With 44 local wineries, Loudoun County holds the crafting of finer things near to its heart. To the delight of Loudoun residents and beer-lovers alike, breweries are starting to come into their own to match the winery craze.
Four Loudoun County breweries enjoyed the camaraderie surrounding craft beer, recently scoring high marks in the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild’s 2018 Virginia Craft Beer Cup.
As brewer Tolga Baki undertakes his newest adventure, Hillsborough Farm Brewery, where he will team up with his family business, Hillsborough Vineyards, one of Baki's already established projects earned prestige at the cup.
Baki's Belly Love Brewing Company's 50 Shades of Gold captured first place in the Strong Belgian Ale category. The beer is described as “100 percent Belgian malts” and “dangerously smooth.” Though most beers come and go at Belly Love in Purcellville, brewery officials said 50 Shades of Gold is here to stay.
Black Hoof Brewing Company's Weissbier was awarded first place for German Wheat Beer. Black Hoof owner Bill Haase and wife Nikki traveled to Germany as a part of their “necessary beer education” before opening up shop at the brewery, according to officials.
After celebrating its 2017 Dark British Ale second place title for Dulce de Leche, Crooked Run Brewery in Leesburg came back for more hardware in 2018. This time in the German Wheat Beer category, Crooked Run’s Hefeweizen-style brew, called Best Days, came away from the Beer Cup with a third place nod. Crooked Run describes Best Days as “the perfect summer pint,” packed with tastes of banana and clove. Best Days can be tasted both at Crooked Run’s Leesburg and Sterling locations.
Ashburn's Old Ox Brewery arrived at the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild’s 2018 Virginia Craft Beer Cup craving another title. In 2017, the brewery received two recognitions -- its Black Ox brew placed second for Best in Show and first for American Porter and Stout. Old Ox picked up a bronze this year in Spiced Beer for Kristin’s Passion and silver in American Porter and Stout with Black Ox. Old Ox will celebrate its fourth birthday on June 16 with the reveal of a new beer.
In related news, The Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference comes to Loudoun County in August.