The Roanoke Region of Virginia celebrates another beer milestone.
Ballast Point Brewing Company cut the ribbon on the brewing facility in Botetourt County on Sept. 21, just days after the first Botetourt keg of the signature Sculpin was delivered to Gov. Terry McAuliffe in Richmond.
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Virginia Tech’s Department of Food Science and Technology Fermentation Program is one of the first programs in North America to earn recognition from the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA).
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Beer and the outdoors just seem to go together. The region’s outdoor amenities have been cited multiple times by breweries choosing the Roanoke Region as a place to do business.
The latest in this line of announcements is Starr Hill, a Charlottesville-based brewery, which is opening a Pilot Brewery and Side Stage at The Bridges in Roanoke.
It is the first satellite taproom for Starr Hill and will feature a 5-barrel brewing system with a capacity of making at least 50 limited release batches each year. It is slated to open this fall.
“Roanoke is going to be a great fit for Starr Hill with our shared history and culture of experiencing music and life outdoors in the beautiful Blue Ridge,” said Jack Goodall, marketing manager for Starr Hill Brewery.
The brewery is just one more in a string of craft beer successes for the Roanoke Region. The Roanoke Regional Partnership helped lure Deschutes Brewery and Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits to the region. Both will open East Coast headquarters with taprooms and distribution here.
The region is ripe for smaller operations as well. In 2016, Twin Creeks Brewing opened in Vinton, while Chaos Mountain Brewing and Big Lick Brewing announced expansions. Established regional breweries such as Parkway Brewing, Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers, Sunken City, and Flying Mouse Brewery have also experienced growth.
From locations near the greenway or Appalachian Trail to label artwork that features regional outdoor hot spots to open air settings with live music, each of the breweries has some connection to the outdoors. These businesses are also major supporters of outdoor events, including the Blue Ridge Marathon and Roanoke GO Outside Festival.
A lot of what draws this type of business to the Roanoke Region is the beer culture and connection to the outdoors. It’s part of a wider economic development strategy that the Partnership has been pursuing for years.