Food-truck park becomes brewery site
Two of the founders of a growing Virginia Beach brewery are tapping into a new market — Harrisonburg.
Back Bay Brewing Co.’s Josh Canada and George Powell are among the partners at Wolfe Street Brewing Co., a brewery and tasting room at the Rock’N Wolfe Food Truck Park in Harrisonburg. The new brewery held its grand opening Dec. 5, the anniversary of the repeal of prohibition in the U.S.
The other partners in the venture are Alex Wolcott and Leo Cook, the owner of the food-truck park where Wolfe Street Brewing is located. Cook pitched the idea of starting a brewery at the food-truck park to Canada and Powell. They drove to Harrisonburg to check out the site. They liked the fact that the brewery would be near downtown and James Madison University (where Cook and Canada graduated).
The 2,400-square-foot Wolfe Street Brewing is located in a space formerly occupied by an auto repair shop and car washes.
Wolfe Street Brewing aims to produce 2,000 barrels of beer per year and distribute in the Shenandoah Valley and Northern Virginia. The brewery plans to hire up to eight people.
Canada says the new brewery will follow Back Bay’s example in using customer feedback in determining what it produces. “We aim to have a very relaxing atmosphere for people to come and try lots of different styles of beer,” Canada says. “You’re not going to like everything we brew, but we know you’ll find at least one or two beers that you do like.”
Wolfe Street Brewing is just one part of Canada and Powell’s expansion efforts. Back Bay, started in 2011, also is opening a 9,106-square-foot production facility in Virginia Beach, where it already has a tasting room and small-batch brewery. The new facility will allow Back Bay to boost production from 2,000 to 10,000 barrels of beer per year.
Wolfe Street Brewing joins more than 120 craft breweries in Virginia, but Canada is optimistic about its prospects. “We’re small, we’re nimble, and we’ve got a great location,” he says.