VIRGINIA BEACH — What happens when a former Virginian-Pilot writer, a WTKR News 3 anchor and a WAVY-TV anchor get together to start a business? They open a news-themed nanobrewery on Shore Drive.
Deadline Brewing is set to open on Shore Drive at 2272 W. Great Neck Rd. as early as June after city council unanimously voted to grant it a conditional-use permit at its formal session Tuesday evening.
“It was the final hurdle we had to get through, and now the only thing left is to open the doors,” Darrell Cuenca, co-owner and former Virginian-Pilot writer, said in an interview. “It’s great to get through this.”
This two-barrel brewery is a nanobrewery, which distinguishes itself from a microbrewery based on lower volume of production, according to Cuenca.
After the June launch, the business plans to open its tasting room on Fridays and Saturdays weekly.
“With this [two-barrel] system we’re getting, we can’t afford to be open more than two days, because if we are, we’ll run out of product,” WAVY-TV anchor and co-owner Jason Hechtkopf said. “Hopefully somewhere down the line, maybe six months or eight months in, we can expand, get a bigger system and then stay open longer because there will be more product.”
Hechtkopf said he’s thrilled city council gave Deadline Brewing the green light.
“We feel like, with the addition of our place, we’re making a part of Shore Drive a destination for craft beer drinkers,” Hechtkopf said.
Hechtkopf also said he’d like to see the brewery have an aesthetic similar to the Newseum in Washington D.C.
“It will definitely have a newsroom type of feel,” Hechtkopf said. “The beers will be named after whether it’s newspaper or television terms … the theming will be based on what the brewery is called, and we’re definitely embracing that because we’ve all worked in media.”
Despite opening the brewery, Hechtkopf said he would still be working full-time for WAVY-TV as an anchor.
“We’re excited,” WTKR News 3 anchor and co-owner Erica Hechtkopf said. “Now we can just put all of our energy into getting the brewery ready to go, start brewing some good beer and open up very soon.”
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