Virginia is fast emerging as one of the best states in the country for brewing beer. To those familiar with the scene, it will come as no surprise that VA came in fourth in the medal count at 2013’s Great American Beer Festival.
When it comes to crafting tasty beverages though, it’s not all about beer. The DMV is home to dozens of award-winning vineyards and a handful of distilleries. Today, there are more than 200 wineries scattered throughout the state of Virginia - more than 40 within 25 miles of the Nation’s Capital.
Take a closer look at some of our favorite breweries and wineries in the DC region!
Optimal Wit is our best seller, and has been from the day we opened 3 ½ years ago. It won a Gold Medal at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival in Denver!
We sell it for $5.00 per pint in our Tasting Room, and $10.99 per six pack.
It is citrusy, crisp and refreshing, with the taste of Sunshine and Happiness!
Ways & Means, our session IPA brewed with Rye
Our brewery is the longest operating packaging brewery in the Metro DC area.
Mad Fox Kolsch; it’s a perfect summer beer!
We got into the brewing business because before we opened, Metro DC was the only big city in America that did not have a packaging microbrewery!
The Public™ Pale Ale
$10 per six pack, $10 per 64 ounce growler fill, $6 per 32 ounce growler fill.
The Public™ Pale Ale has an assertive bitterness backed by C-60 and Vienna malts which lend notes of rich, yet semi-dry caramel, followed up with a nice white grapefruit and citrus aroma that begs for a follow up sip.
The Corruption™ India Pale Ale
DC Brau is Washington, DC’s first packaging brewery since 1956.
Ozzy Ale from the Brewer’s Art in Baltimore, MD (The beer will soon be renamed Beazly).
The fact that D.C. has become a world-class beer town is undeniable. The choices available to the local beer nerdery are staggering and ever expanding. What D.C. has not had in over 60 years, however, is a brewery whose product is available in local stores and on tap outside of its site of production. Enter Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock, two D.C. residents who, as music fans, avid bar goers, and enthusiastic men-about-town, are acutely aware of the empty tap handle or store shelf where a local beer ought to be found. These two men, sharing years of experience in both brewing and beverage distribution, are uniquely equipped to fill this void and thus have decided to combine their knowledge and passion to found the DC Brau Brewing Company.
With extensive experience in restaurant management and the beverage industry, Brandon handles sales duties and the business of the brewery. Touting extensive experience in the commercial brewing industry, Jeff is our beloved Brewmaster. Since serving an apprenticeship at Franklin’s Restaurant and Brewery in Hyattsville, Maryland, Jeff has brewed at Grizzly Peak Brewing and Arbor Brewing companies, both in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and at Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick, Maryland. With their individual talents and a shared love for the city, Brandon and Jeff form a perfect team to bring a delicious, locally brewed beer to the consumers of DC.
$6 for 16 oz
Forbidden Planet is a classic German-style Kölsch that's heavily dry-hopped with Australian-grown Galaxy hops for a semi-dry & quaffable brew showing bold aromas of passion fruit and peach.
That's a toss-up between Mexican Radio, our Spiced Sweet Stout, Lost Weekend, our Citra IPA, and any of the myriad sours we consistently have on offer.
Bluejacket is a boutique brewery without boundaries, allowing Beer Director Greg Engert and brewers Bobby Bump, Josh Chapman and Owen Miller to create an unending series of beers that stretch across the broadest range of styles and flavors possible. At Bluejacket, an understanding of--and respect for--the traditions and techniques of classic brewing coexist with a spirit of constant experimentation, innovation, and collaboration, leading to delicious beers that showcase seasonality, culinary inspiration and historic interpretation.
The Neighborhood Restaurant Group opened Rustico, their first beer-centric concept, in 2006. The restaurant quickly became a destination for craft beer fans under the direction of Greg Engert. Soon after, Greg and Michael Babin--Principal of Neighborhood Restaurant Group--hatched plans for the ultimate beer bar and beer-forward restaurant, now known as ChurchKey and Birch & Barley, as well as their own production brewery, which would become Bluejacket, and open in 2013.
It constantly changes depending on what we are in the mood to drink. The great thing about the local brewing scene right now is that there are so many local breweries, in both the city proper as well as in Virginia and Maryland, are distinguishing themselves with an array of styles. From great IPAs to refreshing Farmhouse Ales, we like to sample and spread the local love.
