Ballast Point Brewery and Spirits sent the first keg of beer made at the company’s Greenfield facility to Gov. Terry McAuliffe last Monday, then held a ribbon cutting and tour of the new operation Thursday.
“Our very first keg of Virginia-brewed Sculpin is currently on tap in the Governor’s Mansion!” Ballast Point officials announced on Facebook. “We are so excited to celebrate this milestone and ‘officially’ open our East Coast brewery. Cheers, Virginia!”
The brewing process opened pretty much on schedule in the facility that will eventually employ about 175 people in the brewery and restaurant.
The restaurant opened early in the year and allowed customers to keep up with work progress on the brewery.
Ballast Point is brewing Sculpin, Grapefruit Sculpin and a Virginia IPA now. It will eventually brew its other beers there, too.
The operation that produces kegs, cans and bottles is designed to improve the company’s presence on the East Coast and reducing shipping from its California brewery.
Ballast Point and parent company Constellation Brands officials along with Botetourt County Administrator Gary Larrowe and Economic Development Director Ken McFadyen were in Richmond at the Governor’s Mansion for the celebratory keg tapping last week.
Ballast Point President Marty Birkel and Virginia Secretary of Commerce Todd Haymore were at Thursday’s ribbon cutting with county and regional economic development officials and Botetourt Chamber of Commerce representatives.
Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits is investing about $49 million in the Greenfield operation.
The company purchased the 259,040-square-foot Lawrence Companies building (the former JTEKT building) on International Parkway, then renovated and added to the building for the brewery and restaurant.
Ballast Point’s real estate investment is $26 million and equipment $21 million. That did not include the price of the building.
Ballast Point was the 13th largest brewing company in the United States and is based in San Diego. It was started in 1996 by a small group of home brewers. Ballast Point employs more than 500 people at its other four facilities in the San Diego area and sells its beer in more than 30 states and a dozen countries. It expects that number to grow with the Botetourt operation.
It operates as a stand-alone company after its acquisition in 2015 by Constellation Brands.
The public will get a chance to tour the brewery, too. Those public tours are expected to start in October.
The tours, tasting room, banquet facility and restaurant are expected to be tourist attractions for the county as well. That prompted Larrowe to refer to the brewery as Botetourt’s Disney World when the restaurant opened in June.