Fredericksburg’s craft beer community is exploding and making an impact! In just under 4 years, 9 new breweries have opened their doors. In 2017, every Fredericksburg brewery that participated in the Virginia Craft Beer Cup came home with a medal.
These breweries not only provide the area with amazing beer, but have an important economic impact as well. According to the Brewers Association, the craft brewing industry contributed $55.7 Billion to the U.S. Economy in 2014, and more than 424,000 Jobs. Virginia breweries alone created $1,046,000 of that $55.7 Billion. Many Fredericksburg breweries are committed to sourcing their ingredients as locally as possible. Thus, they’re not only creating award winning beer, jobs and revenue, but supporting area farmers as well.
The surge in Fredericksburg breweries has created an opportunity for brewery specific tours to open. These tours allow people to visit multiple local breweries for tastings and a peek behind the scenes, without having to drive.
Interested in trying an award winning Fredericksburg Beer or hopping on a tour? Read on for details!
Red Dragon Brewery - Red Dragon Brewery is a nod to its owners Celtic heritage (England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales ) in name, atmosphere, and brews. True to it’s roots, Red Dragon Brewery emotes a friendly, European pub-like vibe. Many customers live within walking distance of the brewery and have become welcome regulars. “We choose Fredericksburg because it has been mine and my business partner’s home most of our lives. We both grew up in the area so the city is very important to both of us,” said owner Tom Evans. He and co-owner Dan Baker renovated the former GoodWill laundry building into the brewery, in 2015. The remarkable transformation garnered them the 2017 EDA Facade Improvement award. Red Dragon regularly hosts Nerd Night, on the second Monday of the month. During Nerd Night an expert gives a short presentation on an exciting subject they are passionate about. Red Dragon Brewery has 20 tap-lines and have a variety of beers on tap. They are best known for their New England Style IPA.
Spencer Devon Brewing- In 2016, Spencer Devon Brewing took home the bronze medal for their Sunken Road Belgian-Style Blonde Ale, at The Great American Beer Festival. A first for Fredericksburg! Located right on George Street, they’re also the first brewery to operate in downtown since prohibition.“I fell in love with Fredericksburg when the Marine Corps sent me here. I knew it was where I would retire.” Said owner Shawn Phillips. “Jeff Fitzpatrick ( late owner and founder of Blue and Gray Brewing Company ) had been gracious enough to give me a glimpse into the craft beer world and I knew I fit there. When I saw the void of breweries in Fredericksburg and its piqued interest in craft beer, I knew it was the universe telling me this is what I should be doing. So, I did what we all should...and listened to the universe!" Not only do they brew 10 beers in house, they also have a full restaurant that serves a seasonally rotated menu, which uses upwards of 80- 90% locally sourced ingredients. Spencer Devon Brewing is home to two huge murals which were painted by local artist Bill Harris, and the artwork displayed/ for sale inside are all created locally. “Spencer Devon Brewing is centered around embracing the community in which we live. We spend a lot of time fostering relationships with our farmers, local charitable organizations, and the others in the craft beer community. We would be nothing without our community,” said Phillips.
Strangeways Brewing- The latest brewery to join the Fredericksburg craft beer scene is Richmond favorite, Strangeways Brewing. This location is the second for Strangeways and somewhat of a return home for owner and founder Neil Burton, who is a graduate of James Monroe High School. “We are beyond thrilled to be bringing what we think is a truly unique tasting room experience to the Fredericksburg community,” said Burton. “The craft beer scene has been exploding in this market, and we are excited to help support that growth. With the addition of Matty Eck, our talented new head brewer for our Fredericksburg location, we are poised to delight our guests with a whole new lineup of exquisitely peculiar beers, alongside many of our perennial customer favorites. We have 48 taps inside and 48 taps outside that will be filled with a plethora of different beers to please nearly every palate.” Strangeways is located only a few minutes outside of downtown proper. The brewery has an eclectic, funky, friendly atmosphere which includes a small arcade, patio, 30-foot outside bar, fire pit, and even a snack station. The tasting room and brewery are the largest in Fredericksburg and occupy 10,000 square feet. Strangeways continues the Fredericksburg brewery trend of supporting local small businesses, by offering their products and art for sale in the tasting room.
Maltese Brewing Company- Local firefighters, Bobby Cook and Joseph Smith share more than just a career in firefighting in common. They also love brewing beer. After years of home brewing together, they decided to take the leap and open their own brewery, the aptly named Maltese Brewing Company. The brewery is a melding of both the craft beer world and the world of firefighting. Even the base boards are made with fire hoses! Per their website, “The symbol itself [ The Maltese ] is a symbol of protection. There are 8 points to the cross and… they all have a specific meaning. Each of these are very deep and important to firefighters, and it is something ingrained in all of them. To be a firefighter is to be a part of the greatest brotherhood there ever was.” Maltese Brewing Company offers a regular schedule of food trucks, growler fill specials, and weekly trivia night. Flagship beers include Fireman's Blonde, Pineapple IPA and Barnfire Saison.
