Virginia’s LoCo Ale Trail: Explore Craft Breweries in Northern VA

Virginia’s LoCo Ale Trail offers a range of fun spaces to drink local craft brews while you explore the small towns and country roads of Northern Virginia’s Loudoun County. There are more than 30 breweries on the trail, and new ones pop up regularly. Happily, Loudoun County is a short drive from Washington DC (except during rush hour), and the open farmland and history-laden towns make you feel a world away.

While Loudoun County is perhaps better known for it’s wineries, craft breweries offer fun and casual spaces to gather. The US craft beer scene is expanding rapidly, with new brewers carving out their own flavor profiles. Loudoun County breweries introduce a steady stream of unique offers and great flavors.

Virginia Beer Trails
Virginia beer flight

LoCo Ale Trail locations range from tiny nano-breweries serving a few unique specials to large brewers with broad distribution. There is plenty of appeal across beer styles and spaces, and it’s interesting to compare brewers as you explore the area.

We are not craft brew experts, but we love a good beer and another reason to explore Northern Virginia. Here are some of the wonderful craft breweries to visit on Virginia’s LoCo Ale Trail, along with suggestions for things to do nearby.

Breweries are listed alphabetically in three geographic areas, and we’ve included pics of the spots we’ve visited so far. We’ll add more pictures as we visit more breweries. Enjoy exploring Loudoun County Virginia’s LoCo Ale Trail!

LoCo Ale Trail Breweries East of Leesburg

Virginia’s LoCo Ale Trail includes a mix of beer-focused and food-focused breweries in the eastern section of Loudoun County. Closest to DC and the Route 495 beltway, they offer interesting beer in the burbs without a long drive.

Beltway Brewing, Sterling

Beltway is a facility that hosts partner, contract, and private label brewing. “Our Tasting Room is unique because it showcases the different brands brewed right here. Because most of the beer we brew is shipped all over, the Tasting Room is the only local place where some of these beers are available.” Open Wednesday – Sunday.

Crooked Run Brewing, Sterling

Beer and tacos Crooked Run Brewing Sterling VA
Beer and tacos Crooked Run Brewing Sterling VA

Crooked Run Brewing’s second location in Sterling is larger than the Leesburg original, offering more room to sit and sip. They have a small but tasty line-up of brews including our favorite, Charm milk stout. Best of all, the Sterling location also includes a Senor Ramon Tacqueria, so you can enjoy tasty tacos with your craft beer.

Dynasty Brewing, Ashburn

“Dynasty Brewing Co. was founded to honor the great tradition of brewing in Loudoun County while promoting it as a premier destination for those who understand and appreciate a truly great beer.” Open Wednesday – Sunday

House 6 Brewing Company, Ashburn

“House 6 Brewing Company is the creation of local brewer and volunteer firefighter, Rolando Rivera.” The beer list shows a nice selection and variety. Open Tuesday – Sunday.

Ocelot Brewing Company, Dulles

Beer at Ocelot Brewing Dulles Virginia
Beer flight at Ocelot Brewing Dulles Virginia

Ocelot opened in 2015, a welcome addition to the local brew scene. The owners repurposed a warehouse into an appealing mix of industrial and rustic elements that’s a cool place to hang out and escape the summer heat. Their stated philosophy of not having flagship brands is unorthodox, but the changing menu of brews delivers interesting tastes and a reason to come back often. Open daily.

Lost Rhino and Lost Rhino Retreat, Ashburn

Beer flight at Lost Rhino Retreat, Ashburn VA
Beer flight at Lost Rhino Retreat, Ashburn VA

Lost Rhino has been an Ashburn staple since it was opened in 2012 by two brewers who previously worked at Old Dominion. They have a large selection of delicious beers, including the popular Face Plant, and regular releases mean there’s always something new to try. A locally sourced menu of appetizers and sandwiches is on offer at the Tasting Room, and they opened a second location, Lost Rhino Retreat, next to the theater in Brambleton Town Center. The Retreat has a large indoor bar and outdoor patio, a more extensive food menu, and the same diverse line-up of beers. Taproom open Tuesday – Sunday; Retreat open daily.

Old Ox Brewery, Ashburn

Beer flight at Old Ox Brewery, Ashburn VA
Beer flight at Old Ox Brewery, Ashburn VA

Old Ox, is one of several brewery with excellent bike trail access, located between mile marker 25 and 25.5 on the W&OD. They offer a nice range of beers in a large, industrial interior. We’re particularly fond of the Golden Ox and the creamy Nitro Black Ox. There’s a small patio, a big bike rack, and a lot of space inside for relaxing or playing cornhole (they even field a competitive league). Open Tuesday – Sunday.

