BY BILL FREEHLING / THE FREE LANCE-STAR
A 24-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps will open a microbrewery and restaurant in the former Fatty J’s space in downtown Fredericksburg.
Shawn Phillips recently finalized a lease to open Spencer Devon Brewing in the 5,827-square-foot space at 106 George St. Phillips hopes to open Spencer Devon this coming spring, not long after his April 1 retirement from the Marine Corps. He’s stationed at the Quantico Marine Corps Base and lives in Stafford County.
Spencer Devon will at first feature four different kinds of beer brewed onsite—a brown, pilsner, milk stout and IPA. Additional beers and seasonal offerings will be added later. Customers will be able to watch the beer being made, and Phillips also hopes to have an open kitchen.
Phillips is working with Fredericksburg-based Spaces Design Studio on the layout and is banking with Virginia Partners Bank. Wack General Contractor will build out the space, and The Launch Group will handle marketing. Phillips said it was important to him to work with local companies.
Phillips plans to hire a chef who will create a menu using as many local ingredients as possible. He’ll also hire a brewmaster, as he doesn’t think it will be possible for him to both run the business and brew all the beer. Eventually, he plans to distribute Spencer Devon’s beer outside the microbrewery.
Phillips, a passionate home-brewer who has worked with the Blue & Gray Brewing Co. on events, has two daughters. He would have named the son he never had Spencer Devon, so instead he decided to use that name for his new microbrewery and restaurant.
Phillips was one of six finalists for last month’s Made in FredVA business-plan competition. He worked with Wilson Greenlaw Jr. of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer to find the right space and negotiate the lease.
Restaurateurs Jake Crocker and Hayden Fisher had planned to open a Mexican-themed restaurant in the former Fatty J’s space called Jorge’s Cantina but later decided to take that concept to Richmond.
Spencer Devon joins a growing list of planned and already-open Fredericksburg-area microbreweries. The group also includes the Rusty Beaver Brewery in Caroline County, Blue & Gray and the Battlefield Brewery in Spotsylvania County, and Adventure Brewing and Shorts Branch Brewing in Stafford County.
Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
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