Visiting Virginia Breweries in Fairfax, Sterling, and Ashburn – Or Voyaging in the Land of Animal Breweries – Saying Farewell to Rocket Frog Brewing and Hello to Chubby Squirrel Brewing, Lost Rhino Brewing, and Old Ox Brewery

Visiting Virginia Breweries in Fairfax, Sterling, and Ashburn – Or Voyaging in the Land of Animal Breweries – Saying Farewell to Rocket Frog Brewing and Hello to Chubby Squirrel Brewing, Lost Rhino Brewing, and Old Ox Brewery

Pictures from our trip to Virginia – (starting upper left and working clockwise: Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company, Lost Rhino Brewing, Old Ox Brewery, Lost Rhino Brewing, and Rocket Frog Brewing Company – with the two most photogenic ladies I know – Amy and Scarlet)

Visiting Virginia Breweries

Thats probably the headline I should just go with. Because, lets be honest: Visiting Virginia Breweries in Fairfax, Sterling, and Ashburn – Or Voyaging in the Land of Animal Breweries – Saying Farewell to Rocket Frog Brewing and Hello to Chubby Squirrel Brewing, Lost Rhino Brewing, and Old Ox Brewery — is a mouthful! And probably ruins all attempts at search or marketing or whatever.

A simpler, better title would have just been “Visiting Virginia Breweries” or even “Visiting Virginia Breweries in Fairfax, Sterling, and Ashburn”, or maybe just my subtitle – “Voyaging in the Land of Animal Breweries”. I dunno, but I couldn’t decide on what I wanted, and so here you go – enjoy the long winded title!

But enough on why I named the article what I did, lets move onto the actual article right?

Firstly, let’s talk about why we headed down to Virginia in the first place….

Rocket Frog Brewing Company Announces Closure

Back on November 29th, Rocket Frog Brewing Company announced they would be closing their doors for the last time on December 11th. You can read about it here: Rocket Frog Brewing Announces They Will Be Closing December 11th.

We had first visited them back on January 15th of 2022. Here, I’ll share an excerpt from the closing article:

Amy and I got to travel to Rocket Frog back in January on a Bengals play-off gameday. I got out of work early (I was still working Saturdays then), using my top of the EO card and we made the two and a half hour trek down to Virginia hitting some breweries. We stopped in the Sterling Park Business Center to hit two breweries right off the bat. The first of which was Rocket Frog.

We had a really good time. We got to see the Bengals win against the Las Vegas Raiders – their first playoff win in 30 years (they last won in January 1991). We got to Rocket Frog Brewing Company before the game started. We then watched the first half at Crooked Run Fermentation, before driving to Beltway Brewing where we saw a little bit of the third (they didn’t have any TVs on, so we quickly left to get to Mustang Sally’s after a flight), and we finished the game out at Mustang Sally’s where I got to witness the first playoff win since I was 5 and a half years old. Amy and I then celebrated and finished the night out watching the Bills rout the Patriots at Bunnyman Brewing.

Rocket Frog Brewing Announces They Will be Closing December 11th – The Beer Thrillers

You can find our trip here: Trip Down to Sterling Virginia and Beyond to Visit Rocket Frog Brewing Company, Crooked Run Fermentation, Beltway Brewing, Mustang Sally Brewing Company, and Bunnyman Brewing.

December 10th – The Trip

Traveling with a nearly (one day shy) month old certainly changes things a bit. It certainly doesn’t make the trip go smoothly, thats for sure. So there was certainly a new monkey wrench thrown into the works that wasn’t there our last trip to Virginia.

To start the day, we decided we would hit Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company first, mainly because its the furthest from home, and do a ‘hit the others as we work our way home’ approach. Our typical approach to brewery visiting, and usually the one that works out best for us.

Plus, Amy has absolutely been looking forward to hitting Chubby Squirrel. (To the point where she got two Christmas gifts for her from the brewery…. shhh…. nobody tell her…. she has no idea….) They popped up on our radar from an Instagram or Facebook suggestion post. They immediately grabbed Amy’s attention – firstly with the fun name, secondly with the food options. Poutine and pierogies. You had us at poutine and pierogies. We could seriously do an entire blog post on just poutine, and another on just pierogies. Maybe list all the best breweries in the area with poutine and pierogies… hmm….

Anyway… I digress.

So we originally had planned on leaving in the morning at 10:30AM. According to Google Maps it would take us 2 hours and 30 minutes to get there, putting us as at getting there at 1PM. Perfect.

