Frugal Foodie Mama: Booze & Brews with a View: 8 Must-Visit Wineries & Breweries in Loudoun County, Virginia

Friday, June 4, 2021

Booze & Brews with a View: 8 Must-Visit Wineries & Breweries in Loudoun County, Virginia

It doesn't matter if you are wine lover, a craft beer connoisseur, or if you happen to appreciate small batch spirits- you can craft the perfect booze-filled itinerary in Loudoun County, Virginia...

This post was created in partnership with Visit Loudoun. As always, all opinions & thoughts expressed below are 100% my own.

After almost a year of Covid-induced homebody-ness, I was finally ready to venture out on a girls' trip last month. A little road trip to one of my favorite areas of Virginia became the obvious choice for our first girls' getaway in over a year. Not only is Loudoun County home to some of the best wine country in the state of Virginia, but their local foodie scene has recently seen an explosion in growth when it comes to locally owned and operated breweries and distilleries as well. 

It doesn't matter if you are wine lover, a craft beer connoisseur, or if you happen to appreciate small batch spirits- you can craft the perfect booze-filled itinerary (responsibly, of course!) in Loudoun County, Virginia. Loudoun County boasts over 30 breweries, almost 40 wineries, and about 7 distilleries & cideries, but that number continues to grow every year.

While our two and a half day girls' getaway didn't allow us to try every winery, brewery, and distillery in the county, we did get to visit at least 8 on the list. All 8 of these wineries & breweries (plus 1 distillery!) had to meet certain discerning criteria to make it on our girls' trip list ;) :

  • They had to have plenty of outdoor spaces and seating. I mean, what is seriously better than being able to sip on a glass of pink bubbles or enjoying a cold draft beer on a patio or deck?
  • They had to be locally owned and operated.
  • And being nestled in the rolling, green foothills of the Shenandoah, a beautiful view was definitely a must!

1. 868 Estate Vineyards (14001 Harpers Ferry Road, Hillsboro)

868 Estate Vineyards is a boutique winery that specializes in producing small batch wines using only grapes grown on their estate. They also happen to believe in supporting the local art and music scene in Loudoun County by providing a gallery space for local artists inside their tasting room and by hosting various live music events throughout the year. They practice a philosophy of perfectly blending their wine varietals with food, art, and nature.

868 boasts an impressive and sprawling outdoor space with patio seating, a covered pavilion, picnic tables scattered throughout the property, and plenty of open space for spreading out a blanket and enjoying a bottle of their Canvas Pink (pictured above) with a friend. 

While their on-site restaurant, Grandale Restaurant is currently closed, they do offer food from The Grill at 868 on the weekends. You can also purchase charcuterie goodies in the tasting room to pair with your wine selection.

Highlights of 868 Estate Vineyard:
  • Large outdoor space perfect for social distancing
  • Family friendly & dog friendly (in outdoor spaces only)
  • Can accommodate large groups (please call ahead & make reservations for groups of 8 or more)

2. 8 Chains North Winery (38593 Daymont Lane, Waterford)

8 Chains North Winery is a small, family-owned boutique farm winery that sources their grapes from both their vines on-site as well as from their original property located in Leesburg. The winery opened in 2010 in a renovated barn complete with a tasting room, a barrel and tank room, a private event space, and a beautiful covered outdoor patio area. They even have an off-leash dog park for your furry friends.

I highly suggest purchasing a glass or bottle of their signature Loco Vino to enjoy outside while taking in views of the grapevines in the distant. It is a fruity, easy drinking white perfect for summertime sipping.

In addition to their individual wine tastings, 8 Chains North also offers wines by the glass and the bottle, as well as tours of the vineyard by appointment only, group tastings, and chocolates. You can find out more and plan your visit to the winery, by CLICKING HERE.

Highlights of 8 Chains North Winery:

  • Family friendly
  • Dog friendly 
  • Covered outdoor seating with views of the vineyard

3. Maggie Malick Wine Caves (12128 Harpers Ferry Road, Purcellville)

Our visit to Maggie Malick Wine Caves was a totally impromptu stop for us while we were exploring local wineries and breweries during our last day in Loudoun County. I mean, how could we possibly resist when we saw the sign for a wine cave along the side of the road as were driving along? ;)

While not technically a "cave", it did resemble more of a fallout bunker to us. But hey- what better place to be holed up during the apocalypse than in a cave filled with casks of wine produced from grapes grown right there on their 215-acre estate?

Highlights of Maggie Malick Wine Caves:

  • A large outdoor space with covered seating available
  • Female-owned winery
  • Their wines are sold by the glass, bottle, and as part of self-guided flights in the tasting room.
  • They offer a nice selection of charcuterie and snacks to pair with your wine.

4. Hillsborough Winery, Brewery, & Vineyard (36716 Charles Town Pike, Hillsboro)

Traveling with a craft beer lover when you are more of a wine connoisseur? Then you definitely must add a stop to Hillsborough Winery & Brewery to your boozy itinerary while in Loudoun County. Hillsborough is the vision that came to life when two brothers- one a winemaker and the other a brewmaster- came together and decided to start a business.

