Co-owner and Master Brewer Charlie Buettner has been an integral part of the local craft brewing scene since its infancy. He previously worked as the head brewer at the now-closed Mad Fox Brewing Company in the City of Falls Church and was responsible for creating some of their classic and beloved brews, like the Orange Whip IPA. After leaving Mad Fox in 2015, he set his sights on new challenges and soon thereafter helped to open Fair Winds Brewing Company early March 2, 2015, which owes its distinctive nautical theme to one of its co-founders being a retired Coast Guard veteran.
The nautical theme ties into founder Casey Jones‘ background: Jones has a masters in marine biology and navigated waters as a Coast Guard officer for 12 years. He moved to NoVA in 2011 to work in corporate executive recruitment, all while homebrewing. Jones’ interest in beer grew after having access to local beers while stationed in Coos Bay, Oregon. He looked into buying a Sea Dog Brewing Co. brewpub in Maine, but Shipyard Brewing Company beat him to it. The vision was accelerated once the brewer moved to NoVA (Northern Virginia).
Topsail was initially proposed for the brewery name, a nod to Jones’s experience aboard the only square rigger owned by the U.S. government ( in which the topsail was set first and last), but was challenged by an Oregon brewery claiming rights to the name. Jones changed it to Fair Winds, originating from the sailor phrase “wishing you fair winds as you depart on seas,”
Jones, who is a decade-long homebrewer, was joined by brewmaster Todd Parker, who previously brewed for Copper Canyon Brewery in Michigan for 15 years. Parker also had 25 years of home brewing experience. Lead brewer and active duty Coast Guard officer Shawn Johnson brewed at Saint Somewhere Brewing Company in Florida and brought his specialty in the saison and farmhouse categories.
The 12,600 square foot facility is complete with a fully operational packaging brewery featuring a 30 barrel system with the capacity to churn out over 4,000 barrels annually,and expansive tasting room.
We built Fair Winds Brewing Company to provide fresh, local, flavorful craft beers to our neighbors and friends in Fairfax County and throughout Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all; instead, we believe that craft beer, like food, should complement the moment and add to the overall experience. Our beers are born from inspiration, crafted with devotion and served with the excitement and anticipation one experiences when sharing their craft. We welcome you to fill your sails with Fair Winds. Fair Winds Brewing Co. is a veteran-owned business.