Beer Giant, Others Eye Old Dominion's Territory

Monday, February 19, 2007

A group of partners that includes the beer giant Anheuser-Busch of St. Louis has applied for a new brewery license at Old Dominion Brewing Co. in Ashburn, another sign that the popular pub near Dulles International Airport is close to changing ownership.

Coastal Brewing Co. filed the application with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control on Jan. 29, according to Beth Straeten, a spokeswoman for the department. She said it takes at least 30 days for a brewing license to be approved.

Old Dominion President Jerry Bailey declined to comment yesterday, but he confirmed last month that the sale of the microbrewery was imminent.

Besides Anheuser-Busch, the managing members on the application include William L. Muehlhauser, Straeten said. Muehlhauser and his son and partner, Kyle, own the Ram's Head Tavern, a Baltimore-based brewery chain. He did not return a message left with a tavern manager yesterday. A spokesman for Anheuser-Busch said the company had no comment.

The brewery makes nearly 20 brands of beer, including Dominion Ale, Old Dubliner, and Tuppers' Hop Pocket Pils. Old Dominion also brews special recipes for other local outlets. In 2006 it was the 50th-largest brewery in the country.

-- Thomas Heath

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