We don't have a flagship or set portfolio of beers, so it’s hard to say. We continually brew new beers every week, and have brewed 37 distinct beers this year alone! Popular ones included "Thai Me Up" a Thai Noodle soup inspired beer with Lemongrass and Sriracha. "Saviours & Guillotines" an Imperial Saison brewed with Syrah Grape Must and aged in a Cabernet Sauvignon barrel. And "B/A/Y/S" an Imperial Stout brewed with Cherries, Hazelnuts, and then aged on Chestnut wood.
3 Ounce Samples are $3.00, 10 Ounce Tulips are $8.00. Growlers range from $7 to $20 based on size, and some barrel aged beers are extra.
"Thai Me Up" is a Thai Noodle soup-inspired beer with Lemongrass and Sriracha.
Cannibalism was a particularly popular beer. It is an Imperial Milk Stout brewed without Water.
We brew beers in a series of three beers called a TRIFECTA where each beer has a common theme or ingredient.
We were fans of Craft Beer first and foremost. After touring hundreds of breweries, festivals and the like, we decided we could do something better in a more creative and artistic manner. Once we decided to open a brewery, the mechanics of getting started was simple.
In NOVA, Colossal One by Port City. In VA in general, Resolute by Three Brothers.
Orange Whip IPA
$6.25 for pint (save $2 during happy hour offered daily 3:00 to 7:00 pm).
Orange Whip is an all-Citra hopped East Coast IPA
The Sandy Eggo IPA (debut January 2014)
... that three messy knuckleheads keep it oh so clean.
I came into the brewing business by growing up homebrewing with my Dad … and being laid off at the right time.
Rhino Chasers Pils (Lost Rhino Brewing Co.)
As far as our most popular style it is Face Plant IPA
We have a price per beer in the Tasting Room which is $4.75
We sell kegs to area bars as well.
This style is packed full of hop flavor with a nice clean malt balance. Dry-hopping it gives it a great citrusy aroma.
As for a runner up, we have many limited release styles that are made once a year but have a great following. Ice Breaker Imperial IPA is our spring seasonal that lasts about 3 weeks before we sell out. Woody Stout our winter seasonal is a bourbon barrel aged stout as also has a strong following. People are always excited to see what we come out with next.
The fact that we are always experimenting with styles I think sets us apart from other breweries. We don't limit ourselves to just ales or just lagers. We have a very creative brew house staff including our Beer Scientist Jasper Ackerboom who recently paired up with his friend Paleontologist Jason Osborne to brew a beer with a yeast extracted off of a 35 million year old fossil.
Matt Hagerman and Favio Garcia are the owners at Lost Rhino. They brewed together previously and have been friends for years. They spent many weekend trips visiting other breweries and decided to open their own. They wanted to bring the adventure of brewing to their local community in northern Virginia. I think all of us at Lost Rhino are just excited to see the craft beer community in Loudoun grow, and we look forward to drinking the new beers that our friends are brewing.
Our most popular beer is currently our Belgian Blonde Ale.
$3 for tasters, $7 for a glass.
Blonde: Hints of fruit and spice and a clean finish that belay its 7.2% ABV
Abbey: Dark and sweet, with hints of molasses and stonefruit to complement its 9% ABV.
We are the first microbrewery in Fairfax County
I was given a Mr. Beer kit when I was 21 by a friend, and decided I could do better.
I looooooove DB’s Vienna Lager and Mad Fox’s Czech Pils.
Over the first 2 weeks of operation, our most popular beer was the Golden Ox.
We sell the Belgian Golden for $6 per 16oz pint.
Golden Ox is a Belgian style Golden Ale that is 6.5% ABV, golden in color, and is approachable, crisp, and a touch fruity.
Alpha Ox, our Session IPA is runner-up for the title. It is a hop forward but low alcohol version of an India Pale Ale. Very citrusy and piney with firm bitterness but enough malt backbone to keep it balanced.
Other than the fine quality of our people and our beers (naturally), one unique characteristic about the brewery itself is that it is immediately adjacent to the W&OD bike trail. We really like it that people can bike to the brewery. We're also working on an outdoor seating area which won't be unique until it's built but when it is... it'll be the only outdoor seating area at a distribution brewery that I'm aware of in NOVA.
