This weekend, our incoming store manager and I took a trip out to Ono Brewing in Chantilly. It was a great trip where we got to meet owners Scott and Cindy and tour the facility. Scott designed a lot of the facility, including the large and quiet walk-in refrigerator. They also have a pretty impressive back room with a gravity-fed system Scott designed. Ono is still growing and just received some shiny new equipment, which we were allowed to check out. They’ve also got a 3d printer that they use to create unique tap handles. Currently, Ono only has kegs available for distribution because they are still hand canning. Ono’s has a Hawaiian vibe from the decades the owners lived on the island.
Ono has an excellent outdoor seating area with a self-serve tap system that uses a digital card system that allows you to try a little bit of all their offerings without committing to a full beer. It is a pretty robust system that contains a foam on beer system and a trick tap pull that prevents foaming. They’ve partnered with Odd BBQ to provide some excellent food onsite. Let me tell you; it smells incredible back there! Their office park location allows for plenty of available parking. They also sell a few beers they can by hand along with some merchandise. If you get a chance, check out their taproom. If you see them on tap near you, I would also encourage you to try them out!
During our trip, we met with Randall, who took us through all of Ono’s current beer offerings. Their core offerings include Hellyes Lager, Manako, Riptide, and Howzit that are available year-round. The current rotating offerings include Tsunami, Jack-O’, Hula Girl, Island Time, Black Pearl, and Hurricane Frances DIPA. My favorite beer of the day was the Black Pearl, a dry Irish stout with a coffee-like taste. It is incredible! Howzit uses cryogenically frozen hops that give it a pretty crisp taste. Even at 7% ABV, it was super smooth. The Manako is an American wheat beer infused with Mango. They made it a point to highlight they use actual Mango, not Mango syrup. You can certainly taste the difference.
Jack-O’ is their take on a pumpkin beer, and it does taste like pumpkin pie. What I found refreshing is that it wasn’t in your face with the pumpkin, but you knew it was there. A pretty cool story goes along with their Hurricane series of beers. The owners have been through several hurricanes, so the Hurricane beers are named after hurricanes they’ve experienced. A pretty neat little backstory. Ono also makes it a point to buy local Virginia grown wheat and oats whenever possible. As supporters of local breweries, we are a big fan of this approach.
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