DALEVILLE, Va. – Nearly two months after its grand opening, brewing has officially begun at Ballast Point in Botetourt County.
While they're still in the early phases, workers said in a matter of months, they'll be making more beer there than anywhere else in the country.
"Start to finish, we'll be making beer from raw materials to the finished goods," Ballast Point Daleville brewing manager James Fox said.
From barley to brewing to bottling, it's all on tap at Ballast Point in Botetourt County.
"Finally got some beer into package as well, so [we] made some Grapefruit Sculpin six packs," Fox said.
They brewed their very first batch at the end of July. Now they're working to package that beer and ship it out.
"We’re shooting for this facility to be about 40 percent of Ballast Point's full production once things kind of get up and up to speed," Fox said.
To keep up, they've hired about 20 new employees, but plan to hire a total of about 175.
"When you can smell the aroma of the hops being boiled, I almost have a feeling of completeness," Ballast Point general manager Mike Alvarado said.
Alvarado says the response so far has been overwhelming.
"I’m hearing people say they're coming from two hours away, four hours, 10, even two states away and that's the best part and then we show ‘em around a little bit and their minds are blown," Alvarado said.
Once production ramps up, they plan to offer tours to show people how their beer is made.
“When they come in and we do show ‘em around, start with the copper tanks, show ‘em the hundred barrel system and then talk about how much property we have here and then the possibilities of using the whole facility, the property and they're like ‘whoa’," Alvarado said.
Another thing likely to impress visitors is a beer in the works that's exclusive to Virginia.
"It’s made with local ingredients, it'll be released locally so I’m really excited for it," Fox said.
New beginnings in Botetourt with big plans ahead.
"I can't wait to start getting them even more fresh beer locally made," Fox said.
Their goal is to produce about 130,000 barrels there by the end of 2017.