Greenbrier Valley brewery to open
MAXWELTON, W.Va. — Billed as “West Virginia’s wildly wonderful craft brewery,” the Greenbrier Valley Brewing Co. is ready to put its product where its mouth is, with production of a pair of flagship beers set to start within the next few weeks.
Located in a $1.3 million, 13,000-square-foot state-of-theart facility in the Greenbrier Valley Airport Industrial Park just north of Lewisburg, the brewery grew out of a chance encounter a little over two years ago between two beer enthusiasts.
Wil Laska and David Kucera struck up a conversation over some of the craft beers served at Lewisburg’s Irish Pub. During the discussion of the merits of the various brews before them, Laska picked up on Kucera’s enthusiasm and told of his own longtime dream of opening a brewery, a notion hatched when he retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994.
By coincidence, Kucera revealed that he harbored hopes of opening a nano brewery, and the two men agreed to team up in a business venture that evolved into the Greenbrier Valley Brewing Co. .
“We started this whole process two years ago, but we discovered that starting a business takes a long time,” Laska says. “We had to formulate a business plan and work out the finances. There was a lot of paperwork and dealing with bureaucracy. It takes a long time to get through it all.” The Maxwelton facility will begin production as a package brewery, not a brew pub, Laska explains. Bottles, cans and kegs of beer for off-premises consumption will comprise the brewery’s products for now, but Laska envisions a future that includes a tasting room adjacent to the production area.
The brewing process takes two weeks from start to finish for each batch, with water, malt, yeast and hops slowly combining characteristics in huge fermentation tanks that dominate the brewery.
Although only those four ingredients go into each beer, adjusting the proportions, timing and methods of brewing can result in quite complex flavors, Laska notes.
The first two beers that will be put into production at GVBC are Mothman IPA (Indian Pale Ale) and Wild Trail Pale Ale.
Future plans call for the brewery to expand its line to include such products as Steel Drivin’ Stout (an homage to John Henry), Patrick’s Irish Red, Devilanse Ale and Flanders Red Ale, which will make use of bourbon barrels from Smooth Ambler Spirits, an award-winning distillery conveniently located just across the street from GVBC.
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