Soon-to-open Farm Brewery at Broad Run producing own yeast, hops

By Jeff Clabaugh

WASHINGTON — The ever-growing roster of craft brewers in the D.C. region is getting another new player. This one is developing its own strain of yeast for its beers and experimenting with growing its own hops.

The Farm at Broad Run, a 52-acre organic farm and nursery in Prince William County, will open The Farm Brewery at Broad Run in early April, with a tasting room and a three-acre beer garden and pavilion.

Owners Michelle and Bill Dewitt established their farm in 1998 as a nursery for their landscaping business, Community Landscape Services, and eventually branched out to crops like heirloom vegetables and berries.

Why add a brewery to their business?

“I love beer, so it seemed to be a natural transition,” Michelle Dewitt told WTOP. “My husband and I are home brewers, but we have a master brewer on staff with us, so we’ll consult on ideas that we have with a real professional who is here working with us.”

The brewmaster is Bobby Burris, who most recently served as the head brewer at Tin Cannon Brewing Co. in Gainesville, Virginia.

The Farm Brewery will be producing IPAs, a porter, Irish Red, Amber Ales and Belgian Ales. And they will be infusing some beers with the fruit that’s growing on the farm, including blueberries, cherries and raspberries.

The 7,000-square-foot brew house and tasting room will have 10 beers on tap.

They have also planted one acre of hops, a crop Dewitt said is not indigenous to Virginia and will be a challenge.

“The hope is that at some point we will be able to use those hops in our beers, making the whole beer product here more sustainable on our farm,” she said.

With agricultural crops on the property, they will also be able to develop their own proprietary yeast strains.

“That yeast strains will be exclusive to us and what we are able to produce,” Dewitt said.

The brewery has a capacity of 5,700 barrels a year from its 15-barrel system, with a first-year goal of producing about 1,000 barrels. The brew house was also manufactured entirely in Virginia.

A reason to visit in the spring? They’ve planted 40,000 bulbs around the beer garden, which will be in full bloom in April and May.

The Farm Brewery at Broad Run is at 16015 John Marshall Highway, just west of Haymarket, Virginia.

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