As you may have heard, we want to open a Farm Brewery on the 40 acres of land adjacent to The Winery at Bull Run and the Stonebridge Equestrian Horse Farm. What we envision is not a bar or even your typical brewery, it’s an authentic Farm Brewery supported by our own hops, grown locally alongside our grapes, and in harmony with the scenic vista of the Manassas National Battlefield. After five years of working closely with the local community and government officials, we are in the final stages of this process and we need your help.
Farming is a dying industry in Fairfax County as farmland continues to fall prey to being sold off to real estate developers. In fact, the zoning of our own property only allows for it to be used as a farm or residential housing. If we chose to go in the easy and profitable direction of the latter, exactly 12 McMansions would fit on this acreage. These 12 McMansions would require 12 septic systems and 12 individual wells and produce upwards of 30,000 gallons per day of wastewater directed into the ground, all of which would have the potential to negatively impact the Occoquan Watershed. Additionally, with their construction would come many losses—the farmland and tradition of farming would disappear, as would the horse farm, and subsequently, the horses you love to see frolicking across the property, and the breathtaking views of the Bull Run Mountains that you enjoy as you sip your wine at sunset.
Our desire to avoid all of the above while maintaining the integrity of the farm experience for our customers, expanding our offerings to include growing hops alongside the grapes, producing high quality, locally sourced craft beer, and protecting the land in a sustainable way, has led us to pursue opening the Farm Brewery. The environmental impact of this project is important to us, which is why, unlike the McMansions, our Farm Brewery requires only one well and one septic system; and 100% of the wastewater related to beer making will be captured and hauled offsite for disposal at a wastewater treatment center. Within the proposed plan, over 50% of the property is dedicated to undisturbed, open space and by the completion of construction, there will be over 82%, or 33 of the 40 acres, preserved as open, green space.
We’ve received tremendous support for this project from the local community and government, and for that, we are so grateful. In particular, several Fairfax County Supervisors, Fairfax County staff, VDOT, and FCDOT have worked on our application over the past five years, thoroughly vetted it, and now endorse our plan. However, as with any new and exciting project, we have been met with some opposition. A part of our plan includes using the existing farm road associated with that property, with necessary improvements, which connects to Bull Run Post Office Road and is located just a quarter mile off of Lee Highway, to access the brewery.
There are those who oppose that route and would prefer to “pave paradise” by constructing a new highway that would run directly through The Winery at Bull Run property, the vineyards, the hops, and the horse pastures. Not only would this ruin the views and farmlands you love, but the National Park Service would be required to cede land from the battlefield in order to construct a proper and safe entrance—to which the Park Service has already given a clear and resounding no.
We are writing to you now because there is an important hearing of the Fairfax County Planning Commission coming up on Wednesday, July 17 at 7:30 PM. There will be those in attendance at this public hearing who oppose the Farm Brewery and the Bull Run Post Office access road and are selling fear over fact to our neighbors. As this is an all or nothing proposal, we need your support to make our Farm Brewery a reality. Please help us to save the views, the history, and the horse farm by saying:
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you in advance for your support!
The Winery at Bull Run
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