We’ve all been that person. Find a cafe, buy a coffee, maybe a pastry. Somehow it’s lunch and you’re still in the same spot. You have to pay for that seat. You should buy another drink, some more food. And now you need to find an outlet for the dwindling battery. And maybe a beer sounds better than another latte.
Steve Sakole gets it. He built Brew Birds with the laptop-worker (*not freeloader!) in mind. He used to be one.
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“I would take my laptop to Ocelot to grab a beer and do work,” says Sakole, where he would research vendors and develop pricing for his own shop while at the Dulles brewery. “I was missing out on my own concept.”
About one-third of all the seats (about 35) at Brew Birds are equipped with various outlets (including USB and USB-C). Sakole also added protective screens on the windows to minimize glare and keep things cool, and he made sure the Wi-Fi is strong enough to reach any customers working on the patio.
Sakole has been in the restaurant industry since he was 17, starting as a busser and eventually becoming the general manager at Lost Dog Cafe where he kick-started the beer program. This was back in 2011, before craft beer found its way to the nicest and diviest bars. Lost Dog was a local leader in craft beer world.
Sakole was looking to open his own franchise of Lost Dog, but after not being able to find a location, he went back to the bank, switched concepts and instead opened Brew Birds with his wife, Heather.
The couple works with a consulting chef, Anne Alfano, to create an unfussy menu with dishes like the PJ&B, a twist on the classic letters for peanut butter and jelly, which instead signals a pepper jelly, bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. Breakfast (vegan burrito, avocado toast) is served until 2 p.m., plus there are sandwiches (grilled cheese, roast beef), salads (falafel, fried chicken) and snacks (mac and cheese, green beans).
Coffee is by Counter Culture and beer showcases Virginia breweries, like Ocelot and Oozlefinch Craft Brewery (Monroe) and options not often seen locally, especially in Stone Ridge, like American Solera from Tulsa, Oklahoma and Austin Eastciders Collaboratory out of Texas.
“The goal with the draft list,” says Sakole, is to bring in beers “you can’t find out this way.” He has an eye for the unusual, like a gose with an astonishing 11% ABV. He says it was the first time he ever saw a double-digit measure of alcohol for a gose.
The Tefnut, an apricot and passion fruit sour from The Veil Brewing Company (Richmond) is what Sakole calls a “pretty tart juice bomb” with “all the characteristics of a gose, but much thicker. It looks like your drinking juice.”
And wouldn’t that look good next to a laptop? // Brew Birds: 42020 Village Center Plaza Suite 130, Aldie