James City County breaks ground on new marina brewery

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Pictured (L to R): Thomas Tingle (EDA Chair), Brandon Nice (David Nice Builders), David Baum (Billsburg), Rick Shippey (Billsburg), Kristin Baum (Billsburg) and Bryan Hill (JCC County Administrator)
Pictured (L to R): Thomas Tingle (EDA Chair), Brandon Nice (David Nice Builders), David Baum (Billsburg), Rick Shippey (Billsburg), Kristin Baum (Billsburg) and Bryan Hill (JCC County Administrator). Photo courtesy James City County. 

The future home of Billsburg Brewery is one step closer toward completion.

James City County hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday at the county’s marina — and future brewery site — located at 2054 Jamestown Road.

The property is leased to Billsburg through the JCC Economic Development Authority. The brewery will take over the former site of Eco Discovery Park, a nonprofit that offered kayak and bicycle rentals at the marina until May 2015, when its lease expired.

“We expect the process of construction for the new building for Billsburg to happen fairly quickly following the planning and bidding phases of the project,” Thomas Tingle, chair of the JCC Economic Development Authority said in a news release.

The concrete foundation of the new 4,000-square-foot brewing operation is slated to be poured later this week, the release stated.

The entrance to the JCC Marina. (Photo courtesy of James City County)
The entrance to the JCC Marina. (Photo courtesy of James City County)

Grants from James City County and its Economic Development Authority will allow for the construction of a brewery at the marina.

According to documents posted on the county’s website, the county will pledge up to $500,000 to the EDA for the project. The EDA itself will contribute up to $250,000 to the project.

Dave Baum, a James City County resident and founder of Billsburg Brewery, signed a lease with the county for the marina property on Aug. 2. The IT professional said he was inspired to start the business after experimenting with homebrewing.

“It’s the first hobby that’s ever made us rethink our career paths,” Baum said of the Billsburg team.

The future tasting room of Billsburg will be adjacent to the brewing operations, the release stated.

The current anticipated opening of Billsburg will be fall 2017. Meanwhile, the county continues to offer marina services and rentals at the site during construction.

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