At least ten West Virginia brewery projects were in various stages of planning and development, giving them a chance to open in 2016. Following is a brief description of the ones who actually received their brewery licenses in 2016.
Organized by longtime Wheeling homebrewer Kevin Ayres and his wife Carolyn, the seeds of this brewery project go back several years. They want to be a part of the booming craft beer market.
This downtown Wheeling production brewery received its state license in July and is now open for business. It is currently offering samples and growler fills, but does not have a taproom for on-premise consumption. It is also self-distributing to several area retail accounts in Wheeling and Morgantown.
Status Update: OPEN – Received WV brewery license in July. Now open for business.
Parkersburg Brewing Company
[See our preview article here] Named after an old brewery that closed in 1912, Parkersburg Brewing Company promises to bring new life to a section of downtown Parkersburg. Revitalizing a block—that’s what craft breweries are good at. The brewery should bring foot traffic back to its part of town and provide the opportunity for other business to root there as well.
This brewery project is led by Justin Logue and Dan Curtis, a partnership that took form a few years ago after the two met in a local homebrewers group. They purchased their building and completed building modifications and buildout.
They installed a 7-barrel electric brewery and have six flagships to start. Expect an IPA, Black IPA, Pale Ale, Hefeweizen, Oatmeal Stout, and Brown Ale. In addition, they plan to have a sour program and regular seasonal/specialty beers. The guys will be hand pumping real cask ales, at times, in the taproom.
Parkersburg Brewing will initially offer only a light pub menu in order to keep focus on the brewing and beer quality. They plan to self-distribute throughout the Parkersburg area, Morgantown and Charleston. Three of the six flagship beers will be available through distribution.
Status Update: OPEN – This brewery received its state licenses in August and opened for business Sept 17.
707 Market St.
Parkersburg, WV 26101
Sophisticated Hound Brewing Company
Barnett debuted his brews at the Pipestem Oktoberfest serving up his Racer 8 American Stout and 1863 Pale Ale. He has since added RyeBellion, a rye-based American Brown Ale.
Barnett is currently searching for a commercial building in which to move and enlarge his brewery operations.
Status Update: OPEN – This brewery received its WV production brewery license on Sept. 9 and has its beer in distribution around the area.
Pubstomper Brewing Company
Pubstomper began as the dream of several Morgantown homebrewers in 2014. Two of those guys, Christopher DeFazio and Cody Cheesebrough, decided to make the move to a pro-brewery.
In 2015, WVU students Cheesebrough and Defazio wrote a detailed business plan for Pubstomper and entered it in the West Virginia Collegiate Business Plan Competition. They ended up winning a $10,000 prize. With the help of this seed capital, they began organizing their brewery project.
On September 9, 2016, Pubstomper was awarded its WV production brewery license. They are having their beers brewed and canned at Morgantown Brewing Company’s production brewery in Westover. Their first beer is a hoppy place ale.
Status Update: OPEN – On Sept. 9, Pubstomper received its WV production brewery license. They now have their Pale Ale six-packs in distribution around the state.
OPEN – Brewstel joined the ranks of WV resident breweries and brewpubs on Oct. 14, 2016. They are currently serving several of their own beers in their Brewstel tavern at 120 Davis Av., Elkins, WV.
We first heard about this project back in 2011, and it’s taken a few years and lots of hard work for owner Tim Powell to reach his goal. Mostly sold on the premises.
OPEN – Bad Shepherd is a new brewery and it’s an old one at the same time. Bad Shepherd bought Charleston Brewing Company in September and continues to operate out of its space in Charleston. They will produce a wide range of food friendly beers. All production will be kegged.
Organized by the folks who also own Black Sheep Burritos and Brews, it will sell its brews through the three restaurants in the group, with a few hitting other bar and growler accounts in the Charleston and Huntington markets. It received its final state permits in December.
Mash Brewing Company
Located in the historic downtown district of Charles Town, Mash Brewing Company will be operated by owner/brewer George Shaw.
Mash Brewing will start with a 1-barrel brewhouse. Look for a variety of popular American craft beer styles, IPAs, etc., but also Belgian-inspired brews. Shaw reports he plans to have beers infused with the “flavors of locally grown produce.” That could be real interesting.
You’ll find Mash beers sold in their own pub, plus at a few local bars and restaurants. Initially, their food service will mostly be ready-made snacks (popcorn, local pretzel vendor).
Status Update: OPEN – Received its final state permits on December 20, 2016. Opened in February 2017.
122 N. George St.
Charles Town, WV 25414
Brewery Website link
This business did not actually open a brewery in 2016, but it did receive its WV resident brewery/beer importer license on 10/14/16. No tasting room but plans to initially sell its beer through local restaurants in Summersville.
Bannings, Inc. was incorporated on August 17, 2016 by Summersville resident George Kallai. Its licensed physical address is:
620 Water Street
*No website listed*
Status Update: OPEN – Bannings is brewing in Summersville and is selling its beer there at Fanny’s Pizza restaurant, we are told. Brilliant Stream has no further information on its plans, beer, or operations.
WV breweries charge ahead
2016 became a record year for opening breweries in the Mountain State. The eight projects described above show this industry is on a fast growth track. WV breweries are certainly on their way to becoming a more significant force in the state’s manufacturing sector.