Google Maps – from Hummelstown to Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company

Well, as you might imagine, things didn’t go according to plan. We’ve been in the process of moving Amy’s Uncle Bob’s car into our name, and with him having moved into an assisted care home and unable to drive anymore we needed the title, and this and that, etc, etc, etc… and Uncle Bob’s been having some memory issues, so it was a bit of an issue finding the title and everything required, so we were just going to request a new title; but luckily just before we were about to do that he found it. This then took up our morning, taking SueAnn (Amy’s mom), Amy, Scarlet, and myself to the notary and getting this all finalized. And a few other errands, and then dropping her mom back off, and then finally on the road… at a healthy 12:20PM to start the day…

Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company

Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company logo

After a stop at a Sheetz outside of Gettysburg (where Amy says to me, hey… maybe on the way home we can stop at Fourscore Beer Company, and I just assure her and say, sure… sure… sure dear… we’ll have time I’m sure… – insert massive eye roll here), and another stop a bit of the ways down as well (both stops were to feed and change Scarlet) we finally made it to Fairfax Virginia at roughly 3PM.

I ordered a flight, and we got the pierogies and the poutine to go with it. (Because, of course we got the poutine and pierogies to go with it.)

The beer flight was:

  • Prancing Squirrel Christmas Ale – a Spiced / Herb Beer. 7.4% ABV, 15 IBU. Global average rating of 3.82. I gave it ****.
  • Hazy Squirrel – a New England IPA. 6.2% ABV, 55 IBU. Global average rating of 3.56. I gave it ****.
  • OK This is Gonna Be Weird IPA – a West Coast style IPA. 5.4% ABV and 55 IBU. Global average rating of 3.73. I gave it ****.
  • FUCOVID Cinnamon Bun Stout – an Imperial / double stout. 8.9% ABV. Too new for global average rating. I gave it ****.

The poutine and pierogies were wonderful. We had an absolute wonderful time there. The ladies working were so very nice and were loving getting to see Scarlet Emma. I highly recommend Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company if you get in the Fairfax Virginia area. Found out as we were leaving, there is even another brewery just a block away – Ornery Brewing; which sadly we didn’t have the time to stop at. We are definitely planning on coming back, so will certainly be stopping there as well. Also looked like the town was doing a little Christmas thing in the nearby park / business district area.

For more information on Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company, check out their links:

Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company’s information on Untappd: they are considered a brew pub out of Fairfax, Virginia. They have 146 unique beers with around 10,000~ ratings. They have a global average rating (as of 12.13.22) of 3.65. Their Untappd description reads: “No need to be bitter, we’ve got the hops! Located in Downtown Fairfax, Virginia, Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company is the first nanobrewery & brewpub in the City of Fairfax.”

Scarlet Emma

Speaking of Scarlet Emma, she’s now been to quite a few breweries already (and is just a wee bit over one month old). Her first brewery was Boneshire Brew Works (because, right now, where else?). She’s most recently been to Compass Mill Tap Room, Jackass Brewery, Selin’s Grove Brewing, and just the day before this Virginia trip we had errands in Reading so she got to visit Willow Creek Brewing and Saucony Creek Brewery at Franklin Station. And now after this trip, you can add Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company, Lost Rhino Brewing, and Old Ox Brewery. (You’ll see why shortly I don’t consider her trip to Rocket Frog Brewing Company as counting.) So in total she’s been to nine breweries so far.

Rocket Frog Brewing Company

Rocket Frog Brewing Company

From Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company to Rocket Frog Brewing Company was about a twenty – five minute drive. (And was the longest distance between the breweries we hit; other than the initial drive down and home.) We got there around 5:15 – 5:20PM and the place was absolutely rocking. Standing room only on the inside, their deck was pretty packed, and even the spill over tables they were using in the parking lot were full. The parking lot itself was pretty full as well.

Amy decided to stay out in the car with Scarlet and feed her rather than even brave the insides of the brewery. Amy gets a bit of an anxiety in large crowds, so it was fully understandable for her to stay out, especially with Scarlet. (You can read Amy’s excellent article about her anxiety here – Brewfests with Anxiety.) We debated about skipping the brewery, and even heading over right next door (well, a block around the corner) to Crooked Run Fermentation; but we decided that we made this entire trip to stop at Rocket Frog Brewing Company, so I went in and grabbed two tasters and bought a stein to go.

The tasters I got there were:

  • Bowcaster – a brown ale, 5.2% ABV, no IBU. Global average rating of 3.92. I gave it **** and 1/4.
  • Snark Infested Waters – a schwarzbier, 4.5% ABV and 22 IBU. Global average rating of 3.71, I gave it ****.

Rocket Frog Brewing Company has already listed their brewery as “permanently closed” on Google, Google Maps, Facebook, and Untappd. They delisted all of their beers on Untappd as well. So the following information is slightly skewed due to that.

