Vineyards in Northern Virginia have become a haven for Washingtonians to get away from the hustle and bustle of the weekly grind. The wide open countryside, outdoor picnic spreads of charcuterie and cheeses, and regional wine varieties go perfectly with the need to slow down after a long week.
But, what do you do when some in your group are less interested in wine, and instead feeling a local brew? Over the last few years, several local wineries have answered that call thanks to changes in local laws and the desire to offer their customers more variety.
Barrel Oak Winery in Delaplane is the only family farm winery in Virginia that is also licensed as a family farm brewery, and as such, its customers can drink wine and beer together.
“We are a hospitality business, here to take care of customers and make them happy,” says Barrel Oak’s proprietor, Brian Roeder. “A significant number of our customers kept asking why we didn’t have beer. So even though we are a winery and associate ourselves [with] that, we could see no good reason not to start producing and serving our beer.”
Barrel Oak started brewing beer in November 2014, and in November 2016, opened its farm taphouse, with five beers on draft to join the 20 wines available.
Looking to diversify itself from competitors in the area, Corcoran Vineyards & Cidery opened up a second venture in Loudoun County several years ago. Corcoran Brewery started on the farm as a three-barrel system, separate from the winery, but soon outgrew its space. In March 2014, Corcoran expanded to a new brewery facility in Purcellville, with a 10-barrel system and 12 beers on tap daily.
So far, Corcoran Brewing Company has produced over 33 distinct beers, ranging from kölsch-style and American pale ales to IPAs, stouts and bourbon barrel-aged drafts. The brewery is just five miles from the vineyards and cidery, where guests can sample 10 different wines and five unique ciders.
“We are able to offer everything people want right there,” says owner Lori Corcoran. “Having it together is key, and it serves everyone.”
The facilities operate separately, but are still in relatively close proximity to one another for those that want to make stops at both. Corcoran says they aren’t exploring a family beer farm license like Barrel Oak, but aren’t completely ruling out the possibility, either.
“Not at this time, but never say, ‘never,’” she adds.
Over in Aldie, Quattro Goomba’s Winery and Brewery operate on the same property, offering patrons beer and wine, but they have to be consumed in separate, designated locations. The reason being, the winery and brewery have separate licenses, the latter of which is commercial.
But that doesn’t seem to hurt Quattro, which gets steady crowds every week interested in the wine selection and changing lineup of custom craft beers. And, as if beer and wine at the same location wasn’t enough, Quattro Goomba Brewery offers a brewpub menu with tacos and sandwiches, while the winery offers freshly baked bread and local handmade cheeses. There is also a pizza shop on the grounds, offering heavenly Sicilian pizzas, freshly made to order.
All three facilities are sure to have big plans come Memorial Day weekend. Barrel Oak Winery will be celebrating its ninth anniversary with live music, dancing and thousands of dollars in giveaways all weekend. Learn more about upcoming events at these winery-brewery hybrids on their websites.
Barrel Oak Winery and Farm Taphouse: 3623 Grove Ln. Delaplane, VA; www.barreloak.com
Corcoran Brewery Company: 205 E. Hirst Rd. Purcellville, VA; www.corcoranbrewing.com
Corcoran Vineyards & Cidery: 14635 Corky’s Farm Ln. Waterford, VA; www.corcorancider.com