the wee morning hours of Sept. 4, Benchtop
brewer Eric Tennant got an airlift as urgent as a heart transplant.
new realm has opened in Virginia Beach’s beer scene after a green flash fizzled
New Realm Brewing Co. opened in August at 1209 Craft Lane in Virginia Beach.
The site was previously the short-lived East Coast location for the
California-based Green Flash Brewing Company. Bob Powers, a New Realm
co-founder, says expanding to Virginia Beach from Atlanta was enticing.
“This was an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up,” Powers says.
New Realm had the winning private bid for Green Flash’s equipment and has
leased the 58,000-square-foot location, Powers says. He would not say how much
the winning bid was but said New Realm plans to invest millions in the Virginia
Beach brewery. Powers said Virginia Beach and New Realm didn’t enter into any
The Virginia Beach Department of
Economic Development worked on marketing efforts with the owner of the brewery
location, The Miller Group, to attract New Realm to Virginia Beach, said
Michelle Chapleau in an email. Chapleau is a business development coordinator
with the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development.
"New Realm is going to add
significant capital investment to the facility," Chapleau said. "Virginia
Beach anticipates increased revenues from real estate taxes and sales
New Realm’s Virginia Beach location can
make up to 40,000 barrels annually. It has a tasting room with 15 different
beers on tap and a 44,000-square-foot outdoor beer garden. A 400-seat
restaurant is planned to open in early 2019. Beginning Thursday, festivities
are being held to celebrate the opening at Virginia Beach.
The Virginia Beach brewery opened under
the Green Flash banner in 2016 and closed 16 months later. Observers said at
the time that expanding too quickly can be risky for craft beer makers. Powers
says New Realm’s business model is to be a southeastern brewer without growing
“We don’t really have national
aspirations,” Powers says. “Unless we have a facility on the ground, we won’t
go into the market.”
Powers, Carey Falcone and Mitch Steel
formed New Realm in 2016 in Atlanta, where the company has a 20,000-square-foot
New Realm has entered a distribution agreement with Hoffman Beverage to get its
beers in bars, restaurants and retailers around Southside Hampton Roads. Based
in Chesapeake, Hoffman Beverage’s craft beer portfolio includes Bold Rock Hard
Cider and Devils Backbone Brewing Co.
Powers says in the next year or two New Realm will work on establishing its
brand around Virginia.
“We’ll expand around this state when it’s the right time,” Powers says. “It’s
building brands the right way – one pint at a time.”
dollars flooded into Virginia last year to the tune of $25 billion, according
to data released by the United States Travel Association.
Every region in the state thrived,
posting increases in tourism revenues across the board. Shenandoah County enjoyed
a 5 percent increase from 2016, bringing in $223,671,059 in 2017. Payroll
increases for Shenandoah County went up 5.2 percent and employment 1.7 percent.
Jenna French, the director of tourism
and economic development for Shenandoah County, cited popular attractions as
well as the budding wine and brewery business for the county’s success.
attractions such as the Shenandoah Caverns, Bryce Resort and the Virginia
Museum of the Civil War along with new destinations such as the growing number
of vineyards, breweries and agritourism venues and the increased popularity in
outdoor recreation have helped propel Shenandoah County as a premier
destination for leisure travel,” French stated in a news release.
Travel and tourism jobs are the fifth
largest non-farm industry employer in Virginia. The Virginia Tourism
Corporation report states, “the most impressive
contribution that travel and tourism makes to the Virginia economy is the
number of jobs it supports.”
More than 7 percent of jobs in Virginia
were directly supported by domestic travel expenditures last year.
The VTC report is just a snapshot of
tourism numbers for the state. Only domestic travel of more than 50 miles was
factored into the report.
Shenandoah County ranked 23rd in the
state for tourism dollars produced. Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Virginia
Beach City topped the list, raking in over $1 billion apiece.
Within the valley, Shenandoah County
stood out, enjoying nearly $10 million in tourism expenditures. Tourism ranks
only behind agriculture as the biggest industry in the county.
the county’s leading industry,” French wrote in an email, “but not necessarily the county’s largest source of
revenue generation,” thanks to taxes collected from tourism hotspots
including restaurants, hotels and local businesses.