The new facility, off West Creek Parkway in Goochland County, will be built in three phases, the first of which is scheduled to open in the spring of 2017.
Hardywood Park Craft Brewery broke ground on its new $24 million state-of-the-art brewing and production facility in Goochland County Friday morning.
The 24-acre site, located in the West Creek Business Park, sits on a knoll overlooking the Tuckahoe Creek, abutting western Henrico County. The wooded lot will soon be home to a new brewery, packaging hall and beer garden, which is scheduled to open by the spring of 2017–the first of three phases.
The massive investment by Hardywood, estimated at over $28 million, will bring 54 new jobs to the area.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, on hand at the event alongside Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore, 7th District Congressman Dave Brat, and Goochland County officials, called the deal a big win for the area.
“This here is what we’re all about–diversifying and bringing in new jobs,” McAuliffe said. The governor then led a toast after samples of the brewery’s Gingerbread Stout were distributed to attendees. “This is a big, big investment for the Commonwealth of Virginia,” he continued. “It’s an investment in these two guys (pointing at Hardywood co-founders Patrick Murtaugh and Eric McKay) who put their own money up to invest in us, and this truly is a great partnership.”
The project was supported with a $500,000 grant from the Commonwealth Opportunity Fund and $400,000 from the state’s Investment Partnership Program.
“We always had this vision of sort of what we wanted this thing to become, and I think Richmond was a great place to get started and we couldn’t have asked for any more support than we’ve gotten,” said Murtaugh. “We were lucky enough to get to the point where we were reaching capacity and needed a new place to make more beer. We found this place out in Goochland and it provided the space to sort of build that dream that we always imagined.”
Murtaugh, who started homebrewing with McKay before opening Hardywood’s original location, says the new project is “their dream brought to fruition.”
“From [the time we were] homebrewing to now, this is something we always dreamed of getting to at some point,” McKay said. “We didn’t know how long it would take, but we want to keep doing this for the rest of our careers, and this is the place we envisioned continuing to build this company as it hopefully grows over the next several decades.”
McKay says the original location will remain open and become a research and development type space where brewers will be encouraged to “experiment push the envelope.” Many of the events visitors have come to know and love will remain at the site off of Ownby Lane, with some of the larger gatherings such as the brewery’s Bluegrass and Oyster festivals moving out to the new location–they’ve simply outgrown the available space.
Hardywood is one of almost 135 craft breweries in the Commonwealth, according to McAuliffe. They, along with Virginia’s 270 wineries, 10 cideries, and 40 distilleries, have generated over $650 million in annual economic activity for the state and created just under 10,000 new jobs.
The new facility will retain Hardywood’s commitment to utilizing renewable energy through solar, biomass and wind to power the brewery. Irrigation water will come from a rainwater retention system, natural light will be used extensively within the brewery, and wood timbered for site grading will be reused in building out the taproom, Taproom Manager Becky Morrison says.
The project will be built in three phases over the coming years.
Photos: RVANews/Trevor Dickerson