(Updated at 1:25 p.m. on 9/21/2023) Tysons residents looking to usher in fall by tossing back some cold brews will have a couple of options this month.
Oktoberfest at The Boro
Update — The Boro’s Oktoberfest was scheduled for this Saturday (Sept. 23), but with rain in the forecast, it has been postponed to the following Saturday, Sept. 30.
The Boro’s annual Oktoberfest celebration is set to return from 2-5 p.m. with a biergarten at The Sandlot (1680 Boro Place), food trucks, live polka music, a beer stein-holding competition and some more kid-friendly activities, such as crafts, face painting and glitter tattoos.
Beers on tap at the biergarten will include:
- Eggenberg Helle Weizen
- Eggenberg Hopfenkonig Pils
- Tucher Festbier
- Weihenstephaner Hefe-Weissbier
- Solace Gute Nacht Oktoberfest
- Zero Gravity Oktoberfest
- Aslin No Backsies Hefeweizen
The winner of the stein-holding contest will be rewarded with a gift certificate to one of The Boro’s retailers. Some branded beer mugs will also be up for grabs, going to the first 150 people to show up at Oktoberfest.
In recognition of September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, The Boro is using the event “to raise funds and awareness” for a local chapter of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, per a media alert. The Pennsylvania-based nonprofit supports cancer research and provides resources to families of children diagnosed with cancer.
The Boro’s Oktoberfest celebration is free to attend, but registration through Eventbrite is encouraged.
Oktoberfest Wine, Cider & Beer Festival
Running from 1-6 p.m., the festival will feature dozens of international and Virginian wines, spiked and bourbon apple ciders, and beers from both local and out-of-state breweries. Samples of the venue’s regular draft beers from Tysons Biergarten and Waffles & Tacos will also be offered.
Event highlights outside of the booze include bratwursts and other food, outdoor games, live music from 12:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., a kids’ corner with a moon bounce, face painting and more, and a whole lineup of apple and pie games:
- 1:15 p.m. — Apple bobbing competition
- 2 p.m. — Apple grabbing race
- 3 p.m. — Apple toss
- 4 p.m. — Pie toss
- 5 p.m. — Pie-eating competition
Admission is free, but tickets can be reserved through Eventbrite. With no parking on site, Shipgarten provides complimentary shuttle service from 1700 Old Meadow Road as well as $20 valet service.
For Oktoberfest celebrations outside of Tysons, G34.3 Brewing Company (8532 Terminal Road, Suite L) in Lorton is throwing a party from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday with a beer release, German food and music. Tickets cost $29.99.
The Town of Vienna’s annual Oktoberfest is also returning on Oct. 7.
(Updated at 2:05 p.m. on 9/13/2023) The Commonwealth of Virginia will take center stage at Tysons Corner Center this Saturday (Sept. 16).
The first annual Celebrate Virginia festival will enliven the Plaza at Tysons Corner Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with beer and wine tastings as well as live entertainment, an artisan market and a mural painted in real time.
“We are excited to bring the community together at our inaugural Celebrate Virginia event, which highlights everything that makes our home state special,” said Jesse Benites, the director of property management for the mall’s owner, Macerich. “We will be showcasing small Virginia-based businesses, artists, and talent and are thrilled with the support and collaboration from our public officials and community partners.”
Some of those officials are slated to make appearances, including Rep. Gerry Connolly, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay, and representatives of the county’s police and fire departments and George Mason University.
Organized in partnership with Visit Fairfax — Fairfax County’s official destination marketing agency — and the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), Celebrate Virginia will be generally open to the public and free to attend.
The only exception is the V.I.P. Wine and Wellness Tent, which requires $40 tickets. The tent will offer tastings from eight different Virginia wineries and access to a pop-up from the five-star resort and spa Salamander Middleburg, where attendees can create a personalized aromatherapy oil.
Proceeds from the ticket sales will go to the Merrifield-based nonprofit Food for Others.
As for the free attractions, there will be beer tastings from five breweries, including Chantilly’s Strange Fruit Brewing, Smartmouth Brewing from Hampton Roads and Brother Craft Brewing from Harrisonburg.
