Jerry Bailey began homebrewing with friends in 1989, hopeful that the craft would bring fulfillment that his 9-to-5 failed to provide. Fulfillment it brought, along with numerous batches of tasty brew. Bailey couldn’t keep his inventions to himself; he quickly decided to open his own brewhouse as well as distribute his goods to other local establishments.
Today, Bailey proudly stands at the helm of both Old Dominion Brewhouse and Old Dominion Brewing Company. In the pub, chefs add variety to liquid meals with food such as burgers, crab cakes, and thin-crust pizzas while 30 flat-screen televisions keep patrons entertained with sports. The chefs also exhibit flair for Asian cuisine, slicing and rolling sushi and offering create-your-own mongolian stir-fries. At the bar, eight handles remain perpetually reserved for Old Dominion's craft beers, such as the award-winning Baltic porter and the Oak Barrel stout, which is loaded with flavors of vanilla and the color brown.
With more than 20 acres full of witchcraft and demonry, the Fields of Fear at Cox Farms invite brave but foolish souls to journey through ominous cornfields on a dark and ill-omened night. Take a tour of the poltergeist-plagued fields with the Dark Side Hayride, where you'll hopefully (but doubtfully) escape the alien infestation, the maniacal trolls, and the horrors that await in the fear barn. Survivors can venture into the Cornnightmare, where a supernatural parade of mischievous spirits shocks and scares in the haunted library, the hall of whispers, and the bug room. Finally, head to the Firegrounds to flee down the giant torch-lit slide, watch the fire-wielding performer, or hang out at the bonfire and think about dinosaurs.
Some men are wedded to whiskey; others will swear by a well-crafted gin cocktail. For Red Rocks Cafe & Tequila Bar owner Robert Evans, however, it?s all about tequila. The agave aficionado keeps his watering hole packed with more than 140 different varieties of tequila, from go-tos such as Cabo Wabo to top-shelf varieties such as George Clooney's Casa Migos. His bartenders blend these tequilas into a variety of specialty margaritas, including the restaurant?s popular Jimmy Buffett?a sweet mix of coconut, orange juice, and lime.
As bartenders dole out red salt-rimmed glasses of tequila and pints of draft beers, chefs are equally hard at work in the kitchen. They fold fresh seafood, meats, and vegetables into a variety of imaginative Tex-Mex dishes, packing fajitas with barbecue pulled pork, topping tacos in chipotle-infused sour cream, and dousing chicken wings in a serrano chile pepper sauce.
After meals, diners can stick around to play card games and Golden Tee.
If there's anything that matches The Winery at Bull Run's owners' passion for wine, it might be their passion for American history. Knowing the land’s proximity to historic battles, before breaking ground on their new winery the owners teamed up with Civil War excavators to salvage hundreds of bullets, buttons, and breastplates that laid dormant underneath the winery’s Centreville soil since the 1860s.
While sipping on award-winning red and white wines in the tasting room, guests can look over display cases full of artifacts and listen to stories of the farmland's historic past. During warmer months, guests are welcome to relax on the outdoor stone ruins, whose waist-high walls and stone fireplace are all that remain from the original 19th-century estate house.
What's more autumnal than Dominion Octoberfest and Fordham Spiced Harvest Ale? Sipping the craft beers under red and orange leaves at the fall edition of Northern Virginia BrewFest. Sprawled across the grounds of Bull Run Regional Park, the 8th annual celebration of craft beer pairs guests with samples of brews from around the country. As participants savor ales, porters, stouts, and pilsners, they can peruse arts and crafts vendors, snack on gourmet cuisine offerings, and dance to live music. They might also attend cooking demonstrations that incorporate beer, teaching folks how to make more than just beer cereal.
The vintners at Vint Hill Winery craft nuanced wines out of ripe fruit plucked from California, Washington, and Virginia. Tint your taste buds with two flights of wine per person while lounging on the balcony, which overlooks a barn that was used to intercept messages during WWII and shelter stray cats in 1991. Vint Hill sends sommeliers on their way with a bottle of french-oak barrel-fermented 2008 chardonnay and a 2008 merlot—an herbaceous red with harmonious notes of wild fruit, tobacco, and black pepper. Adopted quaffs may be sipped from the provided, decorative wine glasses or poured down the gullet of a timid schooner before its maiden voyage.