Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Extra! Extra! Hampton Roads reporters’ news-themed brewery to open Friday night

Deadline Brewing Project will open at 2272 W. Great Neck Road on Sept. 29, 2017. (Courtesy of Deadline Brewing Project)

VIRGINIA BEACH — The deadline is quickly approaching for a new Virginia Beach brewery set to open its doors on Friday night.

And with a name like Deadline Brewing Project, you shouldn’t be surprised that the brewery’s owners know a thing or two about being on time.

Former Virginian Pilot writer Darrell Cuenca and TV news couple Jason and Erica Hechtkopf — better known as Jason Marks of WAVY-TV and Erica Greenway of WTKR News 3 — will open the doors of their brewery at 5 p.m. with about 750 gallons in hand-crafted chocolate porter, orange-vanilla milk blonde and citrus IPA on tap.

Nearly a year in the making, the trio have spent nights and weekends transforming the 2272 W. Great Neck Road location from a red-and-white checked space into a sleek, two-barrel nano-brewery that pays homage to Hampton Roads’ best moments in media.

“Everything we did by ourselves, except the plumbing and electricity. We were there late at night and early in the morning and on weekends,” Jason Hechtkopf said. “A lot of it is sweat equity.”

The beer’s tap handles look like television microphones and the business’ logos are a throwback to the days when newspapers were delivered by bicyclists. Famous journalists’ quotes deck the walls along with blow-out posters of local newspaper covers.

“That’s in our blood,” Jason Hechtkopf said.

But for Deadline Brewing Project it’s not all about the news — it’s also about the brews.

The idea for Deadline came to Cuenca last summer when he left his taproom position at Big Ugly Brewing. The brewery will focus on seasonal beers, coffee beers and “fruit-forward” beers, Cuenca told Southside Daily in January.

Although the doors will open Friday, some details are still in the works, such as the names of beers, final pricing and hours of operation.

For the first weekend — and likely the second — Jason Hechtkopf said the brewery will be open on Friday and Saturday from 5-11 p.m. so the new business owners can get a feel for the work.

“We’re hoping to make someone who’s not a beer lover into a beer lover,” Jason Hechtkopf said.

Information for this article was taken from the Southside Daily archives.

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