Loudoun Countyís Crafted History: Beer and Back Again
by Ryan Newhouse
Loudoun offers an unparalleled beer scene where plant meets pint and visitors can sample more than 200 beers at more than 25 breweries on any given week at diverse locations across Loudoun County, Virginia, including everything from farm breweries growing hops on site to industrial-style tasting rooms.

Loudounís craft beer scene began in 1989 with Old Dominion Brewing Company. While the business has since merged with another national brewery in Delaware, it gave many local brewers their start in the industry including Matt Hagerman and Favio Garcia, who opened Lost Rhino Brewing Company in 2011 and the Burns family who opened Old Ox Brewery in 2014.

Virginia legislation has also changed over the years, making it easier for breweries to open their doors. In 2014 new legislation specifically paved the way for farm breweries to open in western Loudoun- a region known for its wineries, winding country roads and rural landscape. Today, the agricultural side of beer production is an integral part of Loudounís overarching beer story and farmers like the Zurschmeide family at Dirt Farm Brewing are growing not only hops, but peaches, cherries and other products on site as ingredients for their beer.

In 2015 the agriculture side of the industry got another boost when the Mid-Atlanticís first commercial hops processing operation opened at Black Hops Farm. Located next to Vanish Brewery, the facility features tours by appointment so visitors can truly see how the hops get from the plant, processed and into their pint glass.

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