Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Silver Hand Meadery plans expansion

Silver Hand Meadery will hold a grand opening ceremony this weekend. (Ty Hodges/WYDaily)
Silver Hand Meadery is planning to expand at the Monticello Shopping Center. (Ty Hodges/WYDaily)

Silver Hand Meadery is planning to nearly double its size with a proposed 1,100-square-foot expansion at its location at 224 Monticello Avenue.

According to a memo sent to the City of Williamsburg’s planning commission, the meadery plans to take over an adjacent unit at the Monticello Shopping Center.

The expansion will require a special use permit from the city, since the business falls under the “microbrewery, micro-distillery, micro-winery and/or micro-cidery” category.

“We have had a successful start to the business and have quickly found a necessity for more space,” Glenn Lavender, the meadery’s owner, wrote in a letter to the commission. “We would use the new space for retail sales, tastings, storage and shipping.”

According to Lavender, the meadery plans to expand into the adjacent unit at 224-B Monticello Avenue, which currently serves as the ministry center of the Incarnation Church. He says the ministry will remain in the building, but the meadery will take over some of ministry’s office space.

The proposed expansion into the second unit will provide a total of 2,102 square feet of interior space for the meadery, nearly doubling its size.

Aesthetically, Lavender says he plans to keep the same “rustic, industrial” design as the current tasting room. Practically, the additional space will make room for production facilities, which are currently shared between the tasting room and retail space. Lavender says the company now makes its mead outside of store hours, when the business is not holding tastings.

“With this new layout, people will be able to come in and see us in production,” Lavender said. “Which really adds to the charm.”

He also says the expansion will allow him to satisfy Virginia’s growing demand for mead. He plans to sell his products online and distribute them to restaurants throughout the state. He also plans to focus on offering more varieties of honey in the expanded retail space.

“I had hoped that we would need to do this at some point,” Lavender said. “It’s been a bit of a learning curve. Now we need more room than what we’ve got, which I knew might become an issue, but I was unsure how much time we would have until that issue came along.”

A public hearing on the proposed expansion is scheduled for the city’s regular planning commission meeting on Oct. 19.

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