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Mayor John Gilstrap joined with Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore and other state and local officials and citizens Tuesday in announcing a brewery will be constructed at 600 Craghead St. in the River District. The brewery — Ballad Brewing — plans to open in April.
Gilstrap called the brewery a great addition to the River District.
“We have seen the River District transform before our very eyes,” Gilstrap said. “New restaurants and retailers have opened. Tobacco warehouses much the one we are in today have been converted into residential lofts and commercial spaces. Entrepreneurs have found the necessary infrastructure and resources the launch the next generation of technology and services. This positive change and momentum have given our community something to be very proud of it, and it has instilled a sense of excitement about what is to come.”
The brewery will produce beer with a 2-barrel, stainless steel brewing plant and three-barrel small batch pilot plant. The production capacity will be 10,000 barrels per year. The brewery’s total capital investment of $ 1,500, 000 and is projected to create a tax benefit of more than $47,000.00 in its first full year of operation. The estimated number of initial jobs created is two full-time and four part-time jobs the first year.
Entrepreneurs Ross Fickenscher and Garrett Shifflett are managing partners for Ballad Brewing. They have been involved in the redevelopment of the River District since 2012. Their projects include the Pemberton Lofts, The Continental and the mixed-use warehouse project underway at 600 Craghead St.
Fickenscher and Shifflett are converting the former Davis Warehouse at 600 Craghead St. into 56 one- and two-bedroom apartments, with the first floor planed for non-residential use. Once this building is completed, they will have constructed more than 200 apartments and six commercial units in the River District. These projects represent more than $28 in investment.
The brewery will occupy commercial space in the building. Fickenscher and Shifflett said the brewery initially will produce different flagship styles of beer. For the first six months, these products will be served exclusively in the brewery’s tasting-room. Retail customers will come to view the operation of the brewery, while purchasing beer by the glass, beer to go, and retail items such as company logo T-shirts and glassware.
Haymore said craft beer is big business in Virginia, contributing $1 billion in economic impact and employing nearly 9,000 people. “Economic development projects such as Ballad Brewing bring much needed direct visitor spending, jobs, and tax revenue to localities,” Haymore said. “Visitors to Danville will now see why Virginia is for Craft Beer Lovers.”
Governor McAuliffe announced today that Ballad Brewing will receive $90,805 from the Virginia Tourism Growth Fund. (VTGF). The VTGF is a Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) program established to grow tourism development projects across the state. Ballad Brewing will receive $90,805 in VTGF funding.
“The addition of Ballad Brewing is an exciting and important development for the city of Danville," said Governor McAuliffe in a news release. "The brewery adds a new, authentic experience for visitors who are traveling to Southern Virginia, and will help to further diversify the economy not only in Danville but across the region, as well.”