Ballast Point opens phase one of Botetourt County facility

Production is expected to start in the fall

BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. – Ballast Point, one of the country's largest craft breweries, opened its doors in Botetourt County Monday.

WSLS 10 gave you an in-depth look at the brewery, based in San Diego, last month, that's now it's bringing a piece of the West Coast to Southwest Virginia.

"Ballast Point is not a place, it's a destination. It's not just work, it is culture. And it's not just beer, it's where art meets science," Botetourt County Administrator Gary Larrowe said.

Botetourt County is now home to the 11th largest craft brewery in the country.

"They had surveyed all around the East Coast trying to find a location. They had multiple locations in mind in Virginia and they finally settled in Botetourt," Larrowe said.

The nearly 260,000-square-foot facility, overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains, is about double the size of headquarters in San Diego.

"They're talking about producing up to 65 million gallons of beer from this facility on an annual basis and it will be distributed throughout the East Coast into the Midwest and into Europe," Larrowe said.

They're serving up more than just beer though. Ballast Point is also pouring about $48 million into the local economy and creating nearly 180 jobs. 

"There's a lot of people who don't know who we are still and now we can share who we are, help with production, distribution and then share the culture of Ballast Point," Ballast Point General Manager Mike Alvarado said.

Monday, they opened the first phase, which includes the kitchen, tasting room and banquet room that will welcome up to 300 visitors. Production is expected to start in the fall.

"It's going to blow up. I can see it. I can feel it," Alvarado said.

The goal is to bring more people to Botetourt one beer at a time.

“This is the magical piece of the magnet. This is the real magnet for the community to be able to bring people into this area," Larrowe said.

Alvarado tells WSLS 10 to expect big things in the near future. He wants to host some events here this summer and even collaborate with some local breweries to produce new beers.