A lot happened during Philly Beer Week... Wow, what an unnecessary statement. But one of the things that happened was that Tuesday night, after meeting 'Gansett rep Zach Antczak for a couple Narragansett Summers (and The Famous Woody, too) at MidAtlantic, and hosting the smoked beer/food dinner at Hop Angel (which, if you missed -- and almost all of you did -- you missed a great dinner and some surprisingly good pairings, like Raftman and smoked trout/mussels, and Schlenkerla Oak Smoke with vanilla ice cream, caramel, and smoked salt)...I met Terry Hawbaker at the Prohibition Taproom for a beer. (And Christine Gumpper was there as well; I think I may have seen her more than anyone else during PBW!)
So...enough about my day, let's cut to the chase. Terry, of course, is not only a good friend and nice guy, he's also the former brewer at Bullfrog and currently at Farmer's Cabinet. He was hired to open an in-house nanobrewery for them, making one-off beers to complement their exotic beer selection. Well, Terry told me, they'd had real problems with paperwork -- city, state, federal? not sure -- and weren't sure when they'd be able to get the brewery up and running. So when someone noticed that Shenandoah Brewing was for sale (and about to go down for lack of a buyer), wheels started to turn.
Shenandoah, you see, is Brew-On-Premise in Alexandria, Virginia. They are set up to do small batches, lots of small batches, exactly what Terry and the FC folks were planning. They have a ton of room.
Amended here: I've been told that this is NOT a done deal, and I apologize for that. I thought I had checked on this, but I was wrong. Again: the purchase is NOT certain at this point.
Seem crazy? It's not that far to Alexandria, especially if you travel at the hours Terry is used to anyway. It's a perfect set-up. And the options are endless. Not as convenient as it could be, maybe, but it has interesting potential.
Yeah, yeah, I know: aren't these the same people who just closed two (or three, depending on how you parse it) places? Where'd they get the money to buy a brewery? Two answers: first, I don't know, and second, there's plenty of ways to skin that cat, even in this economy. And before anyone starts making trash comments about this situation...I won't allow them to post. Keep it clean, keep it reasonable, or you'll be wasting your time. Okay? Game on.