Ornery Beer Co.—Fairfax

Location Now Closed
Ornery Beer Co. Logo

3950 University Dr. #209
Fairfax, Virginia 22030


closed for business sign

First Visited

September 25, 2019

Randy Barnette owner and founder of Ornery Beer Company, opened the brewpub’s doors in August 2015. The Brewpub was the first brewpub to open in Prince William County. Randy has over 15 years in the restaurant business as an owner of two Hard Times Cafes (Manassas and Woodbridge) and as an investor with Mad Fox Brewing Company. The brewery opened in the former Hard Times Café, a 12,000-square-foot location, in the Potomac Festival shopping center.

Entering the brewpub, the wrap-around bar is Ornery’s focal point. When you first walk in, you notice is the bar with 17 taps. Four of the taps are old-style cask taps, meaning the beer is stored in wooden barrels rather than metal kegs. Behind the main bar are several sets of couches next to the beer holding tanks. This area is perfect for either lounging with friends or watching a game on the wall-size projector.

Adjacent to the entrance is a dining area with booth seating for those who may want a bit more privacy. Ornery doesn’t have just one bar; behind the dining area is a second smaller bar (it still has 17 taps, though!). This barroom has two garage-type doors that can open to let some air in while still protecting customers from the elements.

The name ended up being a secondary concern,” Barnette said. “I had a long list of names, but I wanted one that would capture the casual, irreverent, and fun tone we’re trying to create here. I was handing out anonymous surveys with lists of brewery names. I added Ornery Beer Company to the list, after the head brewer of Mad Fox Brewing Co. in Falls Church [Barnette is an investor in Mad Fox] called me ornery. That name just kept floating to the top, because it’s a little quirky, and it’s a great conversation starter.”

Ornery announced in in March 2018, that it was closing the Woodbridge site when it was unable to negotiate a smaller space or reduced rent at the Potomac Festival shopping center. Ornery went on to launch a new location in Fairfax. and also relocated the main production brewery (20 barrel brewery) in the Bristow area.

Ornery 2.0, opened  in the City of Fairfax in the Old Town Plaza.  The new brewpub was housed in a 7000 sq ft facility with an outdoor patio, in a vibrant mixed use center in Old Town Fairfax with an attached 500 car parking garage. The new location was also home to a new 3 barrel pilot brewery where they created all the new beers and small batch brews.

In addition to re-launching the new brewpub in the City of Fairfax, Ornery relocated their main production brewery in a separate, low cost warehouse location.  A separate production brewery greatly lowered their previous overhead, protected the heart of the company (the brewery) from risks of lease issues, and helped them enter the retail markets with a new canning & packaging line. In the new production facility, Head Brewer Ferdinand McAdoo, and his team got back to work brewing.  The production brewery still supplies a majority of their beer for the Fairfax Public House as well as wholesale kegs & cans to the restaurants and craft beer stores all over Northern Virginia and DC.

In October, 2020 Ornery opened its taproom next to its production brewery near Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow. The taproom has outdoor picnic tables. For winter, Ornery has three fire pits out back along with Adirondack-style chairs.

Ornery was hit especially hard by the COVID pandemic, forcing them to relocate. Consequently, Ornery moved location to a smaller space within the Old Town Plaza Shopping Mall.

The Ornery Beer Company Public House is a casual but elevated pub serving our meticulously crafted, house brewed ales & lagers paired with a creative menu. Virginia has become the craft brewing epicenter of the east coast. Ornery wants you to have a fun & casual pub where you can have a pint and a great meal too.

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