Just as chimpanzees are an endangered species, it’s unusual to stumble onto such a memorable location as Twinpanzee Brewing Company in the concrete jungle of Sterling, Virginia.
The owners are unpretentious and the craft beers are as natural as the ingredients of a chimp’s jungle diet.
Two married primates, Maha Majdoub as the Chief Financial Officer, and Antonio Maradiaga as the Head Brewer, run the location. Maha shared they are starting small, the ideal mom and pop shop for locals to find community. With more than one talent, the establishment’s serving bar also displays her novel workmanship.
The location was named after the couple’s twin nine-year-olds: Adan and Zachary. Crawling on everything from the time they were five, earned them the beloved nickname of “chimpanzees.” In fact it was Adan that came up with the brewery’s name by simply combining twins with chimpanzee: How about Twinpanzee?
Photograph by Matt Leonard
Antonio began home brewing back in 2006 and nurtured his hobby into a talent when he joined the DC Homebrewers Club. It was absolutely instrumental to his growth in brewing as he learned and evolved from the honest feedback of experienced judges. Another friend that was a great help was Bill Madden of Mad Fox Brewing, taking time to chat with Antonio and answer various questions in good-natured stride.
It ultimately led Antonio to put together a business plan that got the stamp of approval from Maha (no small feat as the numbers gal!) They got the LLC and began hunting for a location. Searching for a home for their brewery in Fairfax County ended up being a painful three-year journey. Nothing went as planned but luckily life had one more beautiful, serendipitous trick up its sleeve.
Loudoun County Economic Development Group reached out and encouraged a lunch meeting. One thing led to another and with one final push, they found the location that is now Twinpanzee Brewing Company! In 2016 Twinpanzee began build out and by August of 2017, they were open.
A Twinpanzee craft beer flight
Photograph by Matt Leonard
Antonio doesn’t consider himself a brewmaster but rather a sponge, always learning. As humble as this guy is, when you taste his beers, you might be inclined to disagree. One of the best things about enjoying his craft beers is the time that goes into creating them. Everything is brewed from scratch with real ingredients, free of artificial flavors or chemical extracts. An example is the hand zested, fresh grapefruit in GF Punched Hefe. This house Hefeweizen is both juicy and refreshing. Another crowd pleaser and fan favorite is their Toasted the Coconutz Brown Ale. The unsulfured, unsweetened, toasted coconut that goes in this craft brew gives it a perfect hint of coconut with a slightly sweet finish.
Corona lovers will enjoy their session ale, Lawnmower Mangg. Imagine that Corona and then imagine something cleaner, fresher, and even better. Their Mosaic District IPA was a mature IPA with up front bitterness and a dry finish.
It just so happened while we were there, the Mosaic IPA kicked and there was a small uproar of unhappy groans in the taproom. I was a bit worried Antonio would have a mini revolt on his hands–perhaps some pounding on chests and a few chimps climbing on the furniture. But luckily he had other fantastic beers to keep his customers happy. Apparently he’s used to taming wild life as the name of his brewery insinuates. Sure enough, folks were back to happily sipping other brews moments later.
We also had a chance to sample the gingerbread milk stout, using real gingerbread cookies, still fermenting in the tank. Oh…my…deliciousness… (Hang on, wiping drool off chin.) It was already shaping out to be quite delectable with a nice balance of sweet and spice and everything nice. And oh, how I love the holidays! Shall I burst into song of a few of my favorite things?
The Wall @Twinpanzee
There is also an amazing fundraiser happening at Twinpanzee in the early winter of 2018. (Date TBA) The brewery will host an event to help raise funds for Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection. With the mission to establish a sanctuary in Liberia for all Chimpanzees in need while also partnering with all of Liberia’s wildlife protection and conservation efforts, it’s impossible to not want to get involved.
Some breathtaking photography by Kristi Odom will also be on display. I highly encourage folks to check out these websites and Kristi’s incredibly moving snapshots. Stay tuned on Twinpanzee’s Facebook page for upcoming details on this important fundraising event.
The brewery is family-friendly with free chips and drinks for the kids and lots of board games. (Grown up kids are also welcome to help themselves to their stash on any given night.) They also have regular food trucks out on Fridays and Saturdays.
The location is starting small but has a lot of ideas for the future. Antonio showed us the space in the back and hopes to eventually get a roped off outdoor area, which will be perfect for furry visitors down the road.
In the meantime, no chimp or human has to be orphaned or alone as long as Twinpanzee’s doors are open. There’s good beer, warm friends, and community waiting for you, so venture out today.
101-D Executive Dr, Sterling, VA 20166