What is a microbrewery?

Posted by Danville River District News on September 28, 2016
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Craft breweries, microbreweries, brew pubs — what’s the difference?
According to Bart Watson, chief economist at the Brewers Association, there are four categories craft beer brewers: microbreweries, brew pubs, contract brewing companies and regional craft breweries.
» Microbreweries typically brew fewer than 15,000 barrels of beer per year, much of it sold off-site, through wholesalers or direct to retailers, with some of the product sold on-site at their tap rooms.
» Brew pubs are a combination restaurant-brewery, with beer brewed primarily for sale in the restaurant and bar.
» Contract breweries hire another brewery to make its beer, or hires additional breweries to add to the beer it brews.
» Regional craft breweries are independent breweries that can make traditional or innovative beers.
Watson did, however, point out that different states have different regulations and definitions can vary.
“Usually, a microbrewery can only sell the beer it produces,” Watson said. “They are very locally focused … it’s been a dynamic industry with a lot of changes.”
The announcement that a new microbrewery, Ballad Brewing, will be opening on Craghead Street in April brings a second microbrewery to Danville — the first to open here was 2 Witches Winery & Brewing Co. on Trade Street, where they not only brew their own beers but bottle their own wines.
Co-owner Ethan Brown said he considers 2 Witches even smaller than “micro” — it’s more of a nanobrewery, he said.
Brown said 2 Witches has a 3.5-barrel system that lets them produce about 45 different beer styles over the course of a year. Typically, he said, they have eight taps operating with beers rotating through at different times of the year.
“We were Virginia’s first example of a winery and brewery under the same roof,” Brown said, noting that the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control didn’t allow the combination prior to their existence — though other wineries are now looking at adding breweries. “We were persistent.”
For now, Brown said, they are not looking at expanding the system.
“We think staying small is good for us,” Brown said. “You can always expand — the challenge is growing the business.”
Denice Thibodeau is a reporter for the Danville Register & Bee. Contact her at dthibodeau@registerbee.com or (434) 791-7985.

With craft brewery, pair continues River District transformation

Posted by Danville River District News on September 28, 2016
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The two men who have partnered in two successful development projects in the River District — the Pemberton Lofts on Bridge Street and the Continental Lofts on Craghead Street — have teamed up again to bring a craft brewery to the district.
Ross Fickenscher and Garrett Shifflett are developing 600 Craghead St., which will have two commercial spaces at street level — including Ballad Brewing — and 56 apartments on the upper levels.
On Tuesday, Todd Haymore, the state’s secretary of commerce and trade, and Rita McClenny, president and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, were in Danville for the official announcement and to present a check for $90,805 from the Virginia Tourism Growth Fund to Fickenscher and Shifflett for the project.
Haymore said the popularity of craft breweries has become “instant revenue generators” in Virginia, bringing in tourism dollars, jobs and tax revenues that have added up to $1 billion in economic impact and employing nearly 9,000 people in the state. He said there are roughly 160 craft brewers in the state, with new ones opening “fairly rapidly.”
“The craft beer business in particular is booming in Virginia,” Haymore said, noting that Danville’s historic warehouses lend themselves to this type of development.
McClenny said travelers often look for unique experiences, and small, local, craft breweries can provide that.
“Visitors want to try something that can only take place at that time and place,” McClenny said.
Fickenscher said entrance to the tap room and brewery itself will be made from Colquhoun Street side of the building, while the entrance at 600 Craghead St. will take tenants into the apartments.
The project is expected to be completed in April.
The brewery will have a total of 23 barrels for production — 20 of which will be for larger production runs, while three will be used for smaller batch pilot — or experimental — brews. The various beers will be available to customers in the tap room by the glass or to take home.
“Ballad Brewing will initially produce three or four different flagship styles of beer and will also offer a wider variety of offerings in the tasting room,” Fickenscher said in a news release from Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office — and which he confirmed at the announcement. “For the first six months, these products will be served exclusively in the brewery’s tasting room.”
As the brewing process moves along, bottled and keg beer will be available for broader distribution, Fickenscher said.
“We’re excited to start brewing,” Fickenscher said.
John Andorfer will be the head brewer. He and his wife, Kathie, moved to Danville about a year ago, so they could be closer to her mother.
They lived in Connecticut for 12 years, where John became fascinated with beer brewing and ultimately became the head brewer at Cottrell Brewing Co. in Pawcatuck.
That, however, was an established brewery, John said, while looking at the dirt floors where assorted pipes had been laid for the Ballad Brewing.
“They’re getting ready to pour the concrete floor now,” John said. “This is a new experience, getting to see it from the ground up.”
The 20-barrel brew system will produce about a dozen different beers, some of which will rotate seasonally, John said. The three-barrel system will be for testing new flavors.
Danville Mayor John Gilstrap thanked Fickenscher and Shifflett for their part in the River District’s transformation. He said this third project will bring the partners’ total investment in the River District to about $28 million.
“You have played a major role in redeveloping the heart of our city,” Gilstrap said.