Rocket Frog Brewing, Sterling

“Our passion for quality craft beer runs deep and we demonstrate this with our four to five flagships, seasonal offerings, and a variety of specialty beers throughout the year.” Open daily.

Solace Brewing Company, Dulles

“Solace Brewing Company is a new production brewery in Loudoun County. It has a large and picturesque tasting room that is family-friendly, an outdoor area for pets, and is open all week.” Open daily.

Sweetwater Tavern, Sterling

Part of the Great American Restaurant chain, we think of Sweetwater as more dining room than craft brewer, but they do offer their own standards and seasonals brewed in on-site tanks. There’s a large outdoor bar that gets very busy on weekend nights. Open daily.

Twinpanzee, Sterling

Twinpanzee celebrates their second anniversary in August 2019. The Sterling brewers serve quality beer with a smile. Open Thursday – Sunday.

Leesburg Breweries on Virginia’s LoCo Ale Trail

Travel Route 15 north from Aldie to Lucketts, to enjoy country views, a stop in historic Leesburg, and several great breweries on Virginia’s LoCo Ale Trail. Better yet, plan a weekend getaway in Leesburg, and allow more time to explore the area’s history, nature, food, drink, and fun.

Barnhouse Brewery, Lucketts

Barnhouse is “a small limited farm brewery located on our 18 acre property in Lucketts Virginia.” There may be a food truck on hand, but visitors are also welcome to bring their own food. Open Friday – Sunday

Bike TrAle Brewing, Leesburg

Just 2 blocks from the W&OD bike trail in Leesburg, this nano farm brewery includes a tap room and patio with bike-inspired design elements. Most of the beers on the list are “gluten reduced.” Open Tuesday – Satuday.

Black Walnut Brewery, Leesburg

A casual downtown brewer with picnic table seating in a festive backyard. Black Walnut also offers a bar menu with pizzas, brats, wings, and more. Open daily.

Black Hoof Brewing, Leesburg

Black Hoof is located in downtown Leesburg. “We’ve taken a great deal of care to ensure that our taproom offers a welcoming atmosphere. The space is modeled after German and English beer halls and pubs, and we’ve worked hard to make every guest feel comfortable.” Open daily.

Crooked Run Brewing, Leesburg

Sampling craft beer at Crooked Run Brewing Leesburg Virginia
Sampling craft beer at Crooked Run Brewing Leesburg Virginia

Crooked Run is a farmhouse nano-brewery creating delicious cocktail inspired brews in a small space in Market Station. Founders Jake and Lee, who funded their brewery with a Kickstarter campaign, are known for their tasty IPAs, sours and fruit infused beers. Crooked Run has been a success since opening, and they have a second, larger location in Sterling. Open daily.

Dog Money Restaurant and Brewery, Leesburg

Dog Money serves a range of brews crafted on site in their 10 barrel brewing system. They also offer a full restaurant for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Open daily.

Dragon Hops Brewing, Purcelville

This veteran owned brewery grows and brews their own hops which you can enjoy at their downtown Purcelville location. They also offer a full menu plus wine and a full bar. Open Wednesday to Sunday.

Loudoun Brewing Company, Leesburg

Loudoun Brewing Co Leesburg Virginia
Loudoun Brewing Co Leesburg Virginia

Opened in 2015, Loudoun Brewing quickly became a home away from home for locals. With five or six home brews on tap, live music on the weekends, relaxed spaces inside and out, and easy access to the W&OD bike trail, they attract a steady stream of appreciative fans. Open daily.

Quattro Goombas, Aldie

Quattro Goombas brewery Aldie Virginia
Quattro Goomba’s brewery in Aldie Virginia

A bit of an outlier due to it’s location in Aldie, “Quattro Goombas Brewery offers a changing line-up of custom craft beers. They also have a pub menu and an outdoor space with country views. Plus, there they have a winery just steps away. If you’re making a day of it, consider a scenic drive on the Snickersville Turnpike, which starts in Aldie. Open Wednesday – Sunday.

Vanish Farmhouse Brewery, Leesburg

Vanish brews Leesburg Virginia
Vanish brews Leesburg Virginia

As you travel from Leesburg north on route 15, watch for the turn to Vanish on your left. The large industrial space features a strong line-up of brews created from hops grown on the farm.  Open daily.

Breweries in Purcellville and Western Loudoun County VA

Travel west of Leesburg until you reach the foothills of the mountains. Here, you’ll find a wonderful collection of craft breweries in and around the town of Purcellville. Since there are many fun things to do in Purcellville, it’s an ideal destination for a craft beer day trip to Virginia’s LoCo Ale Trail. You could also build up your desire for that tasty brew with a pre-beer hike to Raven’s Rocks.

