Fair Winds Brewing Company

On a recent Spring like Sunday afternoon I decided to try out Fair Winds Brewing Company.  It has been on my list for a while and I haven’t gotten around to it, so I decided it was about time.  The immediate location is cool because you have to drive through a short tunnel under some train tracks (though the tunnel a little narrow for two lanes).  The traffic down I-95 and then on the Fairfax County Parkway can be a little challenging, even on a Sunday afternoon though.  Once you arrive, the space is very inviting.  It is the end unit of a small industrial strip.  There isn’t a whole lot of parking, but it seems sufficient for a Sunday afternoon.  They do have reserved parking for veterans right in front, which I thought was cool.  The interior of the tasting room is definitely industrial chic with hanging pendant lighting and exposed ducts.  The staff was very friendly and willing to help guide your selection through their various offerings.  At the time I was there I think there were 8 beers on draft and 1 or 2 in cask.  I decided to try a cross section of their beers, rather than all, but by the end I had tried most of the them.  I had the Quayside Kolsch, which was crisp and refreshing with a slightly biscuity flavor.  I also had the Howling Gale IPA, which was very impressive.  It had a strong malt backbone with a nice floral and citrus hop bite to it, yet it was not overly bitter.  I also had the Siren’s Lure saison, which I felt was a little disappointingly bland.  Next I tried the Running Light Red.  Like a red should, it had a strong malt signature, but it also had a slightly fruity flavor to it.  I liked it a lot, but if malt is not your thing, it may not be for you.  After that, I went dark with Ghost of the Mariner stout.  This one was a little disappointing.  It had strong vanilla and cherry notes, but it tasted a little too much like Dr. Pepper to me.  Lastly, I tried out the Blackened Seas Porter with Vanilla and Chocolate.  This one had swirls of complex flavor.  It went from dark fruit to vanilla to chocolate and back again.  I really liked the Blackened Seas.  Overall, it was a very nice experience.  It would be great if they had food.   There was a food truck outside and they had menus to order from, but still it would be nice to have something made there.  I would definitely come back here though.