By Ariel Yong
Loudoun County welcomes its newest craft brewery today. The family-owned Old Ox Brewery will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. today and Friday, and owner Chris Burns says he looks forward to hearing what everyone thinks of his new place.
“We’re in an industrial warehouse area so we’re kind of carrying that theme through to our tasting room,” Burns says. “It’s open with metals and rustic woods and concrete [as] the raw materials we’re using in here. Then [we have] big windows into the manufacturing area so that we can make sure everybody gets to see the nice shiny equipment because that’s why everyone is here. It’s a brewery so we want to make sure people have access to what makes this place work.”
Burns says his love of beer began when he and his father Graham started home-brewing beer about seven years ago. Today, Old Ox Brewery is a family-run business, with help from Burns’ brothers and sister, his wife and his mom.
Today, visitors can taste the brewery’s first two production batches of beer on tap. There’s a session IPA called Alpha Ox and a Belgian golden ale, Golden Ox. Burns describes the Alpha Ox as “a hop-forward beer done in the style of an IPA with lower alcohol.” The IPA is about 4.5-percent alcohol “with all the really nice citrus and pine aromas and flavors but it has just enough of a malt backbone to keep it from feeling too bitter or watered down.” On the other hand, the Golden Ox is 6.5-percent alcohol and is “a crisp, somewhat fruity take on a Belgium golden ale.” Burns calls the Belgium golden ale “very approachable” and “perfect for a hot summer day.”
Old Ox Brewery also just hired Noah Cowles as its second brewer. Cowles joins current brewmaster Kenny Allen, the former head brewer of Old Dominion.
The brewery will be open on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We’re really excited to share our beer with the community,” Burns says. “And we can’t wait to get this journey started.”