Updated on August 3, 2023 by Julie McCool
Virginia's LoCo Ale Trail has some of the best breweries in Northern Virginia where you can drink local craft beer and explore the small towns and countryside of Loudoun County. There are more than 35 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.
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While Loudoun County is perhaps better known for its 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.
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 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 craft beer in the burbs without a long drive.
Crooked Run Fermentation, Sterling and Leesburg
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 that usually includes our favorite, Charm milk stout.
The Sterling location also produces wine and ciders and offers cocktails and guest brews in the adjacent Nectar Cafe. Best of all, Crooked Run Sterling includes a Senor Ramon Taqueria, so you can enjoy tasty tacos with your craft beer. Open daily at 11:30.
Dynasty Brewing, Ashburn and Leesburg
The Dynasty Brewing Company name nods to a period of Virginia history that produced America's first Presidents and laid the foundation for a new nation. The lineup at the Ashburn taproom features a solid selection that favors IPAs. Off the Bone Meats food truck is a permanent guest as of summer 2023. Open Wednesday – Sunday
House 6 Brewing, Ashburn
The brewer at House 6 Brewing is also a volunteer firefighter and that inspired the Ashburn breweries name. A line-up of 8 to 10 brews range from a light Kolsch to a roasty Barrel Aged Imperial Stout. The cool ax-shaped flight boards are a nice touch. They also offer a selection of sandwiches, pretzels, and other snacks. Open Tuesday through Sunday
Lost Barrel Brewing, Middleburg
Take a scenic drive to Middleburg and relax in the tasting barn and spacious fields at one of our favorite Northern Virginia breweries, Lost Barrel Brewing. They have an excellent beer lineup and a nice menu of casual food. The flagship Farm Ale stood out in our 4-beer flight and was a perfect pairing with cheesy flatbread.
The tasting barn is nice and roomy but we really love the outdoor space at Lost Barrel Brewing. There are clusters of comfy Adirondack chairs and tables spread out across the spacious back lawn. Groups can even reserve one of the fire pits which come with table service. Open Thursday to Sunday.
Ocelot Brewing Company, Dulles
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, Ashburn
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. Plus, regular releases mean there’s always something new to try.
A locally sourced menu of appetizers and sandwiches makes this a good option if you want a meal with your beer. Open daily at 11:30.
Old Ox Brewery, Ashburn
Old Ox, is one of several Northern Virginia breweries 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). Ashburn is open Tuesday – Sunday.
Solace Brewing Company, Sterling and Falls Church
Offering a nice selection of craft brews with an emphasis on IPAs, Solace Brewing Company occupies a warehouse space in Dulles VA. The tasting room is spacious and has a large area stocked with pinball machines and other games. The small outdoor area was under renovation during our visit.
The tasty Gut Nacht Marzen and the Air Gourd'n Porter hit the spot when we stopped by after a scenic loop drive through Hunt Country. Solace has a second location in Falls Church. Open daily.
Sweetwater Tavern, Sterling, Centreville, and Merrifield
Part of the Great American Restaurant chain, we think of Sweetwater as more dining room than craft brewer. However, Sweetwater does offer its own standards and seasonals brewed in on-site tanks. There's a large outdoor bar at the Sterling location that gets very busy on weekend nights. Open daily.
Leesburg Breweries on Virginia's LoCo Ale Trail
Travel Route 15 north from Aldie to Lucketts, to enjoy country views, a visit to historic Leesburg, and several great breweries on Virginia's LoCo Ale Trail. Better yet, plan a weekend getaway to Leesburg, and allow more time to explore the area's history, nature, food, drink, and fun. Take a scenic drive in northern Loudoun County to visit several of the breweries listed below
Barnhouse Brewery, Lucketts
Barnhouse Brewery is a farm brewery located on an 18-acre property in Lucketts Virginia. They generally have 10 brews available including seasonal specials. There may be a food truck on hand, but visitors are also welcome to bring their own food. Open Friday – Sunday.
Black Walnut Brewery, Leesburg
Black Walnut Brewery occupies a casual spot in downtown Leesburg. The tasting room is inside an old farmhouse and there are picnic tables in a festive backyard. We appreciate the selection of porters and lagers on the craft beer menu. The brewery also offers a bar menu with pizzas, brats, wings, and more. Open Tuesday to Sunday.
Black Hoof Brewing, Leesburg
Black Hoof is located in downtown Leesburg, across the street from the Loudoun County Courthouse. The brewery has a nice selection featuring German lagers and English ales. Open daily.
Crooked Run Brewing, Leesburg
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.
Loudoun Brewing Company, Leesburg
Opened in 2015, Loudoun Brewing quickly became a home away from home for locals. With five or six home brews on tap and live music on the weekends they attract a steady stream of appreciative fans. The taproom offers relaxed spaces inside and out and easy access to the W&OD bike trail.
