A new Stafford County brewery has added a restaurant and full bar to go along with its craft beers.
6 Bears & a Goat Brewing Co. (6B&G) opened both last weekend at 1140 International Parkway off U.S. 17. The restaurant is a partnership with Joy Crump and Beth Black, who own Foode and Mercantile in downtown Fredericksburg.
The menu showcases pit master Matthew Deaton’s barbecue beef, pork and chicken. A chocolate cake made with the brewery’s porter is in the works, said spokeswoman Joanna Harkins.
She said that Deaton, who has worked at a number of Carolina barbecue restaurants, brought along samples of his work when he interviewed for the job.
“We saw his credentials and thought, we can’t pass this guy up,” Harkins said. “We need to get a smoker in here.”
6B&G gets its name from the military background of its owners: six retired Coast Guard officers—the Bears (mascot of the Coast Guard), and a retired Navy officer—the Goat (mascot of the Navy).
Head brewer Chuck Arnold served for 26 years in the Marine Corps. He also serves as a certified beer judge in craft beer competitions around the nation.
6B&G’s owners decided to open a brewing company to diversify their Stafford-based business—Harkcon, Inc., which provides a wide range of analysis and management services to the government and private sectors, as well as training and professional development for employees and managers. The company now employs more than 100 people and has been named a top 500/5000 company by Inc.com for the past seven years.
Mark Faller, a retired Coast Guard commander and Stafford resident, is the CEO of 6B&G. He served as Harkcon’s CFO for eight years before focusing full time on developing the brewery.
In January 2016, Harkcon purchased a 10,000-square-foot building on 4 acres on International Parkway. It has been refurbished and reconfigured from the former Selling Power building into a 15-barrel brewing operation with the ability to ramp up production to 30 barrels.
6B&G opened its doors for beer tastings and sales in January. It features nine styles of beer, plus a special “research and development” brew for the adventurous taster. Spent brewing grains are used by local farmers to feed livestock.
So far, 6B&G has created some 25 jobs in Stafford. The business group also is founding Harkcon Academy, the owners’ third company, which will operate out of the brew house’s multi-purpose room. “Training on Tap” will feature the latest in classroom technology for private companies, schools and agencies seeking an off-site training location.