Old 690 Brewery

On a recent beautiful Saturday, my daughter and I traveled to Old 690, a new brewery in Loudoun County. I wanted to check out their on-location brewed root beer (which is AMAZING) and sample some of their diverse selections. The air was just cool enough to need a light jacket and the sun warmed our shoulders as we drove the winding roads with the sunroof open. With very little signage (which can sometimes be a welcome change of pace for vineyards, wineries and breweries), we all of a sudden happened upon Old 690.

 

Old 690 Brewing Company Naomi Hattaway

I took some time to talk with some of the founders, Tammi and Darren Gryniuk, to get the real scoop on this new brewery.

Tell me the story of Old 690, the one that feels too long to tell the normal person who asks. What was the driving force behind this brewery and whose dream was it?
The story of Old 690 started 10 years ago on the football field when Mark Powell and Darren Gryniuk met coaching in the Upper Loudoun Youth Football League in Purcellville.  The norm after all games was to drink some beer and you can imagine over the course of all those years that alot of beer was consumed.  Fast forward until 2 years ago when Mark, Darren and another friend met at Mad Horse Brewery in Lovettsville where we had a few beers and started talking about making our own beer.  We looked at each other and said "let's open one!" and that's all it took. From that point on we started the process of researching and soon building in April 2014.  Thanks to a virginia senate bill (SB430) turning into law on July 1 2014, Old 690 Brewing Company was allowed to open.  This law effectively allows farm breweries to open in rural parts of the State of Virginia where previously they were not allowed to open.   The driving force behind the brewery is family.  The Powell's and Gryniuk's started the dream and brought on another family through our master brewer Bob Lundberg also a resident of Purcellville.  So the force of 3 great families and the warm welcoming family environment at the brewery keeps us pointed in the right direction....but I would be remiss to leave out the fact that the beer we make is really good beer.
What was the biggest obstacle you faced during the birth and launch of this business?

The biggest obstacle has been zoning and the county government as the process to accept the new zoning law in Loudoun County isn't a one and done process like it would be if a new seatbelt law took effect July 1.  The next day the police would be writing tickets.   With zoning the law must be interpreted, discussed, reinterpreted and re-discussed by many groups, departments and committees.  It's a very very slow process and a perfect analogy to government being slow.

Old 690 Brewery

I am a huge supporter of businesses who choose to give back to their community. How does Old 690 give back?
Old 690 does a number of community related things from supporting local first responders via fund raisers (recently did one for the Purcellville Fire Department) to providing gifts that support a number of causes for sick children to the local food shelter.   We also recently organized a chili cook off fundraiser for the Loudoun Homeless Services Center in Leesburg. We will continue to keep an active connection to the community in support of people in need.
What is your big, wild, hairy audacious dream for Old 690?
The big dream is to eventually market our beer nationwide, but we have a lot of baby steps to take to get even to the local Purcellville restaurant and bar scene.   I think a more realistic goal is to eventually open a Key West FL branch of the brewery.
If your brewery could talk, what would it tell future customers and friends of the business?
If the brewery could talk it would say that it is the warmest most welcoming brewery in the area where everyday feels like a family reunion.  People just don't want to leave when they get there..it's truly a remarkable country vibe.

The root beer is crisp, clean and has the most authentic taste, home brewed by the folks at Old 690. While I wasn't able to sample all of the beers because of time constraints, pumpkin ale was MY standout favorite! With live music, a place for children to play, great seating indoors and out, big screen televisions for sporting events and dog friendly, you can't go wrong with this location, 15670 Ashbury Church Rd, Purcellville, VA 20132. Open Fridays 5-9pm, Saturday 11am-9pm and Sundays 11am-6pm.

Tell me. Have you been to Old 690? If not, what are you waiting for?