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“I have to split my brain,” is only something a sought-after talent says. It’s when so many want your ideas, your time, your hop knowledge.
A little more than a year after Favio Garcia, 47, left Lost Rhino Brewing Company, the business he co-founded, he is now juggling three jobs in the beer industry.
First he joined Beltway Brewing Company as a production manager. There he works with clients across the country to brew their recipes at the Sterling contract brewery, and learns from other brewers. One of his takeaways, and something he plans to employ going forward, is experimenting with Cryo Hops, hops that are flash frozen and turned into a concentrated powder.
It was only last month that Garcia joined Marty Dougherty to help build the fledgling B Chord Brewing Company brand. After years of planning and challenges, including a location change, merging with Corcoran Brewing Company and losing brewer Kevin Bills, B Chord is now on track with a hops farm and its own identity.
Dougherty brought Garcia on to develop B Chord’s signature tap list—it currently sells Corcoran beers—which will, so far, include IPAs (East and West Coast styles) and a honey wheat using both local honey and local wheat. Seasonals will feature Bills’ chocolate porter and a Christmastime scotch ale. Garcia hopes his debut beers for B Chord will be ready by the end of the month.
And this is where Garcia, a Virginia-based brewer since the 1990s at Bardo Rodeo, Richbrau Brewing Company, Old Dominion Brewing Company and Sweetwater Tavern, has to, as he says, “split my brain.”
While he’s developing B Chord’s drink program, he’s also thinking about his own brewery. With beer fans (and industry novices) Pat and Michelle O’Brien and Travis Thompson, Garcia as head brewer is launching Dynasty Brewing Company.
The team is still in lease negotiations in Ashburn, with a 10-barrel system—from a shuttered Seattle Rock Bottom Brewery—waiting in the space. But wherever the brewery lands, the brewery’s ode to Virginia remains. Dynasty refers to the fact that four of the first five presidents were from the commonwealth. But without an opening date, or even a secured location, “I’m keeping [my options] open right now,” says Garcia, acknowledging the whims and trends of craft beer. “Who knows what we’re going be interested in at that point.”
Once they do set up, the plan is to sell most of the beer in-house, canning some beer for Maryland and D.C. audiences and only selling kegs to restaurants inside the District. “There’s so much competition right now in Northern Virginia,” says Garcia, a brewer, for now, competing against himself.