Craft beer trend lands in Bedford

By C Craig

BEDFORD (WSLS 10) - The craft-beer trend that's sweeping the nation is now in Bedford. Construction is now underway on Beale's Brewery and Taproom, which will be located on Grove Street.

The new brewery was made possible in part thanks to a $600,000 grant from the state's Department of Housing and Community Development.

Beale's beer which will be produced in downtown Bedford will also be distributed across Virginia.

"It's great," said Wyatt Walton, the chairman of the County's Economic Development Authority, taking a swig. "It's good; it's cold, it's wet and it's tasty."

Located near the 460 corridor, county leaders hope the historic wool mill and soon-to-be 30-barrel production brewery and taproom will help bring life back into the community.

"One thing is it brings young people," said Walton.

"Tourists that are visiting the Peaks or visiting the National D-Day Memorial or even Smith Mountain Lake down the road, when they Google, they are going to see Beale's beer is here," said the county's Economic Development Director Traci Blido.

‘Lucky 47 White Ale' will be one of the many beers offered in the taproom among a variety of other brews.

Construction is expected to be complete in the summer of 2017.

But, between now and opening day, the brew house has major renovations that need to happen, like replacing electrical and water lines and flooring, costing tens of thousands of dollars.

"We have various financial people involved," stated Blido. "The Economic Development Authority applied for a grant. So, I applied for it on their behalf for $600,000."

Altogether, total construction costs nearly $2 million.

Dave McCormack, the brewery's developer, said once the business is going, he hopes to generate return within the first year.

"We're hoping that we do $2 to $3 million a year and create [about a dozen] jobs," said McCormack.

It's an investment area leaders are hoping pays off.

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