It was 2010 when Ken, a first generation American and US Marine veteran who loved to cook decided to make his mark on Virginia barbeque.

After building a mobile barbeque unit towed behind his trusty jeep, Ken took his eats to the masses. First up, local Farm Markets, where demand was so high…something bigger was needed. Next up, Ken again put the “hammer down” on an old food truck – completely renovating it and then showcasing it at the 2014 Middleburg, Virginia Christmas Parade. Another hit!!!

From 2014 to 2017, the truck attracted more barbeque lovers than could be satisfied, so Ken decided there was enough interest and a loyal following to take on something even bigger. Ken and his Hammerdown team gutted an old tea house on the historic Colonel John S. Mosby Highway in Aldie, Virginia, and built an industrial farmhouse-style restaurant, with much of the interior handcrafted by local artisans, featuring recycled wood from local barns and an eclectic collection of old foundry plates designed more than 100 years ago for the Hudson Coal Company of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Ken and his brother Bing then set out to build a 1000 gallon, four bay, off-set fire box smoker designed to consume a cord of seasoned oak each week. It was at that point that the present home of HammerDown BBQ was established.

What makes Hammerdown Barbeque special?……In short, Ken, his team, freshly prepared homemade sides, local and regionally produced craft beer, and an intentionally limited amount of fresh smoked meat each day. It’s the Hammerdown Way! Come early, stay late.

Some of the best, most tender and unapologetically fatty brisket we’ve found on the East Coast is at this no-frills smokehouse in Loudoun County.

Washingtonian Magazine, May 2018