Rocket Frog Brewing Company on Untappd is listed as a “permanently closed” brewery from Sterling Virginia (formerly listed as a micro brewery). They have 0 unique beers with a total of 42,298 ratings, and a global average rating of 3.82 (as of 12.13.22). Their Untappd description reads: “Closed December 2022 Rocket Frog Brewing Company is an independent craft brewery based in Sterling, Virginia, serving the greater Northern Virginia and Washington, DC community. Our passion for quality craft beer runs deep and we demonstrate this with our four to five flagships, seasonal offerings, and a variety of specialty beers throughout the year.”

For more information on Rocket Frog Brewing Company:

They recently did a podcast with DC Beer, which you can find here: A Moment to Celebrate a Beloved Brewery.

Lost Rhino Brewing Co.

Lost Rhino Brewing Company logo

We decided to skip Crooked Run Fermentation as we were running out of time, and really didn’t want to be leaving Virginia too late. (Even from the Ashburn area where Lost Rhino is, its about a 2 hour and 12 minute drive home.) As it was, we were looking at maybe having to skip Old Ox Brewery, so time was becoming a bit of an issue. We did stop and get gas, as gas is always a good 20 to 30 cents cheaper in Virginia than it is back home in Central PA.

Lost Rhino was another lovely brewery find. We saw it on our one trip to Virginia, but sadly only on the way back home so we didn’t have time to stop, so I made it a point of interest to hit it today. And besides I figured – why stop the animal themed brewery names? We were already hitting Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company and Rocket Frog Brewing Company, why not add Lost Rhino Brewing Company and Old Ox Brewery to the list? If we wanted, we could have went and hit Ocelot Brewing (again) as well, to really round out an all animal named brewery tour of Virginia.

I ordered a flight as we watched the end of the Army vs. Navy game that went into overtime and provided a great ending. My flight included:

  • Coco Caliente – an Imperial Double Pastry Stout. 8.5% ABV, 20 IBU. Global average rating of 3.93. I gave it ****.
  • Tmavý Dark Lager – dark lager, 6.2% ABV, 32 IBU. Global average rating of 3.64. I gave it a ****.
  • Pink Panther – Sour / gose. 5.2% ABV. Too new for a global average rating. I gave it a *** 3/4.
  • Face Plant – a West Coast style IPA (IPA American). 6.8% ABV, 65 IBU. Global average rating of 3.64, I gave it a ****.
  • Dark Hours – Imperial / Double stout. 10.9% ABV, 79 IBU. Global average rating of 3.98, I gave it a **** and 1/4.

‍‍We very much liked our time there, and will definitely be back down in the area for a return visit. (In fact, we really enjoyed every brewery on our trip this time, not always a lock for our trips.)

Lost Rhino Brewing Company’s information via Untappd:

Lost Rhino Brewing Company is a micro brewery from Ashburn, Virginia. They have 252 unique beers and around 122,000~ ratings. They have a global average rating (as of 12.13.22) of 3.59. Their Untappd description reads: “Lost Rhinoʼs founders, Matt Hagerman and Favio Garcia, set out on an adventure of their own: a coast-to-coast journey in search of discovering the greatest traditions and the wildest frontiers of beer brewing. Our beers are inspired by the experience of choosing the scenic route, the tough challenge, the road less traveled. In the brew house, we take pride in bringing together a global perspective and locally harvested ingredients. Everything we craft is personal, from our innovative pursuit to cultivate wild Virginia yeast strains from nearby orchards, meadows, and even fossils, to our steadfast dedication to support local Virginia farms.”

For more information:

The Trip down to Virgina hitting all the breweries

Quick Shout Out

If I got you reading this far, please indulge me on a quick shout out. This Sunday we will be appearing on the Central PA Pour Podcast. You can find out more information on them here:

Pretzels – Pretzels – Pretzels

While I’m at it here, let me do a quick public service announcement. We have recently joined up with to provide you with a cheaper option on pretzels; a perfect gift for this time of year. They make a great Christmas gift or stocking stuffer. We will have a few posts and videos (an unwrapping / unboxing video, as well as beer and pretzel pairing posts) so be on the lookout for all that. Yes, we are an affiliate with them, so when you go and order, be sure to use our gift code: THEBEERTHRILLERS20 – this will provide you with 20% off your order, as well as help us keep the blog running.

Ok, now, back onto our last stop of the night.

