Is West Virginia brewery growth keeping up with the nation

Around the country, the continued acceleration of craft beer sales and brewery start-ups raises a good question: Is West Virginia keeping up?

Source: Brewers Association
Source: Brewers Association

The craft brewing industry continued a strong pace of growth in the first half of 2015, according to new mid-year data released by the Brewers Association (BA)—the trade association dedicated to small and independent American craft brewers. American craft beer production volume increased 16 percent during the first half of the year. 

Here’s why WV grew faster than 16%

Continue reading “Is West Virginia brewery growth keeping up with the nation”

Stumptown Ales hopkicks WV beer scene

Jonathan Robeson, Stumptown Ales brewery
Jonathan Robeson brings a hoppy spirit to his new Stumptown Ales brewery.

To call him a hop-head is putting it mildly. The owner of this upcoming brewery likes his hops big, up-front, and juicy.

“We’re hop-centric,” said Jonathan Robeson when concisely defining the DNA of his Stumptown Ales brewery project in Davis, West Virginia. Continue reading “Stumptown Ales hopkicks WV beer scene”

Wine Shop adds craft beer taps, sees growth


As it began selling growlers of beer last weekend, Charleston’s premier fine wine retailer also added a secondary brand name: On Tap @ The Wine Shop. This change illustrates that craft beer sales are today having a big impact even in the deepest strata of wine retailers.

Ted Armbrecht, owner of The Wine Shop, says craft beer sales had simply become far too important not to embrace it more fully.

“Our beer sales have been up double digits,” he said. “I’m talking about up 40% plus each month this year over the same month last year. Just tremendous growth.”

PrintHe developed a new logo that appears on all his growlers.

“(With the new logo) we identify ourselves as a beer destination, but still tied into the tradition and reputation of The Wine Shop,” he explains. Continue reading “Wine Shop adds craft beer taps, sees growth”

Welcome Berkeley Springs Brewing Co.

UPDATE: Berkeley Springs Brewing Company added its brewpub license as of 8/8/15. The Bath Water Brewpub serves pints of all house brews, initially including the flagship beers: caCapon Kolsch, American Amber, and Berkeley Brown. The brewery will continues to sell 32-oz howlers and 64-oz growlers for off-premise consumption. At the pub, food can be ordered in from local restaurants.

Carl Wagenbrenner
Like a proud papa, Karl Wagenbrenner stands in his new Berkeley Springs Brewing Company, which is the latest brewery to get licensed in West Virginia.

It’s been a long road for Karl Wagenbrenner in his quest to open a small brewery in a small town. Like so many others who long to have their own craft breweries, he had a couple false starts, struggled to understand regulatory compliance, and had to constantly scrape to find enough money.

BerkeleySpr-logoBut his day of reckoning has arrived. No longer a brewery-in-planning, Berkeley Springs Brewing Company is now fully licensed and operational.

Wagenbrenner’s determination and endurance during this journey is what separates him from thousands of others who tinker with the craft brewery idea but never get there. Continue reading “Welcome Berkeley Springs Brewing Co.”

WV celebrates growler fills

On June 12, 2015, a new law took effect allowing beer retailers in West Virginia to begin filling and selling growlers. Prior to the new law, only brewpubs were allowed to sell growlers.

Growlers ready to go at Black Sheep
Growlers awaiting customers. They didn’t wait long as hundred of people tuned out in Charleston, WV bars to purchase growler fills the first day they became legal.

Hundreds celebrate first day of growler sales

Quite spontaneous celebrations broke out at craft centric bars and restaurants across the state as craft beer fans showed up in mass to get growlers filled with fresh draft beer. Continue reading “WV celebrates growler fills”

Mountain State Brewing brings its beer home

Mountain State Brewing Company is no longer contracting for the production of its beer in Baltimore. All production has now been moved in-house to its Thomas, WV, brewery.

Seneca IPA Bottle
Out with bottles. In with cans.

Since 2013, Mountain State had contracted out the production of its 12 oz. bottles to Peabody Heights Brewery in Baltimore, MD.  Mountain State did this because it had no bottling equipment at its own brewery. Since its inception in 2005, the Thomas brewery had only brewed and packaged beer for kegs.

With its contract brewer producing 12-oz bottles of Mountain State’s four flagship beers, Mountain State was able to gain wide distribution for its six packs across WV, both in on- and off-premise accounts. The six-packs helped boost the brewery to a more dominant leadership position among breweries in the state. Mountain State is West Virginia’s largest brewery, selling approximately 3,500 barrels of beer in 2014. Continue reading “Mountain State Brewing brings its beer home”