Winter may be just a few short months away, but you don’t need a vacation in Hawaii to be transported to the tropical paradise. Ono Brewing Company opened its doors in Chantilly on September 1 to give hardworking Northern Virginians a place to kick back and relax after a long day.
Ono, which means “delicious” or “tasty” in Hawaiian, is owned by Cyndi and Scott Hoffman, who are serving up eight unique brews that all revolve around tropical themes in taste and name. Even though Ono has been open only a few weeks, Cyndi says their Manako (mango white ale), Pineapple IPA and Island Hopper have pulled ahead as customer favorites. However, the Peweli Pale Ale holds a special place for Cyndi, as it’s named after her mother.
The idea to open a brewery came to the couple when they moved to Fairfax County six years ago and found themselves having to travel to Loudoun County every time they wanted to visit a brewery. Cyndi says they always wanted to run a business together and since Scott has been a home brewer since their college years, a brewery just made sense.
As for the Hawaiian theme, the couple has deep ties to the tropics. Cyndi’s mom was born and raised in Hawaii, and she and Scott lived there when they were first married while Scott did a tour as a part of the U.S. Army. They also met in Florida and moved there after two years in Hawaii. When they came to Virginia, Cyndi says they missed the beach life after 20 years of living in tropical locales.
“We felt like this place needs to relax,” Cyndi says. “Northern Virginia is just really intense – the traffic, and everybody works so hard – so even though there’s no beach close by, we thought we would try to bring the beachy atmosphere here.”
The Hawaiian theme is not the only aspect that makes Ono a unique brewery experience; customers get to pour their own beer. Customers are given a card at the register and then can walk over to the taps, where they can choose between a four and 16-ounce glass. For each tap, there is a touch screen above it that gives the beer name and description. The customer then sticks the card in the slot that is attached to the touch screen, and it tells them how many ounces they’ve poured and how much each ounce costs as they fill up their glass.
In addition, Cyndi says they pay their servers enough that they don’t need to rely on tips. So they decided that all tips that are received will go to a different charity organization each month. For September, they chose the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation. Next month, they will choose a charity that revolves around breast cancer.
Cyndi says Ono has been a great experience so far and it’s been a great way to meet new people, but getting to do it with her husband is even better.
“During the day when we’re not open, we’re here together looking around like, ‘This is our place, this is so cool and we’re doing it together.’”
Learn more about Ono at www.onobrewco.com.
Ono Brewing Company: 4520 Daly Dr. Suite 102, VA; 571-409-6662; www.onobrewco.com