With the crisp, cool, fall air settling into Northern Virginia, now, is a better time than any, to enjoy the gorgeous autumn views (and brews) throughout our community.

If you’re looking for an exciting hike this weekend, capped off with a local brew, check out one of these Northern Virginia hiking trails and nearby breweries.

The View

Bears Den Overlook

Location: Bluemont, Virginia
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.7 miles

Bears Den Overlook is one of the most popular hiking trails in Loudoun County. Located just off Route 7, there is a main overlook at the top of the hike with a beautiful panoramic view of the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s best to hike this trail in the evening, so you’ll get to see a gorgeous sunset from the overlook. Turn your view and brew into a staycation with lodging available at both Bears Den and Bear Chase.

The Brew

Bear Chase Brewing Company

Location: Bluemont, Virginia
Fan-Favorite Brew: Kodiak Kölsch

Located less than a mile from Bears Den, Bear Chase Brewing Company is the perfect location for a post-hike drink. The team at Bear Chase wanted to re-purpose as much of the original farm property for their brewery and the Brew Barn is actually the original farm barn. If you’re looking for a fan-favorite brew, try the Kodiak Kölsch which won a 2020 Great American Beer Festival Silver medal in the German-Style Koelsch category.


The View

Eastern Watercress & Bank Barn Trail Loop at Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve

Location: Leesburg, Virginia
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.42 miles

Nestled on 650 acres in the heart of Loudoun County, Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve offers more than 20 miles of hiking trails. By turning the Eastern Watercress Trail and Bank Barn Trail into a loop, you’ll enjoy a view of the wetlands, wooded area, and Goose Creek. During your easy 1.42 mile hike, listen in for the female spirit—or Banshee—throughout the hills and dales—or Reeks.

The Brew

Solace Brewing Company

Location: Sterling, Virginia
Fan-Favorite Brew: It’s Electric

Solace Brewing Company isn’t the closest brewery to Banshee Reeks, but it is the largest one in Loudoun County. Make the relatively short drive down Evergreen Mills Road after your hike to enjoy the giant brewery and dog-friendly taproom. Solace usually features local food trucks on the weekends, and if you’re lucky, they’ll have It’s Electric on tap to help you relax following your hike.


The View

Potomac Overlook Regional Park

Location: Arlington, Virginia
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 1.4 miles

If you’re interested in exploring nature closer to the nation’s capital, swing by Potomac Overlook Regional Park. Featuring just under two miles of scenic woodland hiking trails, Potomac Overlook offers connecting access to the Potomac River and Potomac National Heritage Scenic Trail via the adjacent Donaldson Run Park. These trails are relatively easy to walk and perfect for the entire family.

The Brew

Board Room Brewing Company

Location: Arlington, Virginia
Fan-Favorite Brew: Ticket To Ride Red Ale

One of the newer breweries and taprooms in Clarendon, Board Room Brewing Company has already brewed up a few award winning brews, including The Bishop Brown and a fan-favorite brew—Ticket To Ride Red Ale—which earned first place for the best amber ale at the Virginia 2020 Craft Beer Cup!


The View

Old Rag Mountain

Location: Madison County, Virginia
Difficulty: Difficult
Distance: 10.8 miles

Are you up for a challenge? Old Rag Mountain is the most challenging hike on our list. Located within Shenandoah National Park, Old Rag Mountain climbs to 3,284 feet and features a couple difficult hikes ranging in distance from 9 to 10.8 miles. If the hike isn’t enough of a rush for you, there are great opportunities for rock climbing at Old Rag as well.

The Brew

Shotwell Run Brewing Company

Location: Etlan, Virginia
Fan-Favorite Brew: German Oktoberfest Bier

After a hike like Old Rag, you definitely deserve a beer, and Shotwell Run Brewing Company serves them up as good as any brewery around. Shotwell Run believes there is a season to everything, including beer, so their selection is always changing. They also try to stick to tradition, meaning their beers, like the German Oktoberfest Bier, feature ingredients from their countries of origin.

What’s your favorite view and brew in Northern Virginia? Let us know on Facebook, so we can enjoy a hike!

