For Immediate Release:
September 29, 2016
Office of the Governor: Brian Coy, (804) 225-4260, Brian.Coy@governor.virginia.gov
| Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services: Elaine Lidholm, 804-786-7686, Elaine.Lidholm@vdacs.virginia.gov
Governor McAuliffe Announces New Investment, Jobs in City of Fredericksburg
~Strangeways Brewing to open new production location; increase local agriculture sourcing~
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Strangeways Brewing will invest more than $2.5 million over the next three years to expand its operations in the City of Fredericksburg. The company will open a new brewery to complement its current facility in Henrico, complete with a tasting room, event space, arcade, outdoor beer garden, and equipment to increase production capacity for its award-winning craft beer. Virginia successfully competed against North Carolina for the project, which will create 27 new jobs.
Speaking at today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Strangeways has built a strong reputation for its creative and award-winning beers. Investments like this create jobs, tourism activity, and new markets for Virginia’s farmers as craft breweries source hops, fruit, herbs, and other agricultural products. Today’s announcement is a great win for Virginia’s craft brewery industry and our ongoing efforts to build a new Virginia economy.”
“Strangeways’ expansion into the City of Fredericksburg and its commitment to sourcing ingredients from Virginia’s agricultural producers create a huge opportunity for expansion in Virginia’s craft beer supply chain,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Basil Gooden. “I am pleased to work with state, local, and private sector partners to support this local business grow its operations and connect with area producers to create a unique product that showcases some of the best products the Commonwealth has to offer.”
Founded in Henrico in 2013, Strangeways is the largest producer of sour and wild beers in the Commonwealth. More than 100,000 Virginians and tourists from around the world visit the brewery in Henrico each year. Strangeways was twice rated Virginia’s Best Brewery Taproom by RateBeer.com users, listed by bon appétit magazine as one of “10 New U.S. Breweries to Watch, from D.C. to California”, and noted in Southern Living magazine as one of the “South’s Best Breweries.” Strangeways currently distributes throughout central Virginia. Its new production facility will allow the company to continue to meet the growing demand from its existing markets, as well as enter new ones. Strangeways will continue to operate and invest in its Henrico facility.
“As a Virginia born native raised in Fredericksburg, early on it was in our plans to expand into my hometown,” said Neil Burton, owner of Strangeways Brewing. “We are extremely excited and honored to join the area’s craft breweries, who have really produced a great scene. This local craft beer movement brings in tourism dollars, and continually supports Virginia agricultural products. Some exciting things we have in store for Fredericksburg are to feature nearly 50 Strangeways beers on tap, to vastly increase our barrel aging programs, and to use our new 10 barrel brewhouse to increase production, while at the same time having the ability to experiment with new and exciting brews.”
“Fredericksburg is fast-becoming a hotspot in the thriving microbrewery industry, and will soon see our third open for business with the arrival of Strangeways Brewing,” said Mayor Mary Katherine Greenlaw. “The addition of Strangeways gives visitors yet another reason to come to our beautiful community, and residents another great business to frequent. We are always pleased to welcome diverse job creators to the City of Fredericksburg. We will continue to work hard to recruit more outstanding businesses to provide employment and services for our community.”
“The Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority is delighted to have played a role in recruiting this great business to the City of Fredericksburg,” said EDA Chairwoman Amy LaMarca. “This is the third microbrewery that we have helped locate in the City of Fredericksburg, and we are gratified to see our investments paying such big dividends. We know that Strangeways Brewing will thrive in our fast-growing and strategically located community.”
“I am pleased to learn that Strangeways Brewing has decided to make this investment in Fredericksburg, and with that bring 27 new jobs to our local economy,” said Senator Bryce Reeves. “Job growth and economic development are vital to the long-term strength of our Commonwealth, and I am glad that Fredericksburg will be the recipient of this investment. I am thrilled at the work the General Assembly has done to support policy initiatives that allow businesses to invest in our Virginia economy and support further private sector growth. I applaud Strangeways Brewing for their work, and I look forward to witnessing the impact they will have on our community."
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) worked with City of Fredericksburg and the company to secure the expansion for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $150,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which Fredericksburg will match with local funds.
Since the beginning of the McAuliffe administration, 797 economic development deals have been closed in Virginia with more than $13.8 billion in capital investment, which is more than any previous governor in the first 33 months in office.