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  • Writer's pictureglassyviolist

Talk Dirt-y to me

When we’re on the road, we’re on the road for work. In the car we switch from Audiobooks to acting out scenes, warm ups, even in depth discussions on how Tommy is thinking about character approach. But something that is very important to both of us is making time and memories with each other. It’s so easy to get to the hotel and only emerge for rehearsals, but we keep our relationship strong by carving out time to go to cool places where we’re based!

Now my musical friends know just how hard our community was hit by the pandemic. Tommy and I were very fortunate to have made an okay living for a year- I was teaching online, He picked up a few gigs with MN Opera and worked a full time receptionist job (talk about being busy!) If there’s one thing we came out of the pandemic knowing- it was how to budget. So-! I’m also planning on being pretty transparent here about that so when I suggest these places to go to, you’ll know ahead of time what an afternoon might cost you! We’re hoping that we can shed some light on some fantastic local businesses, and hey- if you’re singing out at Wolf Trap, or live in NOVA, check them out!!

On Saturday, we visited one of the most beautiful breweries I have ever been to. It’s about 40 minutes west of Reston, probably an hour and change from the D.C area. Even though it’s a bit of a trek, it’s a gorgeous drive and if you spend a full day in the area you’ll find a quaint town, multiple vineyards and breweries, and farms.

NO FARMS NO BEER! This location is run by the Zurschmeide family, who have been farming in Loudon County for decades. The name “Dirt Farm” is a tribute to their farming legacy. Founded in 2012, this brewery has their own hop yard, barley field and their very own yeast strain! The brewery is a gorgeous stone building, has an incredible view from a patio, and an expansive grass area where you can bring your kids and pups to run around. Theres plenty of seating, between tables with umbrellas, or a nice wooden Adirondack chair on the mountainside.

(Tommys is the almost empty one)
Tart 31 Cherry and the Dunkelweizen

Now my favorite part- the menu! Tommy and I sampled four of their beers. It’s a low cost menu- depending on the size you order, beer ranges from $5 to $8.50! They also have an outdoor kitchen with a variety of food offerings. Our beers:


-Malty, light and delicious

“Hits the spot” Tart 31 Cherry Ale

Fruit Beer

-Not too sweet!

-Punchy and crisp

“Perfect for an 80 degree day”

Byde my time

Lager - Pale

-Fine and easy drinking

-Balanced taste and clean

“not too malty and with a touch of hops.”

Hey Z

IPA New England

-Sweet and complex

-not bitter at all

-new to the menu

This was the favorite for both of us-we bought three crowlers to come back home with us”

A business that was created by a team with a history and love for oysters that spans back fifty years. It’s co-owned by Paul Simpson, Todd Neilson and Jess Jones and they have a mission to protect Nomini bay by raising and farming oysters. Started in 2014, they focused on raising oysters that were of the highest and freshest quality- and let me tell you- the oysters we had were FANTASTIC. Adam Witt was our master schucker, friendly and efficient. The oysters themselves were perfect and fresh- they still had some sand on the shell, and were farmed the day before. They were sweet and buttery with a full-bodied taste infused with rich minerality. We got 12 on the shell for $20, and they also had a grilled oyster option, grilled shrimps and crab cakes.

We had a fantastic afternoon, and recommend a drive out west if you’ve got a free day!

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