Grab a table outside and sip on a glass of their Serefino or their Stone Cold Fox IPA while taking in the gorgeous views of the vineyard and rolling foothills of the Shenandoah below.

Highlights of Hillsborough Winery, Brewery, & Vineyard:

  • It is a winery and brewery in one.
  • Located just minutes from many local B&B's in the area (it is was less than 3 minutes from ours!)
  • Plenty of outdoor seating (some covered)

5. Flying Ace Distillery & Brewery (40950 Flying Ace Lane, Lovettsville)

Flying Ace Farm is fairly new to the local Loudon County scene having only been open for about a month and a half now, but they are definitely already off to an impressive start. Flying Ace happens to be the area's first farm distillery and brewery specializing in farm-to-bottle brews & spirits. Don't let the new barns and the fancy silos fool you, folks- this is indeed a working farm.

In addition to a large indoor space, Flying Ace has plenty of outdoor seating, an outdoor stage for live music, and even a playground for the kids. They also have plans to open a Monk's BBQ as part of the brewery, but currently serve food from The Polished Foxx, a food truck featuring flown-in-fresh seafood offerings & locally-sourced ingredients. 

The brewery and the distillery at Flying Ace are two separate entities, and you are unable to take a beer to the brewery side and vice versa. But if you happen to be a lover of good bourbon (like myself), then you will definitely want to venture over to the distillery side to try their Cask Strength Blended Bourbon. In addition to offering tasting flights (pictured above), the distillery also has an ever-changing small cocktail menu that features their bourbons and rums. 

Highlights of Flying Ace Distillery & Brewery:

  • A large indoor and outdoor space with plenty of seating and picnic tables
  • Live music most evenings that they are open
  • Family friendly & dog friendly (dogs must be leashed)
  • On-site food truck (be looking for their BBQ restaurant to open soon!)
  • It is a brewery and a distillery- perfect for the beer and liquor lovers!

6. Harpers Ferry Brewing (37412 Adventure Center Lane, Hillsboro)

A stop at Harpers Ferry Brewing is a must for your Loudoun County itinerary if only to take in the views from their outdoor decks above the Potomac River. It doesn't matter where you choose to kick back and enjoy a cold draft beer there- you are guaranteed a breathtaking view.

During our visit to Harpers Ferry Brewing, their draft list happened to be pretty IPA heavy so I didn't find a beer that I loved there this time around. But I will definitely stop back in the next time I am in the area to give their updated draft selections a go again. 

This is just one of the amazing vistas you can take in from the back decks of Harpers Ferry Brewing. This is the bridge leading over the Potomac towards Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Highlights of Harpers Ferry Brewing:

  • A large outdoor space (covered and uncovered) with amazing views of the Potomac, West Virginia, and Maryland
  • Family friendly and dog friendly
  • Live music on the weekends

7. Harvest Gap Brewery (15485 Purcellville Road, Hillsboro)

Much like our visit to Maggie Malick Wine Caves, our stop at Harvest Gap Brewery was totally unplanned and on-the-fly. We were on our way to Wheatland Farm & Brewery (which I feature below) after checking out of the bed & breakfast, and spotted this gem from the road. I immediately hit the breaks and made a hard right into their parking lot.

In addition to their brewed beers on draft, Harvest Gap also serves up Sour Ale Beer Slushies, wine by the glass and the bottle, & wine slushies. 

Highlights of Harvest Gap Brewery:

  • Large outdoor space with lots of seating and firepits you can rent
  • Kid friendly with plenty to keep the kiddos occupied outdoors
  • Dog friendly
  • They serve food on-site.

8. Wheatland Farm & Brewery (38506 John Wolford Road, Waterford)

If you are wanting to try a true farm-to-glass beer, then add a stop at Wheatland Farm & Brewery to your Loudoun County drinking itinerary. On this 30-acre working farm, Wheatland grows their own grains and herbs, uses well water from the property, and host honey bee hives all for the purpose of producing their unique beers.

I had the pleasure of trying their Field & Vine 2020 (pictured above), an open fermented farmhouse ale that was brewed with Walsh Farm Wine Petit Manseng grapes. The Walsh Farm winery is located just minutes from the Wheatland Farm, so it is a true locally sourced collaboration. And tasty too! I definitely recommend giving it a try if they happen to have it on tap during your visit.

Highlights of Wheatland Farm & Brewery:

  • Plenty of outdoor seating with picnic tables and indoor seating inside their barn
  • Food served on-site
  • Family friendly
  • Unique beers brewed on-site with an emphasis on local sustainability

We had just started our sampling of the county's boozy offerings during our road trip there last month, and I can't wait to return soon to try even more wineries and breweries in the area.

Have you visited Loudoun County, Virginia before?
Which breweries, wineries, and distilleries should we add to our itinerary on our next trip to the area?

Ready to plan your visit to Loudoun County? 
Be sure to visit the Visit Loudoun website to get started!