A new brewery is coming to western Loudoun—this one on property that thousands of people have already visited.
Mike Virts, the son of the couple behind the Virts Family Farm roadside farm store off Rt. 9 near Hillsboro, is working to open the Harvest Gap Brewery on the same location by Labor Day weekend. Virts said he and his brewer, William Jones of the now-closed Wicked Barn Brewery in Culpeper, are busy brewing a nitro milk stout, a double IPA and an American brown ale. Next, they’ll be brewing a seasonal pumpkin ale and a Märzen Oktoberfest. They’re also looking to collaborate with a couple of Loudoun favorites, Lost Rhino Brewing Co.and Beltway Brewing Co.
The beer is being brewed using the barley Virts has been growing on the property to feed his cattle for the past decade,since he got out of the military after two deployments to Iraq while in the U.S. Marines. Virts and Jones are using a small-barrel brewing system with only three fermenters. They’re also going to plant hops on the property for brewing next spring.
Visitors to the brewery can still expect a taste of the former Virts Family Farm, since they’re still planning to sell ice cream, root beer and other popular items from the farm store, including the beef Virts raises. Inside, there will be seating for up to 80 people, depending on COVID-19-related regulations.
That’s not all visitors will have. Eventually, Virts wants to make cider and include a winery on the property. To do that, he said he would collaborate with area wineries.
Virts said that when his family closed their farm store last December after about two years of operation, he realized the time was right to move forward with the brewery project—an idea he’s had for about a year and a half.
While Virts is planning to open Harvest Gap Brewery the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, Sept. 5, he said that date could get pushed back a week or so depending on how much progress he gets done between now and then.