Red Dragon Brewery Opens in Fredericksburg
Fredericksburg native’s Thomas Evans and Danial Baker are opening Red Dragon Brewery at 1419 Princess Anne St. in Fredericksburg.
Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, is their opening day, and Saturday, Aug. 20, is their grand opening.
There will be 20 tap lines of their own craft beer. They’ll also have growlers, bottles, and crowlers — 32 oz. cans filled from the tap.
We spoke with Evans about their venture.
What is your background and interest in brewing?
I have been avid home brewer over the past eight years. I started on the brewery project back in 2011, but decided not to move forward at that time. Now that the kids are a bit older and have a business partner, things took off. Dan has always had a passion for beer, as his grandfather was a home brewer before it was popular.
Why did you choose Fredericksburg?
This has been our home most of our life. We love this town, and when we found the building on Princess Anne Street, we knew it had to be here. We looked at industrial parks, but they just don’t have the character of the building we are leasing. We were able to get a bigger space than we had originally planned. That will allow us to have a nice large taproom/public house. We won’t be a restaurant, but patrons can be free to bring their own food or order from one of the local restaurants and eat at the brewery. We are also doing our part to revitalize the Princess Anne Street corridor. This has been a big goal of the City of Fredericksburg.
How will you differentiate yourself from other breweries in town?
We decided that we will be producing beer in smaller batches so we can have more of a variety and change things often. We will have our standards year round, but we also want to do some one-off’s. We plan to do a variety of styles. Although my specialty has been English beers, we will be doing IPA’s, Belgian Beers, Farmhouse Ales, and some sours. We have no limits.
We will also release small batch beers that will be available in firkins only. At this point, we will not be distributing our beer. All beer will be available on draft in our taproom or in bottles, growlers, and kegs for off premises consumption. We will also concentrate much of our effort on education — educating our patrons on what we are creating, how it is created, what goes into making the beer, what they are tasting and why. The brewer will be available to discuss this with the patrons, and the employees serving will be well educated in the process and tasting as well.
What beer styles will you offer?
We are going to keep the taps rotating with a few standards, to include our stout called St. David’s Stout, and our most popular and well known beer amongst the locals called Road Rash Red. It’s a hopped up imperial amber beer that we started for the local cycling team, Bike Works Racing. Other popular styles we have include a saison, Belgium blonde, peat smoked porter aged in bourbon barrels.
I specialize in English style ales, so we will have plenty of those to include a bitter, old ale, and some pale ales. All the beer we brew will be sold through the taproom, At this point, we will not be selling beer via a distributor. We will have rotating specialty beer such as sours, one off releases, and a firkin release monthly. We want to keep people coming back for something new, as well as being able to get the standards they enjoy.
Why Red Dragon?
The red dragon is the symbol of Wales and is reflected on their national flag. We represent our ancestry and the pride we have in all our Celtic backgrounds to include Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. So we embrace that with our modified dragon logo. And that will be seen in our pub décor to reflect and embrace that as well.
What was you plan for the building?
The taproom was originally supposed to be strictly an English pub feel, but with the exciting opportunity we had obtaining the building, we modified the plan slightly. The building is a bit more industrial, with 22 foot ceilings with neat wood rafters and large windows. It was previously a Goodwill laundry and started, we believe, as a Safeway in the 1940’s — we can’t verify that, but heard it from long time residents. We still have the taproom feel, but on a more open scale.
The Red Dragon Brewery will revitalize the area by providing a community centered business in the tradition of the English public houses. This is in keeping with the historic nature of Fredericksburg, as breweries and public houses were present in local communities in early America. We will provide a family-friendly atmosphere for our community, as well as a destination for the ever growing craft beer industry.
What else would you like people to know?
It is the goal of the brewery to protect the character of the historic area, while providing a venue within the urban center for tourists, visitors, and residents to enjoy. Craft breweries function much like urban versions of their rural winery cousins. They serve as a venue for artisans to create fine craft products to share with connoisseurs of craft ale as well as those that just like a good beer.
We want to be a part of the “vibrant and growing community.” Not only do we hold the products we produce to high standards, but our relationship to the community as well. We have already taken steps to show the community that we hold ourselves to a very high standard, so that we can co-exist with a sense of community and love that we have for Fredericksburg.
Red Dragon Brewery’s hours are:
Monday – Thursday, 4 – 9 p.m.
Friday, 4 – 10 p.m.
Saturday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday, 12 – 6 p.m.
Parking is available in the lot on Princess Anne Street next to the building. There is another parking lot behind the building on Caroline Street. There is on-street parking on Princess Anne Street. “Please do not park on Pitt Street, as that is reserved for residents,” Evans said.
City Approves Red Dragon Brewery Special Use Permit
EDA Approves Grant for Red Dragon Brewery, Support for Fred CAT