Most Interesting Men of Alexandria: C.J. Cross

Story by Jeanette Wages

Photography by Jonathan Thorpe


C.J. Cross of Hops N Shine, GoCraft Brewing + Cross Media Group  

Fitness and the restaurant industries don’t always feel like a natural fit, but for C.J. Cross, that’s just how life has worked out. Alexandria knows him as the owner of Hops N Shine and the man who has been publicly vocal in an effort to keep people in the service industry fed, paid, and healthy during these difficult times. But at one time, his life was spent at the gym or building websites for gyms.

As a trainer, C.J. focused on helping prepare athletes for marathons and triathlons, but quickly realized he was better at the marketing side of the business. Working from a co-working space in DC, he had the brilliant idea to create a co-work style business for breweries. Being a brewer himself, he began pitching the idea for a brewery incubator to connections he had in the industry. His excitement for the project led to a partnership that would become Hops N Shine and, coming soon to Tyson’s Corner: ShipGarten.


Fun Fact: on a whim after graduating from college in 2004, C.J. moved to Lake Tahoe where he skied over 100 days that season.

Still keeping his foot in the fitness world, C.J. also participates in the annual Bike to the Beach ride, which raises money for Autism research and awareness. Collaborations between businesses and charities has always been a way of life for C.J., and one of the best ways for everyone to be successful in a sometimes chaotic world.

Next Interesting Man of Alexandria 2020 → Jake Gallun

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