The musical line-up will feature:
- 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — DanYko (Alexandria)
- 1-2:30 p.m. — Tejas & Felix (Fairfax City)
- 3-4 p.m. — Zac Quintana & Shawn Cody (Manassas)
The Artisan Makers Market will be similarly stacked with vendors based in Virginia, including many in Fairfax County:
- Inner Loop Coffee Roasters (Falls Church)
- Mother Cluster’s (Fairfax)
- Snugabutter (Annandale)
- Nordic Knot (Reston)
- River Sea Chocolates (Chantilly)
- The Humble Hustle Company (Roanoke)
- Trupti’s Craft: Quilling Gifts (Fairfax)
- Alyssa Mae Crafts (Tysons)
Throughout the day, visitors can also help paint a community mural with Loudoun-based artist Kevin Bednarz, whose work mixes street art, graphics and “original styles,” according to Tysons Corner Center.
“The design will be pre-sketched, and event attendees will be able to paint and bring the mural to life throughout the event,” the mall said. “The final product will be a large piece painted by the community to be exhibited within the shopping center.”
There will also be a “Spin the Tysons Wheel” with limited edition “Virginia is for Shopping Lovers” custom shirts, beanie hats, picnic blankets and other merchandise as the prizes.
“Virginia’s artisan, craft beer, and wine industries have become important drivers of Virginia’s tourism economy, making the Commonwealth an ideal destination for travelers who are seeking authentic, experiential attractions,” VTC Director of Communications Andrew Cothern said. “This event will provide an excellent locally made experience of everything Virginia has to offer firsthand.”
Visit Fairfax President and CEO Barry Biggar said in a statement that the agency is “thrilled” to help celebrate “talented artisans, makers and musicians” from Fairfax County and across the state.
Organizers hope Celebrate Virginia will become a recurring occasion. It will likely return annually to Tysons Corner Center, which was the “brainchild behind this event,” according to a Visit Fairfax spokesperson.
“We hope residents and visitors alike will come out to see what this amazing destination is all about and even take home a unique piece of Virginia,” Biggar said.
Plans for Herndon’s first beer garden — Herndon Biergarten — are still brewing, although at a slower place than previously anticipated.
In November 2021, the Town of Herndon’s Historic District Review Board (HDRB) reviewed the company’s plan to demolish a two-story building at 771 Center Street to make way for the business.
According to Town of Herndon spokeswoman Anne Curtis, the town is currently awaiting the resubmission of the plan by the applicant. The site plan is currently in the town’s review process.
Curtis said that the resubmission was sought as a “standard part of a site plan application” in October.
“The various reviewers provided several comments regarding design elements that did not meet applicable standards. The applicant’s engineer and design team is working to revise the application at their discretion for resubmission and re-review,” Curtis wrote in a statement.
The owner of Herndon Biergarten indicated that an update would likely be available in a few weeks.
The plan reviewed by the HDRB in November included an open kitchen area, barn doors opening to the rooftop bar area and green house room, and two dining areas. At the time, the application was in its early staged.
The Herndon Biergarten is expected to host daily activities, games, events and beer festival. The Tysons location closed in 2018 due to property redevelopment.
Reston Now, a sister site of FFXnow, previously reported that the Herndon location was expected to open in the spring of 2021.
Something new is brewing in Old Town Fairfax.
Expanding operations from Virginia Beach, Commonwealth Brewing Company is gearing up to join the neighborhood with an anticipated Labor Day weekend opening at 10426 Main Street.
In honor of its opening, which will ideally come on Sept. 1, the brewery will offer a “pie and a pint” special associated with its participation in Fairfax City’s upcoming Restaurant Week. Customers can choose from one of Commonwealth’s eight signature pizzas and a draft beer for $25.
Fairfax visitors can expect “an even bigger implementation” of Commonwealth’s offerings in Virginia Beach (2444 Pleasure House Road), where the brewery serves 25 to 28 styles of beer crafted in house, owner Jeramy Biggie says.
The new Fairfax location will boast a 4,800 square-foot tap room with 48 taps, five of which will be dedicated to draft cocktails that are currently exclusive to Fairfax. It will also eventually add the coffee brand that Commonwealth recently launched in Virginia Beach.
