It is American Craft Beer Week and we thought it would be good to outline some of the recent successes in Virginia with regards to craft beer and also share some of the spots to checkout this weekend.
What is American Craft Beer Week (ACBW)?
According to the website, www.craftbeer.com, “Beer weeks are giving craft beer fans across the U.S. ever-increasing options to enjoy and share the beverage they love. Beer weeks celebrate the culture and community of craft beer, and give breweries and beer businesses the opportunity to connect with the fans.” Further the website notes, “ACBW is recognized May 16-22, 2016 and offers an exciting opportunity for small and independent craft brewers and the community of better beer retailers to celebrate the ever advancing beer culture here in the U.S. Plus, tens of thousands of today’s beer beginners, beer enthusiasts, and hard core beer geeks make time to toast the week.”
The Growth of Craft Beer in the State of Virginia
In addition to the national focus on craft beer production and growing popularity for the taste, the Commonwealth of Virginia has seen an increase in the number of craft breweries over the past few years being formed. While just a few years ago there were only a few, there are now over 100 craft breweries within Virginia now with additional ones being added each month.
Within the last few months, there have been major economic development announcements with regards to the craft beer industry made by the Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe.
One of the announcements was made in late March included the Governor, executives from Deschutes Brewery in Oregon and government leaders from Roanoke. The gathering brought excellent news as Deschutes plans to invest $85 million and build its East Coast production brewery on about 49 acres at the Roanoke Centre for Industry and Technology. More recently, on May 12, additional news about Deschutes came in the naming of Blue Ridge Beverage, founded in 1938 and headquartered in Roanoke, as the east coast distributor of the Oregon based brewery.
The news of the growth and expansion of craft beer in Southwest and Central Virginia continued when Devils Backbone, the eight year old craft brewery headquartered in the Shenandoah Valley, was recently bought for an undisclosed sum by the global beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev. Devil’s Backbone has made a great name for themselves over the past few years including being recognized by The Virginia Chamber of Commerce as one of the 50 fastest growing Virginia companies at the 21st annual Virginia’s Fantastic 50 Awards Banquet and Devils Backbone Brewing Company was named the top manufacturing company in the state. Early indications from Anheuser-Busch InBev are that once integrated, Devils Backbone will continue to operate as it has previously.
For a list of the festivals celebrating ABCW in Southwest and Central Virginia this weekend, click here.
The PRIME Factory reminds everyone to always drink responsibly and designate a driver.
By: Ron Poff, Partner