A while ago we posed the question on our Facebook page asking which brewery we should visit next. A few people chimed in with Fair Winds Brewing Company. This was not the first time hearing great things about this Lorton, Virginia based microbrewery with distribution across much of the commonwealth. It was time to take a look (and taste) for ourselves.
Fair Winds is located at 7000 Newington Road k & l in Lorton, VA. With banners hanging from their rafters as if they are the Lakers, it was an immediately welcoming atmosphere upon our arrival. The emphasis seemed to be placed on getting enough seating into the taproom which was situated with a viewing window into the brewery, making it less like some of these others with all the games to play. But that’s not a knock on Fair Winds at all.
Early 2000s hip hop blared on the speakers as the patrons loudly chatted with their friends. Most people there seemed to be older millennials, probably late 20s to 40 or so. One potential drawback is if you’re looking for something more downtown, this destination might not be appealing to you based on the surrounding buildings. Overall, it felt like a party here and our whole group loved it.
Onsite in the parking lot was a Himalayan Soul Foods truck serving up delicious momo. According to the taproom’s calendar, you can count on savory food service from a variety of food trucks.
Atmosphere Rating: 4.5/5
All the service we experienced was exceptional. Very quick and friendly. It was too crowded to stand around and chat with the bartenders, but at the same time, we never felt rushed. We make it a habit to return our glasses to the bar, but we noticed employees going around collecting empty glasses from tables. Whether it was because they were short on glasses or not, that first-rate service was appreciated.
Service Rating: 4.8/5
Even though there were at least a few award-winning brews on tap, the consensus favorite appeared to be the High Barbary Amber Lager (5.4% abv). Greg, Andrew, and Chris considered it one of their favorite lagers they ever tasted. Very deep toasty taste with a rich finish that stayed with us making us want more, definitely a great beer to drink by itself or with any food.
The Howling Gale West Coast IPA (7.2% abv) was one of their stronger beers on tap but wasn’t too overpowering with its citrus and grainy aromas. It wasn’t sour at all and would go great with just about any food choice except for maybe Asian. Not surprising, this IPA has won awards from the Virginia Craft Breweries Guild and Northern Virginia Magazine in the past.
Chris, a Saison lover, found a great one in Siren’s Lure (7.2% abv) which also was a past winner from the Guild along with the Great American Beer Festival. The hype of both these beers is definitely justified, but don’t sleep on High Barbary!
The list goes on and on for what to try at Fair Winds which is always a great sign. The Quayside Kolsch (4.5% abv) surprised our friend Marcus who normally sticks with the lagers (but it being German makes sense). We could taste several pleasant citrus tastes in there including lemon and a few others that were difficult to make out.
Additionally, this was the first Brewery Bulletin that Greg’s wife made an appearance at. Not being a beer lover, she was surprised at how much she liked the Ornery Bos’n (5.5% abv). She said it was the smooth finish of this hoppy wheat ale that did it for her. We are looking forward to a return visit so that we can purchase some of the popular cans to take home before selling out. People love the beers here!
Taste Rating: 4.7/5
Final Rating: 4.7/5