As noted in last week's articles, The Virginia Beer Company was recently awarded a $43,000 grant from the York County Economic Development Authority. In our presentation to the Board we requested funding for three specific projects. While the articles briefly touched on the projects, we'd like to provide more background on how York County's grant will assist us with opening our future brewery. Below is more detail on the three projects:
- Site Work: York County and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) have mandated that one of the two existing curb cuts (entrances into the building's parking lot) be closed. This will not only keep the property in compliance with current codes, but it will also increase safety and allow for the construction of a patio off the front of the building (pending County approval).
- Windows & Doors: The building's windows and doors were installed in 1960. The windows are single-pane and have very little thermal resistance. Many of them are cracked and some have even been replaced by plywood. The grant will cover an upgrade to highly efficient commercial storefront windows and doors that will both improve the overall appearance of the building and decrease our energy usage.
- Wastewater: Brewery wastewater can potentially pose challenges for wastewater treatment facilities. In most breweries, wastewater (including acids and caustics used for cleaning) is sent into the sanitary sewer without any pre-treatment. The grant will cover the purchase of a clean-in-place system that will recapture most of the chemicals used for cleaning brewing and fermentation vessels, which will allow us to discharge wastewater that falls within an acceptable pH range. It will also assist with the purchase and installation of an in-ground solids separator that will allow us to send fewer suspended solids into the sanitary sewer.
We are extremely grateful to York County for the assistance they have provided The Virginia Beer Company. We are working hard to open our brewery and the receipt of the grant is a huge step towards making that happen. Starting a new business is a daunting, complex, and EXPENSIVE task, but we are really looking forward to making large capital investments, providing new sources of tax revenue, and creating highly-skilled, well-paid jobs in York County.