Matthew Korfhage, Sean Kennedy and Stacy Parker contributed to this report.
New distillery planned for the Oceanfront
Jeremiah Butler, owner of Beach Spirits LLC, is looking to open a craft distillery and tasting room in Virginia Beach early this year. “It’s a long time coming for us,” said Butler, 43, who launched Beach Vodka four years ago in Virginia ABC stores. The spirit is also for sale at the Navy Exchanges.
The distillery is planned for a spot on Laskin Road, near the Oceanfront, that has been vacant for more than two years. Customers will be able to visit a modest tasting room and tour the distillery, where people can bottle their own batch.
Eventually, he plans to distill rum, too, and offer canned cocktails. He wants to name the Laskin Road location Beach Distilling Co. and will redo the facade with a Caribbean-themed mural.
Inn and wine garden planned
In the tiny Norfolk neighborhood of Chelsea, you can apparently drink whatever you like.
One brewery makes beer with grasshoppers and beets and carrots, while the one down the street brewed a beer with Lucky Charms-style marshmallows. There is a bourbon-focused distillery, a taproom with esoteric brews from Italy and Denmark, and a Spanish spot on the way devoted to cava and Spanish chardonnays.
The Grandiflora Wine Garden, at 1231 Boissevain Ave., is the brainchild of a couple from Seattle — Jason and Erin Edelman — and Kenny Gerry, manager of the wood-fired Bakehouse at Chelsea down the street.
In a century-old, yellow, three-story house that was once the home of a tugboat captain, the partners plan a three-room inn and an indoor-outdoor wine bar — devoted to both the old-world wines of the Mediterranean and the new school of funky, interesting, low-intervention wines.
“Erin’s mom is from Turkey. She was born in Turkey, and eastern Mediterranean wine is totally overlooked. Turkish wine, particularly,” Jason Edelman said. “There are so many indigenous grapes in Turkey, and then in Greece, too. So, our palates are attuned to a funkier, more natural, more wild flavor profile.”
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery this month teamed with a Pennsylvania brewery to create a beer for the popular convenience store, Wawa, called Coffee Cake Reserve Stout. The brewery produced the beer with 2SP Brewing Company, located in Aston, Pennsylvania, not far from Wawa’s headquarters.
“2SP’s head brewer Bob Barrar is really well-known as a stout brewer,” said Hardywood co-founder Eric McKay, in Richmond BizSense. “They call him the medal machine, because I think he’s won a ton of medals for their imperial stout, The Russian.”
You can pick up the beer in four-packs at the taproom and in Wawas around Richmond.
Starr Hill opens new spot
Starr Hill Brewery Beer Hall & Rooftop opened in Richmond’s Scott’s Addition last December, adding yet another hot spot to hit in the popular capital city destination. The beer hall features 4,500 square feet of space inside, a 3,000-square-foot rooftop bar and a 1,000-square-foot deck. The new spot will offer about 20 styles of beer daily, including some brewed onsite.
Starr Hill, which is based in Charlottesville, also has tasting rooms in Crozet, Roanoke and soon Lynchburg.
After four years of operation, Norfolk’s Coelacanth Brewing Company has closed for good. Owner Kevin Erskine announced the decision in early December. He said finances were an issue. “Our expenses are exceeding our revenues,” he said. “People just aren’t coming out like they used to.”
Triple Crossing makes Top 10
Richmond continues to make craft beer noise on the national scene. The capital city placed another brewery in a big list recently when Vinepair named Triple Crossing Brewing one of the top 10 breweries in America for 2019.
“From its candy-like flagship Falcon Smash IPA to its Lost in the Night imperial stout made with coconut toasted in-house, Triple Crossing is one to watch (if it’s not already on your radar),” says Vinepair.
“You never taste a bad Triple Crossing beer – or even an OK one,” according to our own Matthew Korfhage in our sister publication Distinction magazine last October. “Jeremy Wirtes will dump it before you ever get a sip. It might not even be flawed; it’s just not up to his standards. ‘We don’t see a need to offer beer we’re not excited about,’ (Wirtes) says.”