“It’s a great, great spot right on Main Street, and it has a pretty expansive patio with outdoor seating where dogs are welcome,” Biggie told FFXnow. “I’m just really excited to see how people can respond to the beer.”
Along with specialty alcoholic beverages, Fairfax’s Commonwealth Brewing will serve freshly made food, like its signature Neopolitan wood-fired pizza, and it will experiment with “eclectic concepts” and “interesting ingredients,” such as Korean short rib and kimchi, Biggie says.
He plans to maintain a rotating menu by introducing three to five new beer styles every week and new food items every month.
“I think our ethos is all about being creative and trying to really foster an environment where people can come together and have a really enjoyable, hopefully world class product,” Biggie said.
Also new with the Fairfax location is a dedicated beer production space for Belgian-style, long-term, barrel-aged sour beers — the very beer that Biggie says first sparked his passion for becoming a commercial brewer. This particular style of beer is aged on wild bacteria for a year to three years, so it’s “a labor of love,” Biggie says.
“They’re not profitable at all, but they’re delicious, so we like to make them,” Biggie laughed. “…It’s a really small percentage of our total volume, but it’s a really important part of it.”
Beers have long since been a labor of love for Biggie, who began home-brewing around 13 years ago as a hobby while working full-time as a structural engineer.
“When I met my wife, she was studying abroad in Germany, and I flew over to Europe to spend Christmas with her over 20 years ago now, and she took me to all the hot houses and European beer gardens, and I was blown away by the food and the quality of the beer,” Biggie said. “That’s where it all kind of started for me. I came back and started seeking out more interesting beers and then that turned into home brewing.”
After a decade of home-brewing, Biggie and his wife Natalie decided to liquidate their retirement savings and “make the huge jump” into their “first-ever entrepreneurial endeavor,” Biggie recalls.
“I found I had a pretty natural ability to make recipes and really loved doing it,” Biggie said. “I loved all the social inspiration that I got from it, being able to invite the neighborhood over to come try the beers and just really got into it and got super passionate about it — basically filled my entire house with fermenters. After making all different styles over a decade and passively researching, we made a decision to open a brewery.”
Formerly based in Alexandria’s Del Rey neighborhood, the couple found no better place to break ground on their brewery than where they first met: Virginia Beach.
Now, after experiencing success by the ocean for the past eight years, the Biggies are heading back to Northern Virginia, where they hope to “create a bigger and stronger nightlife scene” in Old Town Fairfax, Biggie says.
“We know the area, we know that people up there really appreciate high-quality products,” Biggie said. “We came across the Fairfax property, and it was just amazing, and we really liked the building owner, and we loved it being in a really cool main street.”
As Commonwealth prepares to open in Fairfax at the beginning of next month, Biggie says he’s focused on integrating the brewery into the Fairfax community and involving George Mason University students, who he hopes will become regulars.
His goal, he says, is to make Commonwealth a close-knit community hub that promotes interpersonal connection.
“We want to be a community center. We want to be a place where people can come every week and meet and see each other,” Biggie continued. “…We’re the antithesis of a sports bar. We have no screens anywhere, and we really want you to focus on the beer you’re enjoying, the food you’re eating and the people you’re with.”
Halley Rise, a mixed-use development in Reston, is hosting an inaugural event with craft brews, live music and bouquet-making.
The first-ever Beer in the Garden event is in partnership with Lost Rhino Brewing Company, a brewery located in Ashburn. It will take place at the farm at Halley Rise, a pop-up urban farm at 2025 Fulton Place that is the site of community events.
The event is set for Sept. 16 from noon to 3 p.m. Open to guests ages 21 and up, tickets are $10 and include a custom pint glass, a flower bouquet, root beer and a $5 donation to the nonprofit Cornerstones.
In addition, food, beer and other drinks will be available for purchase. Attendees under 21 are free but must register online through Eventbrite.
The farm opened in 2022 and grows fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. Produce grown on the farm is donated to Cornerstones.
Mustang Sally’s (14140 Parke Long Ct A-C) will host a dog adoption and fundraising event on Saturday, Sept. 9 in collaboration with Forever Home, according to a Facebook post.
In honor of the event, Mustang Sally’s will brew a one-of-a-kind beer that will be on sale just for that day. Its name will be chosen by Forever Home, which is currently collecting submissions from the public that can be sent to email@example.com by Saturday (July 22).
