Casey Jones, founder and chief executive officer of Fair Winds Brewing Company in Lorton, has died, the company announced Thursday.
A veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, Jones opened the brew house and tap room with partner and brewmaster Charlie Buettner in 2015, quickly growing it into an award-winning packaging brewery whose craft beers are available at local sporting venues, restaurants and supermarkets.
“It is with great sadness we inform you of the passing of Casey Jones, our owner and CEO,” the Facebook message said. “Casey’s vision, dedication, and commitment has been integral to our business from day one. He will be dearly missed.”
The message asked for privacy and said more information would be passed along at a later date.
Among other accolades, Fair Winds was named one of the nation’s top 50 fastest growing craft breweries by the Brewers Association in 2017 and as D.C.’s best local brewery in a 2016 and 2017 Washington City Paper reader’s poll. In 2018, a few of the establishment’s beers became available on draft at Audi Field during D.C. United games and at District Draft Carts in section 129 at Nationals Park. In December, the first Taco Bell in the Washington, D.C. area to serve alcohol opened in Old Town Alexandria and began serving Fair Winds’ Howling Gale IPA on tap.
Jones was an active supporter of the community, making his establishment available during events like the 2018 Tour de Mount Vernon and Good Shepherd Housing’s Mount Vernon “Hidden Gems” Tour. The brewery also supported Fairfax County Public Schools at the beginning of this past school year with the launch of its “Backpacks & Brews” campaign.
Committed to the military community, Jones held routine events at Fair Winds like stand-up comedy acts by veterans and a tremendously successful “Buy a Vet a Beer” campaign this past Veteran’s Day, during which over 300 beers were donated.
While the brewery’s taproom was closed yesterday, it will reopen today at 2 p.m., the company said on Facebook.