Adroit Theory, Purcellville

Craft beer aficionados will find a lot to love about Adroit Theory, “a nano-brewery located in Purcellville, Loudoun County, Virginia. We make esoteric beers with an emphasis on barrel aging… Even though we are small, we typically have 24 beers on draft at any time, plus a dedicated Cask line.” Open Tuesday – Sunday.

B Chord Brewing, Round Hill

Another brewery in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountain, B Chord Brewing is a 66-acre farm brewery in Round Hill. This is another great option for a beer after hiking to Bear’s Den Overlook or Raven Rocks.  Open Tuesday – Sunday

Bear Chase Brewing, Bluemont

Bear Chase Brewing craft brewery in Bluemont Virginia
Bear Chase Brewing craft brewery in Bluemont Virginia

If you love brews with views, you will love Bear Chase Brewing. This new brewery has already made it’s mark on the region with a fantastic line-up of brews, comfortable indoor and outdoor spaces, and gorgeous mountain views. Take a short (or longer) hike to Bear’s Den Overlook, then reward yourself at Bear Chase. Open daily.

Belly Love, Purcellville

Belly Love Brewery, Purcellville Virginia
Belly Love Brewery, Purcellville Virginia

With 6 regulars plus seasonal additions on tap, you’ll find some tasty beers and wacky names in the Belly Love taproom. Try a Weisse Weisse Baby or a malt forward Shut the Fook Up, and relax in the eclectic indoor seating or small outdoor patio. Belly Love is very close to the W&OD in Purcellville, and they serve an evolving menu of tasty food, so it’s a good destination on bike or by car. Open Tuesday – Sunday.

Dirt Farm Brewing, Bluemont

Summer beer at Dirt Farm Brewing in Bluemont Virginia
Summer beer at Dirt Farm Brewing in Bluemont Virginia

Dirt Farm Brewing sits high on a hill next door to sister site Bluemont Vineyard. Dirt Farm has a huge patio with an incredible view and a comfortable indoor tasting room. There is also a back area with a large fireplace. Their focus is small batch hand crafted beer from fresh ingredients grown on the owner’s family farm, Great Country Farms. The brewhouse delivers traditional brewing style ales and many seasonals, including an excellent pumpkin ale. Open daily.

Hillsborough Winery, Brewery & Vineyard, Hillsboro

Hillsborough Vineyard winery view in Northern Virginia
Hillsborough Vineyard winery view in Northern Virginia

We love the tasty wines and gorgeous views at Hillsborough, and their new brewery is yet another reason to visit. “Brew Master, Tolga Baki will produce 5 beers on tap to join the 12+ wines his brother, Winemaker Kerem Baki creates, making us one of the first family-owned, co-existing farm winery and farm brewery.” Open daily.

Old 690 Brewing Company, Purcellville

Old 690 Brewing Company Purcellville VA
Old 690 Brewing Company Purcellville VA

One of the first craft breweries to open in the state of Virginia, Old 690 serves 10 or more nice brews by the pint, flight, or growler to go. The Old 690 Amber Ale and the Oatmeal Stout are both delicious, and the casual taproom and huge outdoor patio are welcoming and relaxing. Old 690 is a fun dirt road, weekend destination. Open Thursday – Sunday.

Wheatland Spring, Waterford

This farm brewery is located on a 30 acre property in historic Waterford. “Wheatland Spring Farm + Brewery is our sincere interpretation of what a European small farm brewery from the 1800’s would be if operating in Virginia today.” Open Thursday – Sunday

 

Find more information about Virginia’s LoCoAleTrail on the Visit Loudoun website. You can also download a pocket guide and passport to plan your route and track your visits.

What is your favorite stop on Virginia’s LoCo Ale Trail? Please share your tips in the comments below. Follow Fun in Fairfax VA on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram for more great hikes, places to visit, and things to do in Virginia and the mid-Atlantic.

Virginia craft breweries near Washington DC offer tasty brews and fun things to do on Northern Virginia's LoCo Ale Trail.

Northern Virginia's LoCo Ale Trail offers a range of fun spaces to drink tasty, local craft brews while you explore small towns and country roads near Washington DC.

This article was published in 2017 and updated in 2019.

11 thoughts on “Virginia’s LoCo Ale Trail: Explore Craft Breweries in Northern VA”

  1. I’m heading to the DC area soon! I’m excited to check out some of these breweries, have you tried Port City?

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