Spend a day in Vint Hill and experience a taste of southern hospitality thirty minutes from Washington, D.C.
Vint Hill offers something for everyone. To quench your thirst, try the Old Bust Head Brewing Company (OBH) or the Vint Hill Craft Winery. Hungry? Stop by the Café at Farm Station. Interested in history, or some shopping? The Cold War Museum®, Vint Hill Home décor and gifts, Simply Pure Products and a host of other venues have what you need.
I think of Vint Hill as an oasis where I can go solo or with the family to relax, drink, shop, eat, play, take a walk, sit by a fire pit, enjoy friends and make new ones.
Drinking at Vint Hill
The brewery offers an award-winning Irish-style red vixen, which brought home the bronze medal at the 2020 Great American beer festival. It also offers ales, lagers, pilsners and porters, and you can try seasonal as well as year-long favorites. For the kids, or the kids-at-heart, try its freshly brewed root beer (add a scoop of locally made Moo Thru ice cream if you dare!) OBH always has a food truck on-site, so you can nibble as you drink and relax. They also offer live music, open mic nights, yoga classes (both virtual and in-person) and trivia nights. It also hosts an annual Christmas fair, an annual 5k run (in honor of the owners’ daughter Finley). On February 13 of 2021, OBH hosted a Valentine’s Day cake truffle and beer pairing. And more is coming from OBH – they are expanding their outdoor beer garden with a connection to the plaza across the street, allowing more space to let you keep that social distance, while you enjoy your beer outside the taproom or spread out in the plaza. They are excited to have their new 7-barrel equipment system, which allows them to try smaller batches of brews, test new recipes and add experimental beers to the lineup for 2021. They will have a few new IPAs and a Cream Ale ready in March and several Lagers ready for April and May.
If you would rather have a glass of wine, then head over to Vint Hill Craft Winery. Vint Hill Craft Winery makes small batches of both reds and whites, so the quality is always superb, and you can try something different every visit. When the weather permits, they offer Friday nights by the fire-pit. As with all the buildings at Vint Hill, the winery has a story to tell – it was originally a barn when it was built 100 years ago, and then it served as the original National Security Agency (NSA) facility, known as Monitoring Station No1.
Delicious delights at the station
Once you work up an appetite at OBH or the winery, head over to the Café at Farm Station, which shares the open plaza with OBH and is open for lunch and dinner. The Café features salads, soups, cold and grilled sandwiches, tacos, wings, wood-fire grilled pizza (with homemade dough), and they have a pastry chef who makes beautiful cupcakes, handheld apple pie (my favorite!) and wedding cakes. They also offer a coffee bar for the coffee lovers like me! They serve gluten-free options, plant-based meals and dairy-free milk and cream at no additional cost. If you fall in love with them, you will be happy to know that they also provide catering through their company called Serendipity – so when you can hold large gatherings again, call them!
If you would rather eat with your beer or wine, the café will deliver food to you at the brewery or winery. The reverse works too, as the brewery is happy to deliver beer to you at the café! After all, this is a cohesive environment where your happiness and comfort are priorities.
Let us do some shopping at Vint Hill Home décor and gifts. Specializing in farmhouse-style décor, they offer a mix of old, new and vintage items, treasured finds, furniture and new crafts. The owner is known for solving any decoration dilemma you might have. She can make any space in your home – large or small – look idyllic.
Next, head to Simply Pure Products, where you will find handcrafted, natural lifestyle products that are made using natural ingredients sourced here in Fauquier. They offer a wide variety of products ranging from bath and body care, hair care, mineral-based makeup, acne and eczema products, baby care, home fragrances, candles and men’s products. You can find something for everyone.
History of Vint Hill
Finish your day at the Cold War Museum, owned and operated by the son of the famous Francis Gary “Frank” Powers Jr. (a U-2 pilot who was shot down over the Soviet Union May 1, 1960) and John C. Welch. The museum is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, and the brewery and winery are also partners. You will experience firsthand information from the soldiers who fought this war and see rare and one-of-a-kind artifacts. This museum was established to honor those who fought and to tell the story to generations to come.
As hinted above, Vint Hill was the original base NSA. It was also a top-secret Army signals intelligence base during World War II and the Cold War. All the businesses here stand in those original buildings, which have been repurposed to preserve and maintain a heritage that is worthy of remembering.
With so much to eat, drink, see, shop and experience, it would be easy to spend the day at Vint Hill. These venues aim to please, and I guarantee you will not be disappointed. More information can be found on the websites provided below.
By Alison Lewis