Old Ox Brewery

Old ox Brewery

Luckily it didn’t take a whole lot of convincing to get Amy to stop at one more brewery, namely because she wanted some food for the ride home. I was given a “hard fast” 8PM deadline at Old Ox (spoiler alert – we didn’t leave til 8:30PM). We ordered the meatballs which were extremely tasty, and I did my usual – ordered myself a flight.

My flight from Old Ox Brewery was:

  • Billionaire Space Party – a collaboration with RAR Brewing – a west coast style IPA. 7.1% ABV, no IBU listed, global average rating of 3.81, I gave it a ****.
  • Robot Dreams – a milkshake IPA, 7% ABV. A global average rating of 3.88, I gave it a ****.
  • Hoppy Place IPA – traditional west coast / American IPA. 6.5% ABV, 65 IBU. Global average rating of 3.69, I gave it a ****. (Humerous note: when looking things up here for the post, on Untappd they have a check – in for this from a person from a day ago that says “quite hoppy. solid taste” and proceeded to give it **1/2 …….. and this is why people don’t take Untappd all that seriously.) (Checking the dude’s profile, he gives one beer a “tasty” comment and only **, but then also says “very tasty” for Voodoo Ranger and gives it ****1/2 ….so once again, take Untappd with the grain of salt that it needs to be taken with.)
  • Bourbon Barrel Oxorcist – Pumpkin / Yam beer. 10% ABV, 12 IBU. Global average rating of 3.94, I gave it ****.

We had a really great time, talked to the bartender at closing, who comes up often to the area to play softball – at Spooky Nook – where we were just at a few weeks ago (thus why we went to Compass Mill Tap House). Once again, as with the other stops, wonderful food, beer, and great service.

Some information on Old Ox Brewery via Untappd:

Old Ox Brewery is a micro brewery from Ashburn Virginia with 482 unique beers and 115,000~ ratings. They have a global average rating of 3.66 (as of 12.13.22). Their Untappd description reads: “Old Ox is a family owned and operated commercial brewery. Our family works together. Plays together. Celebrates together. Faces life’s obstacles together. We’ve founded our brewery on hard work and a commitment to the community. We are looking for ways to partner with the artists, farmers, restaurants, retailers, and other businesses that make Loudoun County a special place to live. We chose Old Ox Road as the inspiration for our brewery. Old Ox is one of the oldest roads in Loudoun County and was originally built to connect the agricultural producers of Loudoun County to the markets in Fairfax County and beyond. It is this same sense of connection that we want to provide for our customers…whether they are here in our tasting room or enjoying a pint in their favorite restaurant or tavern. We brew in a 30-barrel brewhouse. Just to give you some perspective, each batch we brew will produce 930 gallons of beer. That is enough for 9,920 12-oz. cans of beer or a little over 413 cases of beer per batch. Our beer is on draft in many restaurants and in on the shelves in stores in Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. Of course, our beer is always available in the Tasting Room either by the pint, refillable growlers or kegs.”

For more information:

Heading Home

The Return Trip via Google Maps

After hitting up Old Ox Brewery it was time to head home. Needless to say, like I called it, we didn’t have the time (or energy) to hit Fourscore Beer Co in Gettysburg. No issues on the return trip and we made it home around 11PM, just enough time for me to take Leela for a walk and hit my 10K steps (haven’t missed a day this entire year, not about to miss one yet).


This trip really hit it out of the ballpark. Every brewery was fantastic. The beers were wonderful, the food was great, the staff at all the spots was on point and lovely people. We always have a blast on our trips, but there’s usually a dud or two breweries on our journeys. Not this time, each place was a home run. Can’t recommend the breweries enough. If you get down to Virginia – particularly Fairfax and Ashburn, make sure you hit these guys up. They are well worth your time and visit!

Our Virginia Brewery trip.

Other Trips and Travelogues

Thanks For Reading

Thanks for reading everyone! The year is nearing its end, and 2022 has been a wild one! I’m still off until the 26th when I go back to work. Amy has already gone back, so its mostly me here at home with Scarlet (and Leela). So when she’s asleep I’ve been working on the blog. Lot of big things in the works for 2023!

But 2022 isn’t over yet, and we still have some great stuff coming out.

Like I said earlier, we are affiliated now with so be sure to check them out and use our promo code – THEBEERTHRILLERS20 to get 20% off your order.

Also, as I said earlier, we will be doing a podcast / video with Central PA Pour on Sunday. So be on the lookout for that.

We still have a planned trip to The Alementary in Hackensack New Jersey; just not sure when we’re gonna be going. But you’ll know when we do.

Thanks for reading everyone, as always, we appreciate it so much here. Cheers to all!

(PS: This article took me all day to write because I had to do it in small bits and pieces whenever Her Majesty Scarlet napped.)


-B. Kline

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