-scale model of the U.S. Navy’s iconic gull-winged World War II fighter, the F4U Corsair.
Co-founder Hadi Akkad said the business is named as a tribute to American flying aces, including his grandfather, who was one of only a handful of American aviators to earn the distinction across two wars. In his case, it was in World War II and the Korean War. Akkad and his cofounders have put the old farm back to work, growing more than 30 acres of heirloom, deep red Bloody Butcher corn and restoring and adding to the buildings and silos on the property.
“When we saw this property, we just really liked it, and I remember driving up and seeing the red barn, and the white silo, the blue silo—just seeing the red, white and blue,” Akkad said. “The theme started coming together at that point.”
Some parts of the business seem directed by fate. When he first conceived of the flying ace theme, Akkad went looking for old warbirds, came across the half-scale Corsair and bought it sight-unseen. The farm property was also the first one he visited.
“It felt right. And so, I went home and I told my wife,” Akkad said. “I’m like, ‘OK, I’m buying it,’ and she’s like, ‘you’ve got to stop doing that. You can’t buy the first thing you see.’” He said he looked at about a dozen other properties—“and every time I kept coming back to this.”
One of the other partners is Kirsten Jenkins, who along with her husband Brian “Monk” Jenkins own Monk’s BBQ in Purcellville. They will be opening a second Monk’s at the farm. In addition to offering their staple menu items at Flying Ace, they’ll be buying their beer and whisky from the new business.
“Initially, we had a different name when we first were thinking about the project, and it just kind of evolved,” Akkad said. “The timing of a lot of things was right.”