A kick-off meeting sponsored by the Northern Neck Planning District Commission brought together key representatives from what is becoming a fast-growing industry in the Northern Neck and the State of Virginia—the craft beverage industry.
Grain and hops growers, extension agents, micro-brewers, agricultural researchers, representatives from local governments, from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture got together to discuss resources and funding opportunities available for value-added products such as craft beers produced from locally-grown grain.
The main goal of the meeting was to bring all these regional stakeholders together to network and come up with ideas on how to assist each other in the development of this industry in the Northern Neck.
Billy Dawson, a grower in Northumberland County, proposed the idea of developing “a combination malting and brewing facility” in what used to be the Northern Neck Bottling Plant in Montross. That building is now for sale, being marketed by Cushman & Wakefield Thalhimer as a unique opportunity for “a production brewery, distillery, or beverage bottling company.”
There are many options and opportunities for this emerging industry in the region. The participants of the kick-off meeting will continue to share what they know with the goal of developing their plans in the coming months.
Resource: “From Barley to Beer: A Guide for On Farm Brewing,” prepared by Matson Consulting, November 2011.
Also, a good introductory article about craft beers (by Burkhard Bilger) appeared in the New Yorker Magazine in 2008.