A microbiologist, a director of operations and a CPA start a bar. No, this isn’t the start of a joke – it’s the backstory of Solace Brewing Company, one of Loudoun’s newest breweries. Drew Wiles, Jon Humerick and Mike Arms celebrated opening of Solace Brewing Company in June, the culmination of plenty of planning and hard work. “This place is a dream come true,” said Wiles. “We’re so thrilled about it.”
With experience at a variety of other breweries and wineries under their belts, it was a no brainer that eventually they would begin their own location. “We’re helping all these other people build their brands and brew their beers, why not do it ourselves?” said Humerick.
Aside from the three owners, another noteworthy team member is Bridgette Turner, the lead brewer at Solace, who Wiles and Humerick had previously worked with at Beltway Brewing.
After starting as a bartender, Turner was looking for the next step, which turned out to be working at Beltway Brewing and then attending brew school in England, followed by becoming the first female brewer at in the city of Tampa at Tampa Bay Brewing before Wiles and Humerick reached out to her about their new venture.
“We hired Bridgette before we had the space, before we had the brewery, our loan, before we had anything – we knew we were bringing her back and bringing her on,” Humerick added.
Despite being a female brewer in a predominately male-driven field, Turner said she hasn’t felt alienated or looked down upon in this area. “Your work and your knowledge speaks for itself,” she said.
Swing by on a weekend, or consider renting their large, open space for your next event – you and your guests will love the Suns Out Hops Out Session IPA, a lighter IPA that has all the flavor of a regular IPA but at a drinkable alcohol level. Or, dive into their brown ale, a malty brew with a slight hoppy aftertaste, lighter on the caramel malts to keep it away from the typical English brown ale.
Coming attractions include a new IPA and an Oktoberfest, which Turner is excited to begin brewing. “We want to brew lots of different fun styles, but brew beer for all kinds of people,” she said.
42615 Trade West Drive, Suite 100 Dulles, Virginia
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: TRACI MEDLOCK