While Loudoun County, Virginia is known for its many great wineries, the region is home to a variety of interesting places to have a drink. We suggest that you visit both the wineries and branch out a bit. Here are three very different fun drinking experiences in Loudoun County that we enjoy.
1. Dry Mill Vineyards and Winery
Dry Mill Vineyards and Winery, just outside of Leesburg, is a fun drinking experience because it’s a great wine tasting without being pretentious. Located in renovated stables, the winery is rather rustic, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are cute wine-related sayings on the walls and for sale.
But the wines are award winners, and the wine tasting itself is a relaxing, unhurried experience the old-fashioned way. Rather than pouring all of the wines at once and then leaving us to guide ourselves and guess what we’re drinking, each wine was poured and explained to us when we were ready for the next taste. We could also create our own wine tasting flights, an option not offered at many wineries. The last time we visited, I tried the Stainless Steel Chardonnay, the Barrel Chardonnay, the Viognier, and the Norton, Virginia’s native grape. All of them were great. The tastes were also provided in actual glassware, not plastic, which enhances the wine and elevates the experience. The tasting can be conducted indoors or out on the patio. There are snacks available to purchase to go with the wine.
At our last visit, we also met the owner, who informed us that while it’s not advertised, since the winery is only a mile outside of town, some of the local hotels offer free shuttles to the winery for those who prefer not to drive. Now that’s a nice perk!
2. The Beach Party at MacDowell's
For a completely different fun drinking experience in Loudoun County, check out MacDowell’s in the heart of Leesburg for its outdoor beach party. We unexpectedly stumbled into this slice of Margaritaville after eating dinner elsewhere in town. MacDowell’s advertises itself as a beer bar fashioned from a shipwrecked boat, and pulls off that island vibe, with sand, firepits, palm trees, and live music. It’s incredibly kitschy and incredibly fun.
There are beers on tap, but plenty of mixed drinks and wine. The cover charge for access (and corresponding wristband) was $5.00 each, a real throwback to college – a long, long time ago. Doug and I definitely brought the age of the crowd up! MacDowell’s also offers a full menu of mainly American cuisine, an indoor lounge bar, an indoor café during the winter, and an adjacent house available for rent that accommodates six people.
3. Adroit Theory Brewing Company
Looking for a unique, funky craft beer experience? Then head on over to Adroit Theory Brewing Company in Purcellville for a real find not to be missed. This tiny taproom located in an industrial park offers barrel-aged craft beers on tap and growlers to go. This is a beer-only brewery, with esoteric and “style-challenging” beers and a constantly changing tap list. There are typically 16-24 beers on draft and 10-20 options in bottles and cans. You can get the beers in different sizes, and create your own flight if you prefer.
The brewery sells some prepackaged foods, and occasionally has food trucks, but you can also bring your own food. We usually bring a picnic when we visit. One can sit either in the taproom or on the patio.
The décor is heavy metal, but the atmosphere is incredibly mellow. It caters to all age groups. Its motto is “consume life/drink art.” This is one of Bobby’s favorite breweries and a must-visit for his birthday.
If you have any suggestions on additional fun drinking experiences in Loudoun County or elsewhere, please share! Our email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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