Farmhouse Brewing, LLC Plans Additional $750,000 Investment for Cider Facility

Five new jobs added to operation currently under construction

Monday, November 20, 2017

​Farmhouse Brewing, LLC, is a partnership with Back Bay Brewing Co., Eddie Hewitt, a local developer whose wife, Sara, is a descendant of the William E. Wood family and Ross Vierra, the president and CEO of Axis Global Enterprises, the general contractor. The company is renovating the historic Wood Family farmhouse at 1805 Kempsville Road for Back Bay's second brewery location in Virginia Beach.

The farmhouse was built in 1910, and plans include tasting rooms, lounges and ADA-accessible facilities. The 8.6-acre site will also include a metal building where small-batch beer will be brewed, a pergola, fruit orchard, horseshoe area, picnic tables, open-air market, tented outdoor wedding and special-event space and an area for crops that will support the brewing operation. The brewery is currently under construction with plans to open on March 24.

The brewery recently announced plans to build an additional 2,500-square-foot building that will become the first Virginia Farm Winery in Virginia Beach. The new facility will focus on producing hard cider using Virginia apples. In addition to bringing a new amenity and destination to Virginia Beach, Farmhouse Cidery will create a new stream of tax revenue.  Five jobs with average annual salaries of $45,000 will also be added.

The tasting room for Farmhouse Cidery will be located in the renovated historic farm house.  Cider production will take place in the new 50-foot by 50-foot metal building on the site with an attached 20-foot by 30-foot walk-in cooler. A separate building will house the cider packaging area, which will be shared with the brewery. On-site apple trees will complement apples that the company plans to source from other Virginia producers, including Silver Creek Orchards in Nelson County. 

"Today's announcement of Farmhouse Cidery's new investment and jobs in Virginia Beach, and their commitment to purchase 100 percent of their apples from Virginia farmers demonstrates the impact agriculture can have in urban areas of the Commonwealth," said Governor McAuliffe. "Investments like this create jobs, tourism activity, and grows the tax base, while creating new markets for Virginia's farmers as craft beverage producers look to source apples, hops, fruit, honey, and other agricultural products. The announcement is a great win for Virginia's craft beverage industry and our ongoing efforts to build a new Virginia economy."

"This innovative land use preserves our history and creates a new destination for the Kempsville area," said Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms. "We are also pleased to be the first cidery in the region that will focus on Virginia-made products and promote our rich agricultural heritage."

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with the City of Virginia Beach and Farmhouse Cidery to secure this project for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $20,000 grant from the Governor's Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund.  Additionally, the Virginia Beach Development Authority will review an Economic Development Investment Program grant proposal in the amount of $20,000 based on the new $750,000 capital investment at its Nov. 21 meeting.

"Through its commitment to sourcing ingredients from Virginia's agricultural producers, Farmhouse Cidery is further supporting Virginia's robust apple industry," said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Basil Gooden. "I am pleased the Commonwealth could partner with the City of Virginia Beach through the AFID program to support this innovative local business in a quickly growing industry."

"We are ecstatic that the Commonwealth has awarded us this grant," said the managing members of Farmhouse Cidery Josh Canada and Edward Hewitt. "By doing so they have enabled us to create a one-of-a-kind destination where the lines between cider, beer and wine are blurred. We will be using these funds to build a new building to house what will be the largest cider production in Tidewater.  We are grateful to both the City of Virginia Beach and the Commonwealth for helping us to make our vision a reality."

The Virginia Beach Development Authority previously granted an Economic Development Investment Program grant in the amount of $35,000 in June 2016 based on the company's initial projected capital investment of $1,420,000.

Back Bay Brewing Co. was founded in 2011 by a group of Virginia Beach friends. With deep roots in Virginia Beach's Back Bay, Josh Canada, George Powell and Charlie Burroughs were in a duck blind discussing their dream of brewing their own beer when they decided to make that dream a reality. The brewery quickly found success in Virginia Beach at the 614 Norfolk Ave. location in addition to Wolfe Street Brewing in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The company brews an assortment of beers and prides its self on getting 'weird' with beer. Back Bay Brewing Co. also has developed a signature beer for the annual Neptune Festival in Virginia Beach called Neptune's Nectar. For more information, visit www.backbaybrewingco.com.

Virginia Beach's brewery activity leads the region. The roster includes Back Bay Brewing Co., Back Bay's Farmhouse Brewery, Commonwealth Brewing Company, Deadline Brewing, Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, Green Flash Brewing Company, Home Republic Brewpub, Pleasure House Brewing, Reaver Beach Brewing Company, Smartmouth Brewing Pilot House, Wasserhund Brewing Company and Young Veterans Brewery Company.

The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international businesses to stimulate capital investment and create jobs. Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia with a population of 450,000, and it is the 37th largest in the United States. The Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council in 2016 and is one of only 50 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. Most recently, Virginia Beach was named America's #1 best big city to live in by wallethub.com. For more information, visit www.yesvirginiabeach.com.

# # #

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​