I’m venturing a guess that I’m not the only one drinking more coffee these days! There’s just something about spending more time in my home office environment that has me making more trips to the kitchen to refill my mug! 

I’ve always started the day with a cup of green tea, and up until recently, my afternoon dose of caffeine came from a half-caf latte I make with our Nespresso machine. But ever since my husband learned about the local Loud’n Roasted Coffee Roasters coffee about a year ago, he’s been raving about it. So eventually I decided to give it a try. 

Loud'n-Roasted-Coffee-Roasters

 

I’m not usually a fan of regular brewed coffee. A typical mug actually has more caffeine than the small espresso shot I use in a latte, and it usually turns my stomach in knots and/or makes me jittery. But Loud’n Roasted coffee is different. 

This is no ordinary coffee, and now you could safely say I’m addicted. While I still enjoy my lattes, most days my husband and I just brew a big pot of Loud’n Roasted coffee — and fight about each getting our fair share as it dwindles later in the day! 

What Makes Loud’n Roasted Coffee Better Than Your Typical Coffee

Because it’s FRESH roasted, on demand, it tastes better. Once you place an order on their website or by phone at 703-957-0595, your order will be roasted to order. You can get it delivered or pick it up — with a promise of a 24-hour turnaround. There have been times we’ve picked it up, and the beans were still slightly warm from the roasting process. Now that’s fresh! 

Their other secret — which may be why Loud’n Roasted coffee agrees with me more than typical coffee — is that they roast the coffee beans using hot air, so there’s no hydrogen sulfide from a traditional steel drum method of roasting. (Hydrogen sulfide brings added acidity, which can do a number on your stomach.) It’s also the cleanest roasting method (for you and the environment) and results in evenly and consistently roasted beans and clean, bright flavors. 

Plenty of Blends to Choose From

They currently offer 12 different blends, ranging from the Light Guatemalan Roast to the Extra Dark Sumatra and South Wild’n Roasts. My hands-down personal favorite is the Guatemalan Roast, which surprises me. I typically like a more full-bodied coffee taste, but the Guatemalan has a great flavor and seems to agree with me. I have a cup or two most afternoons now, and it never bothers my stomach or makes me feel jacked-up on caffeine. Like I said, we’re usually turning the coffee pot over at the end of the afternoon, hoping another ounce or two might magically appear!

Loud'n-Roasted-Guatemala-Blend

You can get the Loud’n Roasted coffee blends either as whole beans or ground — typically available in either a 12 oz or 16 oz size. There’s even a “subscription” plan available so you can replenish your supply weekly, every 2 weeks, every 3 weeks, or monthly. 

If you’re a K-cup guy or gal, there are 7 varieties of those to choose from. And if you’d like to try their freshly roasted coffee before buying the beans or K-cups, you can visit them inside the Megabytes Eatery in Chantilly, where they also serve nitro cold brew, lattes, and cappuccinos using Loud’n Roasted beans. 

I’ll agree with Loud’n Roasted that “Coffee is always a good idea, and life is just too short for mediocre coffee.” Give it a try yourself…visit their website for more details and ordering info. 

Although this summer has presented all of us with some abnormal circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still fun to be had. Here are five family activities to try in Loudoun before summer comes to a close.

We recently talked with Kara MacDonald of Pruitt Title about title insurance. We often get questions from our clients about this topic and thought we’d ask an expert to share with us why title insurance is so important, the different options you have, and how you can potentially save some money next time you go to buy a home. Any questions, feel free to reach out to us! #GetToNoVA

Michael Scott of Pack Rat Hauling shares some tips on how to get rid of stuff around your home responsibly. As a fully-licensed and insured company, Pack Rat Hauling works with a few people who restore and renovate items from your home so new owners can cherish the items and so they don’t end up in the landfill. #GetToNoVA

In honor of National Pet Rescue Day, we sat down with Stacey Gimbert, President of Friends of Homeless Animals, to learn more about FoHA, adoption during this pandemic, and how we can get involved. #GetToNoVA