Steps for Starting a Limited Brewery (Farm Brewery)
Thank you for considering what it takes to open a limited brewery in Loudoun County! This area has become a beer lover’s destination thanks to talented brewers and entrepreneurs like you.
This page is designed to give you an overview of important considerations before establishing a limited brewery, frequently called a farm brewery, but your specific situation may have different requirements. The Revised 1993 Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance is the ruling document.
Working with Loudoun County and Virginia Commonwealth staff will help verify that those requirements are met. Our combined goal is to ensure that your operation is safe for customers so that your business can be successful.
Before establishing a farm brewery, it is important to understand what is permitted with that use. A farm brewery is subject to Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) regulations and applicable federal laws. A farm brewery is a farm first and brewery second, which means that your business can:
- Grow, produce and harvest grains, hops, fruit and other agricultural products;
- Produce and manufacture beer;
- Offer for sale, taste and consumption of beer premises during regular business hours;
- Directly sell and ship beer;
- Store and warehouse beer;
- Sell beer-related items that are incidental to the sale of beer;
- Host educational activities and events.
Limited breweries are not commercial/full-service kitchens, restaurants, or catering operation, however, you may choose to apply for a separate restaurant use if allowed in the zoning district.
Events associated with on-site beer production are regulated by ABC. Special events open to the public or private parties not open to the public and are by invitation only, such as weddings or wedding receptions, are regulated by Loudoun County (see Zoning Ordinance Section 5-500(C), Special Events).
While this page focuses on limited breweries, think about what additional uses (if any) you might consider later. Communicating these additional uses to Loudoun County and Virginia Commonwealth staff up front can help avoid surprises later in the process. If you have questions at any point, please contact Loudoun Economic Development at 1-800-LOUDOUN.
Detailed contact information for County and Commonwealth regulatory departments can be found at the bottom of this page.