“You’ve got to stop doing that. You can’t buy the first thing you see,” Hadi Akkad’s wife told him, according to Loudoun Now, about the day that he purchased Flying Ace Farm near Taylorstown in Loudoun County.
But Akkad had a vision for what the 55-acre farm could be, with its soaring blue silo, white silo and red barn.
The grandson of a pilot that had earned flying ace status for his U.S. military service during World War II and the Korean War, Akkad had already purchased a half-size replica Navy F4U Corsair to go over the bar.
The Flying Ace theme was a natural fit for the property, even if Akkad was not.
After making a successful exit from his Leesburg-based fintech company in 2018, Akkad had been on the look for his next business adventure. “I’m a city boy and the idea of owning a farm was always kind of romantic.”
To pull off this feat in an authentic way, he assembled the best plan, equipment and team that he could find, including a strong roster of familiar Loudoun faces.
For his head distiller, he hired Greg Moore, who previously worked at Catoctin Creek Distillery in Purcellville.
For the future restaurant on site, he partnered with Kirsten and Brian Jenkins of Monk’s BBQ fame, who expect to open Monk’s-On-The-Farm later this summer.
In the meantime, Erik Foxx-Nettnin, who left his role as executive chef at Magnolia’s Mill to start The Polished Foxx catering business during COVID-19, will serve as the on-site food service, sourcing as many ingedients as possible from Loudoun farms.
Loudoun newcomers include Steve O’Neil, who previously worked at the The Church Brew Works in Pittsburgh, winner of the 2012 Great American Beer Festival’s Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year award.
Once the team was identified, Akkad oversaw equipment assembly, renovations to the existing buildings, and construction of new facilities to make Flying Aces Farm a go-to destination for everything from a drink at the bar to a family outing, weddings and overnight stays, all against the backdrop of farmland and mountain views.
More than half of the Flying Ace Farm property will be devoted to agriculture, including the harvesting of Appalachian heirloom Bloody Butcher Corn, appropriately named for its uniformly red hue. This variety was likely first created in Virginia in the early 1800s and is known to be hardy against early frosts and short growing seasons, maturing in just 90 days.
The corn is a key ingredient in the spirits that make Flying Ace a true farm brewery and distillery. That craft alcohol is served at the bars on site and can be purchased by the bottle and case to Take Loudoun Home.
“Please come out and enjoy, not only the gorgeous surroundings that we have but also the food and the ambience, the beer and spirits. This is a really unique place because it may be the first farm brewery, distillery and restaurant in Virginia,” Loudoun’s Catoctin District Supervisor Caleb Kershner said at the Fly Ace grand opening. “Thank you for your investment in Loudoun County, into the rural economy and to really the enjoyment of the folks in Loudoun County and surrounding counties.”
Earn your wings with a trip to Flying Ace Farm in the heart of Loudoun County.