As Mad Fox closes in Falls Church, the Loudoun County beer scene diversifies to keep up with business.
Jake Endres is seeing a shift in the food-and-drink landscape in Loudoun County.
The co-owner and head brewer of Crooked Run Brewing Company recently opened Daybreak Kitchen & Biscuit and Nectar Cocktail Bar inside an industrial-style space housing three locations under one roof.
It could be just want the community needs.
“I definitely think that Loudoun’s demographics are getting a lot younger,” says Endres, a NoVA native. “And I think some of the higher paying jobs here have allowed more creative people to be here who are open to more spaces like this.”
Crooked Run Brewing Company covers the local craft beer with rotating seasonal brews; Daybreak Kitchen & Biscuit covers the food, serving up Southern-style chicken and biscuits; and Nectar Cocktail Bar covers the spirits with new cocktails every week.
Since the space opened in May, Endres has seen people excited to have a place to hang out and enjoy themselves without having to travel closer to the nation’s capital.
“I think, previously, this community was kind of neglected but still highly populated, so people are really excited to have us here,” Endres says. “We’re trying to bring something new and exciting that’s thrilling, and everyone has been great.”
But it isn’t all peachy when you’re bringing a trending business concept to a new area. Although, Endres says, this concept is not unique elsewhere (2019 was named the year of the food hall), it can be a challenge in a less-urban area.
Just increasing Crooked Run’s taproom from an 80-person capacity to over 300 was a big risk.
“It’s very competitive and dynamic industry right now,” Endres says. “I don’t think we’ll face [challenges] in the coming months, but we will in the coming years. So, we want to make sure we keep our finger on the pulse.”
It’s difficult to predict if this food hall trend will continue, or if Northern Virginia’s beer scene will become more saturated as new locations continue to pop up. On the down side, places like Mad Fox Brewing in Falls Church is shuttering its doors on July 21, despite it being a brewpub pioneer in NoVA.
“I think [Crooked Run] has been ahead of the times in some ways and that’s the position we want to be in,” Endres says. “Hopefully we can be ahead of the curve, and if not, keeping up with it. It’s very important to never take anything for granted and to just continue to adapt and innovate.”
And they’re already adding to the space.
Starting next week, Spring House Farm, a Hamilton-based farm led by Andrew Crush, will open a farm store in Crooked Run’s space. The farm already had a partnership with the brewery by taking its leftover grain to feed its livestock, but will be able to sell its pork and other butchered meats directly to customers in Sterling.
Nectar will also be extending its hours to Wednesdays and Thursdays starting in two weeks—it’s open Friday through Sunday for now—and Endres says other than keeping up with demand, future adjustments are mostly concerned with solidifying Daybreak’s menu, keeping customers coming back for new brews and continuing to keep cocktails fresh.
“The menu changes every week, and we typically have 11 handcrafted cocktails,” Endres says. “And we rotate taps consistently. So I can pretty much guarantee that no matter when you’re coming, there’ll be something new to try.”
The location is hosting Crooked Run Brewing’s sixth anniversary party on Saturday, July 21, with a luau-themed pig roast of pork barbecue sandwiches, live music from Super Doppler and special beer releases (in collaboration with Fair Winds Brewing Company, Ocelot Brewing Company and several others). // Crooked Run Brewing + Daybreak Kitchen & Biscuit + Nectar Cocktail Bar: 22455 Davis Drive, Suite 133, Sterling
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