Read full article here!

Denice Thibodeau is a reporter for the Danville Register & Bee. Contact her at dthibodeau@registerbee.com or (434) 791-7985.

Sept. 27, 2016 Announcement

Posted by Danville River District News on September 22, 2016
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Design measures approved for renovations to Hughes and Venable buildings

Posted by Danville River District News on September 15, 2016
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The River District Design Commission voted unanimously at its meeting Thursday to approve the design plans for the renovations of the historical Hughes and Venable buildings at 528 and 536 Craghead St.
Rick Barker, CEO of Supply Resources and owner of Rick Barker Properties, has bought several buildings on the 500 block of Craghead Street and has developed several into mixed-use properties.
The buildings are being renovated to include four residential storefronts and residential apartments. The storefronts will be on the first floor of both buildings, with the apartments on the upper floors and on the rear half of the Hughes building.
The buildings are historic, and Barker has been approved for the historical tax credits through both the state and the federal government.
Both buildings will receive new roofs, according to the design plans. The Hughes building will be painted beige to cover the current paint color, and the Venable building will remain the color of the current exposed brick.
Windows in the Hughes building that are currently bricked-up will be reopened. Barker will be adding another door and an external staircase in order to give people more access to the apartments. They also plan to add outdoor patio space behind the building
These plans still have to go before the planning commission, but board member Courtney Nicholas said, “I am excited to see positive growth on Craghead Street and I have been impressed with the projects that Mr. Barker has done so far.”
Ceillie ​Simkiss reports for the Danville Register & Bee. Contact her at csimkiss@registerbee.com or (434) 791-7981.

City marks completion of trail extension over bridge

Posted by Danville River District News on September 15, 2016
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Danville officials on Thursday officially marked the opening of the Riverwalk Trail extension over the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge. The extension was built to connect the north and south banks of the Riverwalk Trail.
To mark the opening, a ceremony was held on the south side of the bridge near the Main Street Plaza and JTI Fountain.
“In the 1990s, the city, along with federal and state partners, began to construct a river walk trail system,” Mayor John Gilstrap said at the ceremony. “This trail was created to encourage the community to begin embracing the river as an amenity for recreation and leisure.
“ …. Today, we celebrate an extension of this trail across the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge. …. On behalf of Danville City Council, I want to encourage the community to explore and enjoy the Dan River and join us in celebrating this new addition.”
Use of the bridge lane as a pedestrian and bicycle trail will permit trail users to go back and forth from the Main Street Plaza and trailhead on the south bank of the Dan River to the trail on the river’s north bank. 
The trail extension was created by closing the right northbound lane of the bridge. Burleigh Construction, the contractor, used 180 cubic yards of concrete and more than 10,000 pounds of reinforced steel.
To protect pedestrians and bicyclists from traffic, the contractor installed more than 800 feet of handrail was installed on the west side of the trail and more than 800 feet of California Rail on the east side.
“We understand this to be one of the few projects in Virginia to use this type of rail,” Gilstrap said.
Construction began in June 2015 and was completed earlier this year at a cost of $1.7 million. The project was paid for with a combination of state, federal and local money.
The project is part of the city’s River District Development Project, which is in its sixth year and has generated more than $100 million in private investment, outpacing public seeding by three-fold.
The Riverwalk Trail continues to expand and is now 10 miles in total length, lining the Dan River from Angler’s Park on the east side of the city to Ballou Park on the west side of the city. Four public trailheads are in place that allow pedestrians to park their vehicles and connect to the trail. The trailheads are located at Angler’s Park, Dan Daniel Memorial Park, the Crossing at the Dan, and Main Street Plaza.
The Riverwalk and mountain bike trail systems in Danville host a number of trail events, including bike races, trail runs, charity walks, marathons, canine events, environmental education activities, and park special events.
To hold an event, contact the Parks and Recreation Department, which manages the trail system . Trail maps and trail event applications are available online at www.PlayDanvilleVA.com.