History lovers in your group? Take one of the excellent tours of George C. Marshall's Dodona Manor and you'll park right next to the brewery. Open daily.
Quattro Goombas, Aldie
A bit of an outlier due to its location in Aldie, Quattro Goombas Brewery features a barn-like tasting room with a changing line-up of craft beers. They also have a pub menu and a casual outdoor space with picnic tables. In addition, 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
As you travel north from Leesburg on Route 15, watch for the turn to Vanish on your left. The brewery has grown and expanded since the large industrial tasting room first opened. Today beer lovers enjoy a great mix of indoor and outdoor seating.
Grab a table out back and you can enjoy a scenic view with Sugarloaf Mountain in the distance. The beer menu at Vanish features a strong line-up of brews with an emphasis on IPAs and sours. Open daily.
Breweries in Western Loudoun County VA
This area is an ideal destination for a craft beer day trip to Virginia's LoCo Ale Trail or a hike and brewery outing. Build up your desire for the breweries listed below with a pre-beer hike to Bear's Den Overlook or a more challenging Raven Rocks hike.
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.
Barrel Oak Winery and Brewery, Delaplane
If there are wine and beer lovers in your group, Barrel Oak Winery and Brewery is a great choice. Enjoy your drinks in the tasting barn or head outside for beautiful country views. Stop by in the fall to enjoy the colorful view and apple picking at nearby Valley View Farm. Open daily.
Bear Chase Brewing Company, Bluemont
If you love brews with views, you will love Bear Chase Brewing. This great Bluemont brewery has made its mark on the region with a fantastic line-up of beer. Add comfortable indoor and outdoor spaces with gorgeous mountain views and you have the recipe for a fun day trip.
Take a short (or longer) hike to Bear's Den Overlook, then reward yourself at Bear Chase. We also recommend the giant pretzels and the fire pits are great on a chilly day. Open daily.
Plan your visit: 15 Fantastic Fun Things to Do in Bluemont Virginia.
Belly Love, Purcellville
With 6 regulars plus seasonal additions on tap, you’ll find some tasty beers and wacky names in the Belly Love taproom. Try a brew in the eclectic indoor seating or head to the 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
Dirt Farm Brewing sits high on a hill with the best brewery view in Northern Virginia. Head to the huge patio to enjoy an incredible view across the Virginia Piedmont. On a chilly day, you can grab a spot in the small but comfortable indoor tasting room or head out back to the large fireplace.
Their focus is small, hand-crafted beer from fresh ingredients grown on the owner’s family farm, Great Country Farms. The brewhouse delivers traditional style ales and many seasonals, including an excellent pumpkin ale. If you also enjoy wine, follow the short dirt road next door to sister site, Bluemont Vineyard. Open daily.
Harpers Ferry Brewing, Purcellville
Enjoy your craft beer with an awesome view across the Potomac River to West Virginia at Harpers Ferry Brewing. Spacious outdoor seating includes Adirondack chairs and picnic tables where you can spread out and soak in the view.
A robust line-up of beers, generous pizzas, and excellent tacos from the on-site food truck will satisfy your thirst and your hunger. Tip: Walk to the end of the seating area for a fantastic view across the river to Harper's Ferry WV. Open daily.
Harvest Gap Brewery, Hillsboro
Head north of Purcelville on the Charles Town Pike to reach Harvest Gap Brewery. This casual craft beer spot has a rustic tasting room and a spacious backyard. Fire pits and tables welcome guests to an attractive patio and lawn with pretty country views.
This dog-friendly brewery also has play spaces for kids and a corn maze in the fall. The tap list offers a range of IPAs, Lagers, Stouts, and more. Open Thursday to Sunday at 11:30.
Hillsborough Winery Brewery and Vineyard, Hillsboro
We love the tasty wines and gorgeous views at Hillsborough, and their brewery is yet another reason to visit. This is a family-owned farm winery and brewery with a nice mix of indoor and outdoor seating. Visitors can choose from a selection of 5 or 6 beers and 12+ wines to enjoy indoors, on the back patio, or under a pretty pergola. Open daily.
Old 690 Brewing Company, Purcellville
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 destination. Open Thursday – Sunday.
Wheatland Spring, Waterford
This farm brewery is located on a 30-acre property in historic Waterford. The outdoor seating is surrounded by farmland and if you visit in late summer you can sip next to a field of sunflowers. Make it a day trip with a fun drive on the unpaved roads of northern Loudoun County. Open Thursday – Monday
Loudoun County Brewery Closures
Unfortunately, not all of the breweries on our original LoCo Ale Trail list remain. These Loudoun County breweries are now closed:
- B Chord Brewing, Round Hill
- Beltway Brewing, Sterling
- Rocket Frog Brewing, Sterling