My dad and I have been home brewing together for about 7 years. The hobby got way out of control and here we are. We started planning about 4 years ago and we finally started brewing last month. It's been a long start-up journey but it's been really satisfying being able to see how our community has responded to us and our beer.
Birth of Ace by Lost Rhino. It's an IPA fermented with Brettanomyces, which is a type of yeast. The Brett gives it a great tropical fruit/pineapple nose and flavor. It takes a lot of time to produce because the brett works slowly but the end result is sooo worth it.
Roundstone Rye, by far!
$45/bottle for the 80 proof, $52/bottle for the 92 proof, $85/bottle for the cask proof (if you can find it!)
Roundstone Rye is a unique Virginia whisky handmade from 100% organic rye, and aged in charred new oak barrels.
We are located in a historic Prohibition-era building that once housed our town's first Buick dealership.
20 years of government contracting taught me a great love of drinking!
Anything from Adroit Theory.
Our line-up changes every week, but John Champe is a great one.
Tastings are $7
English Style Barley Wine 9.7% ABV John Champe was born in Aldie, VA was commissioned by George Washington to capture Benedict Arnold. This beer is an American brewers homage to the patriotism and bravery of this fine Virginian.
Changes each week.
We have a nice outdoor patio and great food.
We had a winery and loved it and thought a brewery would be a great for those who don't drink wine. We also now have hard cider.
Vienna Lager - Devils Backbone
The BOWhaus White is our most popular wine!
A bottle of BOWhaus White is $26; a glass is $7.
It is a blend of Vidal Blanc and Seyval Blanc, with just a touch of residual sugar, making it a very refreshing wine!
BOWhaus Red is the runner up!
BOW is the most family and dog friendly winery around; we are the culture of “yes”.
BOW’s owners, Brian and Sharon Roeder, were on vacation in Key West when Brian asked Sharon if she could see herself doing something other than her current 9 to 5 job, what it would be. Sharon replied that she had a recurring dream of her walking sleepily and happily through a misty mountain morning with a cup of coffee in her grip and her golden retriever at her side, checking grape vines. That question led to the creation of Barrel Oak Winery…BOW!
Virginia wine - it’s all good!
Our new 2013 868 Estate Riesling.
$6 per glass, $23 per bottle
Our 2013 Riesling, the perfect summertime wine, has a delightfully crisp acidity tempered by a slight sweetness. It pairs well with fireflies, front porch swings and grilled food of all descriptions.
Our Rosé of Cab Franc - it's fun to bring a perky, dry rosé as a hostess gift because it's so unexpected!
In addition to The Grill at 868, which serves grilled food and beer on weekends, we also have a full onsite gourmet restaurant, Grandale. Carl DiManno's wines are wonderful and our beautiful setting will entices guests to stay for the entire afternoon.
The winemaker at 868, Carl DiManno, developed a love of wine and the winemaking process, moved to California where he completed the Oenology program at UC Davis then moved to Virginia.
I like the Two Twisted Posts 2012 Chardonnay. With lots of new oak without being overpowering along with nice fruit, it was a 2014 Governors Cup Case selections.
Our Norton wine is our most popular and unique of the wines that we offer
Our 2011 Vintage currently is at $22 (price subject to change based on supply and quality of future vintages)
Barrel-aged for 8 months in French oak, our saignee-stule Norton has the taste of fresh cranberry and raspberry and delightful hints of spice, such as nutmeg and clove.
Don Lorenzo's white
Education of our customers on Virginia wines, particularly ours, is our main goal. You will leave having learned about our property, how we make our wines, what is happening in the Virginia wine industry, etc.
Nelson and Kathleen DeSouza retired from the construction business and started off looking for the perfect property. Nelson's Portuguese heritage (he is originally from Brazil) inspired him to grow grapes. Together they decided it would be a great family business to make wine and sell it from their property. Their daughters help run the tasting room and make the wine as well.
We also enjoy North Gate's wine in Purcellville, VA
Most popular white is Gatto Bianco (table white blend of Chardonnay and Viognier). Most popular red is Alouette Cabernet Franc (100% Cab Franc).
We taste out 11 wines for $7 per person. A three bottle purchase waives one tasting fee. Groups (8 or more) get reserved space, group discounts, a souvenir glass, and the tasting fee is higher (increasing by group size).
