- Leah Virbitsky
American Craftsmanship at Heritage Brewing Co. Brewpub & Roastery
Calling all beer lovers! The Rosslyn-Ballston corridor just opened your favorite neighborhood spot for a beer and a burger. Heritage Brewing Co. started out in Manassas back in 2013, and after a huge success, they decided to open a Brewpub & Roastery in Clarendon. A side note that we thought was absolutely inspiring; Heritage is a Veteran-owned establishment with one of the owners currently serving overseas as we speak. It makes us appreciate the true beauty and story behind this place even more than before.
Located in the heart of Clarendon, Heritage Brewing Co. Brewpub & Roastery is soon going to be a staple of this area. Not only is it perfect for families during the week, but it's also ideal for the young crowd for after work happy hours and late night weekends! Heritage incorporates beer into almost all of their dishes from the beer nuts, to the Shepherd's pie, to the Maple-beer glazed porkchop and many more. They even have a beer cocktail list that includes the infamous Arlington Iced Coffee that has been getting attention from a lot of locals.
Upon our arrival, we were blown away by the interior of the space. As the manager described it, it is the epitome of American Craftsmanship in which great beer meets great food. Guests are welcomed to the beautifully designed bar upon walking through the door. All of the booths are crafted out of the original barrels that the beer was once stored in. On the far right side hangs an American flag on the wall, made out of pallets that delivered the yeast when the restaurant opened.
To keep the impressive list going, they also roast their own coffee beans in the brewery in Manassas and customers can come in and purchase nitro cold brew, hot coffee or a bag of coffee to go. They also can purchase Veritas nitro cold brew in a can, which is something I've never seen before as an avid coffee drinker! They only serve caffeinated coffee but are working on decaf. One thing that was transparent throughout the entire dining experience is that Heritage provides the ultimate farm-to-table full service in their beers, dishes, and how they repurpose their materials in every way possible.
I know I know, get to the food. But this place has so much character and history, that we could not help but share their story and hope to convince you to share the experience we had ourselves. Upon being seated, we were greeted by the incredibly friendly staff with two beer flights - their Flagship flight of five 3 oz beers (first picture below) and one seasonal flight of five 3 oz beers (second picture below). The beer flights are served in the original barrel wood that was used to make the beer similar to how the booths were made (aka more character).
As I am personally not an avid beer drinker, I ordered a Moscow Mule but proceeded to taste a few of the beers. My favorite was the American Expedition from the Flagship flight due to the hint of honey and ginger flavors throughout. This is a great beer for those who like something extremely light. Blake's favorite was the Freedom Isn't Free from their Flagship flight and the Hoppy Wheat Ale and Sour Raspberry from their seasonal/limited flight. The Sour Raspberry was close to a cider and that was also appealing to me. The names of their beers range from Freedom Isn't Free to Revolution Amber Ale and even "The Teddy"!
Our waiter then brought us a trio of house made breads to try -- a Cheddar and scallion scone, Spent grain beer bread and Irish Soda Bread. A fun fact about the Irish Soda Bread is that it's the owner's recipe from Ireland paired with Kerry gold butter. Personally, we were huge fans of the Cheddar and scallion scone with the Irish Soda Bread in close second.
While sipping our drinks, we tried the House Smoked Beer nuts which was a hearty mix of every nut in the book. This is a great snack to order before having your entree. We then indulged in the 1/2 dozen of Rotisserie wings with their Adobo Dry Rub served with a Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce. I have to admit I've never had a dry rub but they were extremely delicious and cooked at just the right temperature. Be forewarned, these babies are hot!
We then opted for two entrees recommended by our waitress, the Turkey Burger and the Shepherd's Pie. The Turkey Burger was one of the best I've ever had! It was topped with cheese, half an avocado, chipotle mayo and red onion chutney -- which is what made it so incredibly flavorful. The burger comes with a side of market salad which made us feel a tad bit healthy as we indulged in the burger.
As for the Shepherd's pie, it was game over after that. This was a combination of ground lamb & beef with diced vegetables, Heritage Porter Gravy, mashed potato, and cheddar cheese on top served with a market salad. The Shepherd's pie also infuses Heritage's Revolution Amber Ale into the recipe.
To end on a sweet note, we opted for the Deep Dish Apple Pie served with butterscotch ice cream from Loopy Scoops out of Fairfax, VA. Their butterscotch ice cream is infused with King's Mountain Scotch Ale Beer from the Heritage Brewpub. Delicious!!
To find out more about the story behind Heritage, visit their website or stop in their Clarendon location for happy hour from 4-7 PM!