Photo (3)Craft beer is booming.

Not that it’s news that the small brewers out there are doing well, and our region is a microcosm of what’s going on. Ten years ago, Frederick hosted three breweries. Montgomery County hosted Summit Station, a brewpub; Carroll County? Clay Pipe Brewing and Johansson’s Brewpub; Washington County had nothing, and Loudoun was home only to Old Dominion. That five-county/two-state region was home to seven breweries.

Today? It’s hard to keep track. Frederick County alone hosts six breweries, with two more scheduled to open soon. MontCo hosts two, Carroll three, Washington County has one, and Loudoun? Well…Loudoun is going a little nuts. With Lost Rhino, Mud Hound, McDowell Beer Kitchen, Barnhouse, Mad Horse, Corcoran, Adroit Theory, and the recently opened Old 690 Brewing Co., the craft beer business is growing at an impressive rate – nanos, micros, brewpubs? They’re all a part of the development happening next door.

And for the most part, I like our new neighbors.

There’s some very good beer coming out of Loudoun right now, and Old 690 is a great addition to the county’s line-up. Loudoun’s answer to Frederick County’s Milkhouse Brewery at Stillpoint Farm, Old 690 is a farm-brewery growing hops and making beer in the bucolic setting of the back-roads of the unincorporated little burg of Hillsboro.

Billing itself as Hillsboro’s oldest brewery, the roughly month-old venture already has developed a following. With a strong line-up of beers, which includes one of the best session-IPA’s you’ll find (small beer, big flavors), the brewery offers a great, relaxing setting to sit and enjoy some well crafted brews.

For those of you looking for Old 690, it resides at 15670 Ashbury Church Rd, Purcellville, Virginia.

Definitely worth the visit.

Until next week, be well and drink good beer.