Sunday, July 10, 2011

New Brewery at Smith Mountain Lake

There's new of another Virginia Craft brewery in the works. The owners of the Virginia Craft Brewing Company, Jerome Parnell and John Bryce, have plans to open a brewery in early 2012. The company currently produces Dam Lager through a contract brewer. They expect to add two other beers when the brewery opens, Blacksburger Pils and Creek Bottom Ale. According to a report on Smith Mountain Laker, the company will start out canning their beers, rather than shipping in bottles.
Parnell said they invested a 25-barrel, four-vessel brewing system with the ability to produce 50,000 barrels (or 100,000 kegs) per year. When it opens next year, it will produce about 8,000 barrels, said Parnell. As the brands grow and distribution expands across Virginia and into neighboring states, the brewery will ramp up to the 50,000-barrel capacity, he said.

Parnell said beer will begin coming out of the brewery within two or three months of opening. He said he's invested in a canning line so the company can distribute six-packs to stores throughout the region. Cans, not bottles, look to be the wave of the craft beer future, said Parnell.

"It keeps beer fresher, it keeps beer colder," he said. "Sunlight and temperature are the two things that kill beer."

Cans also allow beer to be sold at a lower cost because aluminum weighs less than glass, so you're able to save on shipping fees, said Parnell.
The brewery will include a tasting room and a retail store selling beer and brewery paraphernalia. In the words of Jerome Parnell, "When people come visit here, they'll be able to go back home and push Virginia beer."

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