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 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.
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.
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 Brewing started as a contract and private label brewery. The updated tasting room features a nice range of brews, including some that you can only sample on-site. We love the Art in Execution Barleywine Ale and the Beltway Batting 1000 (available in cans), a nice Irish-style red. There is seating at a bar and tables inside, and a collection of picnic tables outside. Beltway has a giant TV screen so it’s a fun spot to watch games, and the taproom is right next to the W&OD bike trail. Open Wednesday – Sunday.
Crooked Run Brewing, Sterling
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 and Leesburg
“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 Wednesday – 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 and Lost Rhino Retreat, 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, and regular releases mean there’s always something new to try. A locally sourced menu of appetizers and sandwiches is on offer at the Ashburn Tasting Room. A second location, Lost Rhino Retreat, is located 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 and Middleburg
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). Ashburn open Tuesday – Sunday; Middleburg Thursday – Sunday.
Rocket Frog Brewing, Sterling
The interesting name is inspired by the photo behind the bar when a news camera captured a frog inadvertently launched via NASA rocket from Wallops Island. Happily, the brewery’s frog mascot adorns an excellent line-up of tasty beer. There are four flagship brews—a Pilsner, Brown Ale, and 2 IPAS—and a range of seasonal beers on the list. We loved the Small Business Stout, but everything we tried was good. A new deck offers nice outdoor seating. 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 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
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
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, 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
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
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 Company, Bluemont
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.
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 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
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
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
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
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 Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for more great hikes, places to visit, and things to do in Virginia and the mid-Atlantic.
This article was published in 2017 and updated in 2019 and 2020.