You love us as DC’s Wine Country. We’ll {shell} you a little secret, though: we’re also DC’s Brine Country, making Loudoun the perfect place to enjoy Virginia Oyster Month! Why dedicate an entire month to this mollusk, you ask? Well, they don’t call Virginia the oyster capital of the East Coast for nothing. For generations, Virginia’s oyster farms have harvested the most on the coast, within eight different regions.

They say that only the best rises to the top; up in northern Virginia, that couldn’t be more true, especially where oysters are involved. Loudoun benefits from the opportunity to carefully source the Commonwealth’s yummiest oysters. With these deep sea delicacies at our fingertips, we’ve definitely developed a shell-half-full kind of culture. Loudoun welcomes all fish-loving foodies, no matter how you like your oysters: raw, steamed, baked, fried, roasted or chargrilled. Mother of pearl, those sound good 🤤

Hard-core cider fans, we know you’ve been toasting to Virginia Cider Week since last Friday! Hopefully, you’ve been running footloose and gluten free from cidery to cidery, sampling the harvest’s finest. After all, a cider a day… that’s the saying, right? 😅 Virginia apples have earned somewhat of a stellar reputation, and, when it comes to hard cider, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. One crisp sip, and you’ll break out in a round of {apple}ause. Not to mention that our ciders pair uncannily well with most foods — oysters included!

If you fer-meant to celebrate cider this week, but haven’t yet had a chance, don’t worry because you still have plenty of time. Wondering where to celebrate #CiderWeekVA in Loudoun? We cherry- apple-picked some of our favorite hard cider spots — keep reading for all the juicy details 🍎😏

 

 

Where to Celebrate Virginia Cider Week

mt defiance cheers

Mt. Defiance Cidery and Distillery

The Mount Defiance Cidery proudly offers both classic and craft ciders — traditional dry farmhouse blends and a single variety cider. The cidery also loves to experiment, running a full spectrum of infused and co-fermented ciders. Using a variety of seasonal ingredients such as ginger, honey, blueberries and even a special five pepper combo, Mt. Defiance designed eclectic, accessible ciders that bring the flavor, enhancing any paired dish (oysters included!).

Our Favorite: Mt. Defiance Cider with Blueberries

The rose hue of this cider lets you know it’s a wonderful fusion of fresh blueberries, picked at the height of the season and combined with fresh cider from Virginia apples. The taste is not easily defined in that you pick up berry notes as well as citrus notes as the fermentation process fuses the two into a cogent whole.

 

 

corcoran

Corcoran Vineyards & Cider

Take a quaint 1750s restored log cabin, 120 acres of gorgeous Loudoun farmland and an entrepreneurial spirit, and you’ve got Corcorans’ boutique vineyard and cidery. Whether you’re welcomed into their ever-friendly tasting room or lounging on the picnic area overlooking the tranquil tree-lined pond, you’ll soon become a Corcoran convert. Add to this stunning setting carbonated, crisp ciders that always ace the taste test. Apples of several varieties, chosen carefully for tannins, sugar and acid, combine to create sophisticated flavors that range somewhere between a glass of wine and a cold beer. But in the end, it’s the integrity and genuine care poured into the Corcorans’ apple orchard that results in some of the most refreshing hard cider you’ve ever sipped. We also recommend taking time to sample Corcoran’s apple wine — after Cider Week, of course!

Our Favorite: Knot Head

With a “secret” blend of seven apples, grown locally, this cider was aged just a few weeks in Bourbon barrels giving it a Whiskey-Sour type taste. Lightly sweetened and fuller bodied.

 

 

wild hare

Wild Hare Hard Cider

The inspiration behind this micro-cidery was born, bred, and lovingly fermented out of a desire to handcraft something, then let time and nature work their magic. Wild Hare has invested in the most modern production techniques to reinvent this specialty drink favored by our forefathers. The cidery transforms local fruit from the heart of the Shenandoah Valley into a delicious and ceaselessly interesting beverage. Thanks to thoughtful sourcing and high quality juice, Wild Hare churns out a drink that’s revitalizing the cider industry, one apple at a time.

Our Favorite: Revel

A semi-sweet cider with maple and fall sices, Revel is here for your holiday seasons.  Semi-sweet (but not too sweet) heritage cider, infused with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg and pure maple.  Evokes fond holiday memories, whether you serve it warm or cold. Revel.

 

 

Where to Celebrate Virginia Oyster Month

copp tav beer

Copperwood Tavern

Choose the oyster farm to table life at Copperwood Tavern, a restaurant that represents only the most local products available. To realize their passion of natural food education, this Virginia-owned tavern works closely with our farmers and proudly supports the regional economy. On their menu, you’ll find à la carte meats — including oysters — seasoned simply to highlight existing delicate flavors. With an evolving home-style menu featuring only the freshest ingredients, there’s no question that a visit during Virginia Oyster Month is a must!

Our Favorite: Grilled Oysters | with Parmesan, parsley, butter and garlic breadcrumbs

 

 

ford's fish shack

Ford’s Fish Shack & Oyster Bar (locations in South Riding and Ashburn)

Ford’s Fish Shack has made a mission to bring fresh-off-the-hook seafood to guests, and oysters are no exception!  The eatery’s commitment to homemade, seasonal flavors comes through in every award-winning bite. This November, be sure to check out Ford’s signature “Wicked Pissah” oysters, grown and harvested exclusively for Ford’s at Nottingham Oyster Farm in Cherrystone Inlet, Virginia. Perfectly balanced with a mild, sweet finish, the Wicked Pissahs offer a fragrant, yet light scent of seagrass swirls. The oyster meat, immersed in a subtle, sweet liquor, fills the golden-hued, tiger-striped shell nicely. Be ready for a sublime sweetness hidden in the brine that kicks in nicely and fades gently for lean, easy eating!

Our Favorite: Oysters & Bubbles | 12 Wicked Pissah™ Oysters & 2 Kenwood Yalupa Cuvee Brut Splits

 

 

king street

King Street Oyster Bar

With locations the historic downtown areas of both Leesburg and Middleburg, oysters are the star of the show at this delicious seafood restaurant. King Street specializes in sourcing the highest quality oysters from both the East and West Coast of Northern America — no more than 24 hours and 48 hours out of water, respectively. On any given day, you can find over 10 different oyster varieties at King Street! It’s also worth noting that the ecologically-conscious folks at King Street works closely with the Shell Recycling Alliance to help rebuild oyster reefs. After enjoying your oysters, digest easy knowing that shells that otherwise would be dumped in landfills are recycled, cleaned, treated with baby oysters and returned to the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.

Our Favorite: King Street Po Boy | with shredded cabbage, tomato, spicy remoulade, and fried oyster