Once the beer is named, Forever Home plans to create a web page where community members can pay a small donation fee to enter their dog’s picture into a prize drawing for the chance to have their pooch’s face featured on the label of the specialty beer.
All proceeds from the contest will go back to the dog rescue, though Forever Home representative Patti Stinson noted that exact details have yet to be “finalized.” After submissions close, Forever Home will choose its top five pictures and leave the final choice up to Mustang Sally’s.
For every four-pack of beer sold, Mustang Sally’s will donate a portion of the sales to Forever Home, Mustang Sally’s spokesperson Eric Javage told FFXnow. Javage also hinted that the limited beer would likely be a hazy IPA because “everyone likes a good IPA.”
In addition, event attendees will have the opportunity to meet and apply for ownership of Forever Home’s foster dogs on site. Stinson says Forever Home’s goal is to process all paperwork and send each dog home with its new owner within a week of an application submission.
For Mustang Sally’s, this joint initiative joins a long lineup of what Javage affectionately dubs “Yappy Hour” events. Just around the corner on Saturday, July 22, Mustang Sally’s will host a similarly structured dog adoption event with local animal rescue organization Mutt Love.
Javage, the proud owner of a rescue dog from Fairfax County Animal Shelter, told FFXnow that he has made it Mustang Sally’s mission to partner with at least one new local animal shelter every month.
Unsurprisingly, then, Stinson credits Javage for initiating the partnership and being “fabulous” in handling most of the leg work setting up the event.
Javage plans to continue using the brewery to “give out more brand awareness” to small, community-oriented organizations around Northern Virginia, he says.
“Our big vision is to use Mustang as a vehicle to help the community,” Javage said. Read More
Visitors to Capital One Center in Tysons might’ve noticed signs advertising an upcoming change for Starr Hill Brewery, operator of the development’s rooftop beer garden.
The company confirmed today (Tuesday) that it will expand its presence in the neighborhood with a new, street-level brewpub, featuring a new food menu and two bars.
“We are incredibly excited to announce the addition of our new Brewpub at Capital One Center,” Starr Hill Brewery Vice President of Commercial Operations Josh Cromwell said. “This expansion represents our commitment to providing an exceptional entertainment experience, complementing the amazing atmosphere that Biergarten has developed in the past two years. We are excited to continue showcasing our fantastic beers, food and entertainment at a premier destination in Tysons.”
The 7,572-square-foot pub will be located at base of Capital One Hall at 7730 Capital One Tower Road. The spot had previously been slated to get the restaurant Sisters Thai, which has instead moved across the street.
Starr Hill Brewpub will open in early 2024, according to the press release.
The Brewpub will feature 2 separate bars with over 20 beers on tap, complimented by a robust cocktail menu and a variety of ciders and wines. The expanded food menu will focus on Americana, high-quality pub fare, offering a mouthwatering selection of classic and innovative dishes, designed to perfectly complement Starr Hill’s award-winning beers. An impressive seating capacity of over 225 seats will include an outdoor patio area and a stunning 2,000 square feet mezzanine.
The business also announced that it has hired Arlington chef Steve Winterling to serve as executive chef for Starr Hill Biergarten, which will launch “a renewed and updated food menu” this July. Winterling was the director of dining services for Marymount University before joining Starr Hill.
Starr Hill Biergarten opened in August 2021 as part of The Perch, Capital One Center’s 2.5-acre elevated park that also features mini golf, food trucks, a dog park and an amphitheater. The biergarten has been hosting a variety of events this summer, including live music and movie nights.
“Capital One Center is thrilled to expand our partnership with Starr Hill,” Capital One Center Managing Director Jonathan Griffith said. “Starr Hill Biergarten curated a destination at The Perch and led the way as one of our first retail openings at Capital One Center. Their unique programming and expertise as one of the oldest craft breweries in Virginia has elevated the entire Perch experience.”
Capital One Center said it had no updates on an opening date for Sisters Thai, which was once expected to open in late 2022. The Tysons location will be the restaurant’s largest yet and first to include an outpost of Magnolia Boutique Dessert Bar and Coffee, which can currently only be found in Vienna.