1781 Brewing Company - Located just half an hour from downtown Fredericksburg, on a farm in Spotsylvania County, this brewery brings the phrase, “drink local” to a whole new level. They grow their brewing ingredients right on their own farm. Per their website,“Using natural ingredients from the fertile land we reside on, we create some of the most delicious and fresh tasting farmhouse ales around. We are one of the first farm breweries in the great state of Virginia, and the only one with a vineyard and winery on the same property, Wilderness Run Vineyards." What they can’t grow on-site, they source locally. They even get their water directly from the ground. “This water is never chlorinated or treated in any way, and has the perfect composition for brewing and distilling. It is the biggest factor in what makes our beer taste so great.” In addition to craft beer and wine, 1781 Brewing Company offers food trucks on-site, Industry Night, Teacher and First Responder Night, and live music.
Adventure Brewing (North and South)- One of the first breweries to open in the Fredericksburg area was Adventure Brewing, in May 2014. Coincidentally, it was around that same time that the Fredericksburg craft beer community began to expand exponentially. The demand for Adventure Brewing’s beer became so strong, that when the late owner of Blue and Grey Brewing Company, Jeff Fitzpatrick, announced his retirement in 2016, Adventure Brewing decided to acquire the brewery’s location. This expansion has allowed Adventure Brewing to produce substantially more beer and experiment with new styles. Adventure Brewing keeps the Blue and Grey spirit alive by continuing to brew their beloved Fred Red Ale. The brewery’s Stafford location is Adventure Brewing North. It’s Spotsylvania location is Adventure Brewing South ( formerly Blue and Grey Brewing Company ). Both sites host food trucks and weekly events. Check out their website for more info.
Highmark Brewery- The newest brewery to open in Stafford County is Highmark Brewery. “We started Highmark Brewery out of a love for family and of course craft beer. We are hoping to create a welcoming environment for all with live music, paint nights and unique craft beer launches. Myself and my uncle Mark, the head brewer, were born in this area and have a desire to stay connected to it as much as possible,” said co-owner and artist, Brandon Newton. Highmark has a unique minimalist design and relaxed atmosphere. Making it a perfect place for artists of all kinds to create and become inspired. In addition to monthly paint nights hosted by Newton himself, Highmark offers a weekly movie night, trivia night, live music on Saturday nights, open mic-night, food trucks on site, and 8 beers on tap.
6 Bears & A Goat Brewing Co. - Collaborations of great minds tend to create exemplary results. 6 Bears & A Goat Brewing Co. is no exception! In this case, it's the melding of the Fredericksburg culinary scene with the Fredericksburg craft beer scene. 6 Bears & A Goat Brewing Co. has a unique partnership with Chef Joy Crump and Restaurateur Beth Black. The latter operate the onsite restaurant, which is their third venue in the Fredericksburg area. Their first two restaurants are Foode and local brunch spot favorite, Mercantile. The name, 6 Bears & A Goat Brewing Co., reflects the military backgrounds of the 7 owners; 6 retirees from the U.S. Coast Guard and a retiree from the U.S. Navy. You can find the restaurant’s menu on their website as well as a calendar of upcoming events, and tap-list.
Fred Vegas Brew Tours- Owner and founder Charity DellaCamera fell in love with craft beer while living in San Diego. “When I came back to Fredericksburg I was ecstatic to see the growth in craft breweries in the area! We have the opportunity to support not just our local breweries, but also local small businesses and community organizations. We provide the opportunity for people to have a safe, entertaining way to learn about and enjoy craft beer, and also bring awareness to the craft beer scene that has developed right here in our wonderful city! This city is full of history, award winning craft beer, delicious food, and wonderful people. We are all so lucky to live here and couldn't think of a better place to run Fred Vegas Brew Tours!” Fred Vegas Brew Tours begins their tour at Sedona Taphouse and continues to three different local breweries. At least one stop includes a guided behind the scenes look at the brewing process. If you prefer a private group tour ( think: bachelorette or bachelor parties, retirement parties, etc. ) they are available to accommodate groups any night of the week, and are fully customizable. Fred Vegas Brew Tours offers specialty tours to local events and festivals, as well. They will soon feature a local charity each month, in which part of the tour proceeds will support a need in the community.
FXBG Brewery Tours - FXBG Brewery Tours’ public tours are on Saturdays and Sundays, and begin at Brock's Riverside Grill. Each tour visits three Fredericksburg breweries and participants enjoy a four beer flight at each location. They also receive at least one behind-the-scenes tour, a VIP experience, and FXBG Brewery Tours souvenirs. Private tours can be arranged and are customizable. While FXBG Brewery Tours usually stays local, they will accommodate private tours to wineries, distilleries, etc. outside of the Fredericksburg area. Tickets must be purchased in advance, online. “My husband and I started this brewery tour business because we absolutely love Fredericksburg and we love Fredericksburg beer! What better way to be a part of an awesome beer community than to showcase all of the awesome breweries our awesome community has to offer!” Said owner, Julie Beavers.
Grapes and Grains Trail- In addition to craft beer, Fredericksburg is also home to amazing wineries and double gold medal World Spirits Champion, A. Smith Bowman Distillery. Grapes and Grains Trail covers all three bases! Each tour includes 5 wineries (Heartwood Winery, Lake Anna Winery, Mattaponi Winery, Potomac Point Winery, and Wilderness Run Vineyards), 5 breweries (Adventure Brewing North and South, Maltese Brewing, Red Dragon Brewing, Spencer Devon Brewing, and 1781 Brewing Company) and A. Smith Bowman Distillery. Tickets include VIP tours at all trail stops (subject to staff availability), commemorative tasting glass, and special discounts at all trail stops. Be sure to follow their social media platforms and website for upcoming events.