Loudoun County is home to 33 craft breweries, and the owners have joined forces to create the Loudoun County Ale Trail. You can sample a glass at these innovative breweries from a bike seat (or by foot) via the Washington & Old Dominion Trail (W&OD). These breweries and eateries are found in the stretch between Sterling and Leesburg, with five breweries (and one cidery) folded into this 10-mile section. Please ride responsibly, have a hearty meal, and arrange for a designated driver.
- Begin your ride at Sterling W&OD Parking Lot off Pacific Boulevard near Auto Nation Honda Dulles. (mile marker 24.5)
- Ride 1 mile to Stop 2: Old Ox Brewery (44652 Guilford Dr., Ashburn) The family-owned brewery is less than ten steps from the W&OD Trail. With ample bike parking, Old Ox welcomes riders to stop and sample their superb lineup of craft beer. The cycle-friendly brewery always has a food truck parked outside. (mile marker 25.5)
- Ride approximately 9 miles into Old Town Leesburg: Crooked Run Brewing is a small-batch brewery with leading-edge craft beer. The brewery is part of the Market Station complex a quarter-mile from the W&OD Trail. Exit the trail at Leesburg Junction at Harrison Street SE. (mile marker 34.2)
- Directly beside Crooked Run: Try some refreshing beverages at Wild Hare Hard Cider (mile marker 34.2)
- Next stop in downtown Leesburg: Black Walnut Brewery/Kahvila Coffee House sits adjacent to the W&OD in a vintage building with an outdoor beer garden in back. (mile marker 34.4)
- Also in downtown Leesburg: Black Hoof Brewery, located at the corner of Market Street and King Street, offers fun and games with their craft beer. (mile marker 34.4)
- Loudoun Brewing Company is a family owned brewery with an outdoor patio. Located on 310 East Market Street of historic Leesburg, this micro-brewery is known for infusing fruits and seasonal ingredients into their ales and IPA’s.
- Where to dine: Carolina Brothers Pit Barbeque is at the intersection of State Road 641 in Ashburn, just one block from the trail. Try their famous brisket (when available) or pulled pork sandwich. Car lot available. (mile marker 27.5). Or refuel with a pastry or sandwich on fresh-baked Ciabatta bread at South Street Under in Tuscarora Mill beside Crooked Run Brewery (Mile Marker 34.2). For a hearty burger, stop by Melt Gourmet Cheeseburgers on Market Street. For a pizza or pasta, visit Mama Lucci’s (Mile Marker 33.8)
- Catch car service back to the starting point or have some food and ride back safely.
Freelance writer and photographer specializing in vivid, deeply reported stories about food, travel and family.