Chef Pepe Moncayo, who launched Jiwa Singapura at Tysons Galleria earlier this year, is bringing a Spanish restaurant called Santi at 7775 Capital One Tower Road, but it wasn’t mentioned in the press release. The restaurant website says it’s coming in 2023.
Built around Capital One’s headquarters, Capital One Center will have a total of more than 250,000 square feet of retail space.
Commonwealth Brewing Company is slated to open in Old Town Fairfax this summer.
Currently based in Virginia Beach, the family-owned artisanal craft brewery will expand to 10420 Main Street, which was previously the home of several restaurants, a judicial center area and duckpin bowling alley.
The Fairfax City Economic Development Authority lauded the coming of Commonwealth Brewing to town.
“We’re thrilled to have Commonwealth Brewing Co. bring their beach vibes, excellent beer and inviting atmosphere to the heart of Old Town Fairfax,” the authority said in an announcement on Facebook.
Natalie and Jeramy Biggie created the brewery in 2015 to “embody their life’s passions, connections to family, friends, the ocean and making creatively original craft beers,” according to the company’s website.
The business, which did not return a request for comment by press time, is currently located at 2444 Pleasure House in Virginia Beach.
Ornery Beer Company Public House is officially coming to Herndon.
The restaurant and pub, which already has locations in Fairfax and Manassas, is set to open at Arrowbrook Centre (2340 Silver Arrow Way), a development that is currently under construction at the intersection of the Dulles Toll Road and Centreville Road.
The business was started by Randy Barnette, a craft beer enthusiast and restaurant owner, in 2015 to offer a “more casual stye” brewpub. He’s also behind other concepts in the area, including Hard Times Cafe in Manassas and Mad Fox Brewing in Falls Church.
Barnette estimated the location will open in the third or fourth quarter of 2023, emphasizing that the expected opening is an estimate.
The full-service restaurant will include a three-barrel brewery.
“Our brewing capacity is supplemented by our production brewery in Bristow. Our business model is smaller pub-like restaurants with scratch kitchens, no walk-in freezers, offering great food that pairs well with our beer,” Barnette said.
Barnette said he chose the location because of the business demographics of the area and the mixed-use nature of the project. Herndon is also home to Barnette, who grew up from Herndon and graduated from Herndon High School. He now lives in Bristow.
Items on the menu include variety of beer and ciders, soups, salads, and pizzas.
The Arrowbrook Centre development is planned for more than 600,000 square feet of office space across three buildings,
The initial phases of the development will include 34,000 square feet of ground floor retail and a 274-unit apartment building. Additional development is planned.
Photo via Google Maps
Characters from the Disney movie “Encanto” will put on a live performance on Saturday (Nov. 26) as part of the biergarten’s Thanksgiving Barks & Brews Festival, which will run from 1 to 6 p.m. that day.
Advertised as an “annual” festival, though this will be the venue’s first Thanksgiving since opening in May, Barks & Brews will feature local wineries and breweries with over 50 drink options, live music, lawn games, giveaways, and food and activities for both humans and dogs.
There will be a playground, face painting and crafts corner to keep kids entertained, according to the event page.
- 2 p.m. — Smallest and Biggest Dog Competition
- 3 p.m. — Best Trick Competition
- 3:30 p.m. — Encanto Live Character Performance
- 4 p.m. — Hold for Treat Competition
The festival is free, but spots can be reserved in advance through Eventbrite.
Located at 7581 Colshire Drive in the Scotts Run development, Shipgarten is open seven days a week from 11-2 a.m. The pop-up rolled out this summer with restaurants and five bars — all housed in converted shipping containers — as well as a dog park, playground and music pavilion.
Since there’s no parking at the site, there is a free shuttle that transports patrons from 1700 Old Meadow Road.
While Thanksgiving is still on its way, Shipgarten is evidently preparing for Christmas too, opening a Santa’s Workshop on Tuesday (Nov. 21).
“Get your pictures taken with Santa for free Saturdays and Sundays from 1-8 p.m.,” an Instagram post announcing the opening said. “Also try writing a letter to Santa, crafts with Mrs. Clause or free face painting!”
Photo via Shipgarten/Instagram