Thursday, November 30, 2023

Back Bay Brewing to open hard cidery in historic Virginia Beach farmhouse

Farmhouse Brewing on Kempsville Road. (Adrienne Mayfield/Southside Daily)
Farmhouse Brewing on Kempsville Road. (Adrienne Mayfield/Southside Daily)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Come next spring, Hampton Roads’ craft beverage lovers won’t have to travel far from home to get a pint of fresh hard cider made with Virginia apples.

Back Bay Brewing Co. announced that it will open its second Virginia Beach operation in Kempsville on March 24.

Named Farmhouse Brewing Co. after the nearly 100-year-old Wood family farmhouse that will serve as the venue, the location will expand the company’s product line to include hard ciders made with apples harvested on site and from orchards across the state, said co-owner Josh Canada.

“As opposed to having grains and hops as your canvas, you’re using different types of apples,” Canada said. “That’s pretty exciting.”

But hard apple cider won’t be the only drink on the menu.

The location will also serve clean and sour beers brewed on site, as well as coffee and tea in the morning, Canada said.

Canada is also a founding member of Tarnished Truth Distilling Company, which is planned for the Cavalier Hotel at the Oceanfront. Although liquor won’t be served at Farmhouse Brewing, the partnership will create an opportunity for the company to blur the lines between beer, ciders and distilled beverages, Canada said.

Farmhouse Brewing will serve beers barrel aged in bourbon bales; in return, apples distilled at the brewery will be used to flavor brandy at the Cavalier and the distillery plans to make whiskeys based off of beers served in the Kempsville location, Canada said.

“Our motto is to blur the lines between everything,” Canada said.

Built in 1910, the historic farmhouse is being renovated into a tasting room, surrounded by 8.6 acres that include an apple orchard and space for crops. Planned amenities will include gardens, an open-air market and a tented area for outdoor weddings and events.

Founded in 2011 by Canada, George Powell and Charlie Burroughs, Back Bay Brewing Co. has become a Virginia Beach staple for unique beers, including “Neptune’s Nectar,” which was specifically crafted for the city’s annual Neptune Festival, according to a news release.

The company was approved a $35,000 grant in June 2016 when their capital investment was pitched at $1.4 million. Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Monday that the state has approved an addition $20,000 grant from the “Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Fund” with Back Bay agreeing to invest an additional $750,000 into Farmhouse Brewing to get the cidery off the ground, the release states.

“The innovative land use preserves our history and creates a new destination for the Kempsville area,” Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms wrote in a press release.

“We are also pleased to be the first cidery in the region that will focus on Virginia-made products and promote our rich agricultural history,” he continued.

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