Gatto Bianco is an off-dry white with a great sassy attitude, reminiscent of the whites from the Italian Piemonte. Pineapple & citrus nose with a hint of melon and pear on the palate. Great with seafood! Look for the sassy white cat on the label.
White: Calabrese Pinot Grigio
Red: Volpe Sangiovese
We are a real slice of the Tuscan lifestyle - La Dolce Vita - in the heart of Virginia's horse country. No BIG noisy Tasting Room here, just a cozy "cantina", tables in the vines, bocce and other games, dog friendly, family friendly, beautiful vistas, and just a great place to get back in touch with one's self.
Learned the craft in Santa Barbara during biochem graduate school and came to love agriculture over the years. Holli has always loved making people feel comfortable and welcome and loves growing things. So for us it was a natural progression to make the transition some years ago from home winemaking and entertaining to running a vineyard, winery and tasting room where all are welcome.
Difficult to say as there are many very good local wines. If have to pick one, then maybe Glen Manor's red blends.
Our most popular would be Ole Moo Moo - blend of Chardonnay, Viogner and Vidal Blanc. This is a great "porch sitting" wine and folks love the name!
$23 bottle, $6.50 glass
Ole Moo Moo is an off dry (slightly sweet) wine that’s crisp and refreshing. Think Summertime!
Cabernet Franc is runner up - very smooth and a recent gold winner at the All-American Competition.
We're a down-home winery. Our winery is a log home and a working horse ranch. Put your cowboy boots on when you come to visit! I dont know of any other winery like it!
Bob (owner) has been making wine for over 40 years. This is a true passion for him.
Rappahannock Cellars - not only are we neighbors but good friends and they offer some excellent choices of grape!
$39.00 per bottle
This classic full-bodied Bordeaux-style blend had a rich medium body, with essence of black currant, chocolate, oak and a hint of vanilla.
Our Mandolin which is a white blend (for Heritage Club Members only).
Our beautiful large Silo.
Dr. George Bazaco and his wife Nicki found this property, fell in love with it and the idea of starting a small farm winery. They did just that and now here we are!
I personally enjoy all the wines from Hillsboro Winery and Vineyard in Hillsborough Va.
2012 Cabernet Franc
$35 per bottle / $ 9 per glass
100% Cabernet Franc barrel aged for 18 months in French Oak. Silky mouthfeel, with rich dark berry & tobacco notes. Very elegant & well balanced.
2011 Genesis, a blend of Tannat Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot
High Quality Virginia Wine
My husband and I moved to VA 7 years ago and had been watching the VA Wine Industry. We knew we wanted to join the exciting transformation in VA wine and had been searching for the right opportunity. We found that opportunity in Lost Creek 2 years ago & decided to purchase the 50-acre estate. Lost Creek was a “diamond in the rough” that had a good foundation we could build upon to create some great VA wines.
The most popular wine at our vineyard is our Gov. Fauquier (an off-dry Vidal Blanc)
This wine is quite similar to a German style Riesling and fills the niche for sweet wine drinkers (Moscato etc.) making it perfect for a hot day or a spicy meal.
The runner up favorite is our 1762 which is a port-style wine made from Chambourcin and aged in Bourbon whiskey barrels from the Smith A. Bowman Distillery (the producer of Virginia Gentleman), making it perfect for an after dinner sipping wine, the perfect accompaniment to a cigar or a flavorful cheese such as blue, stilton or roquefort. Sangria is quite popular too.
We are tied to the oldest international accolade for grape growing and wine production dating back to 1762.
I took a few courses on wine in undergrad and got in the industry as soon as I was legally allowed, which has been a 6 year journey thus far. Philip's family, has been in agriculture and agritourism for generations.
Jeremy (winemaker) has been working with grapes since he was 15 when his family put in a vineyard.
Other favorite local wine...Glen Manor.
$28 per 750 mL bottle - $10 per glass
This Hillsborough Reserve is made from a little known grape variety called Fer Servadou, hailing from the south of France and pairs beautifully with Filet Mignon; Cornish Game Hens; Taleggio Cheese; and warm bubble baths!
Chemistry + Art + View = Hillsborough
Winemaker Kerem Baki started the business with his family 13 years ago after Enology Masters program at VA Tech.
Deimersfontain Pinotage from South Africa!