Why Securing a Grant Can Be Prosperous

Recently, Virginia’s Parkway Brewing was able to secure a grant with the state to help grow its business.

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Parkway will create 13 new jobs and invest more than $750,000 to expand its operation in Salem, Virginia because the brewery, which opened in 2012, agreed to purchase 56 percent of its agricultural inputs from Virginia farmers.

“It gives us new equipment and be more integrated into the local economy, be able to work better with local businesses, farmers, any ag culture ingredient,” explained Parkway lead brewer Sam Sadovnic. “We can look for those [inputs] to use in our beers as well and help expand us that way.”

The brewery worked through the governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which is a discretionary, performance-based economic development incentive specifically for agriculture and forestry value-added or processing projects.

One purchase the brewery was able to make with the grant was a pilot system.

Sadovnic said it allows the brewery to expand the tap list, do more experimentation and let consumers try more in-house brands that they might never have had.

“We started as a production brewery, so it’s easy to get in the loop of filling orders and cranking out core beers,” he said. “That can make other things go to the wayside and this helps us crank up the experimentation more.”

The brewery worked with Deutsche out of Charlotte to help replicate a similar steam system as to its main production brewhouse, which is a 30-barrel system

“We wanted to match the pilot house as close to what we do in production so the flavor profile matches,” Sadovnic said. “If we had gone to a direct fire, the chances of a more caramelized or longer boiled flavor might come out, so matching as close as possible was important.”

Since opening in 2013, the brewery has been steadily growing, with nearly 50 percent of its production going to its flagship, ‘Get Bent’ IPA, which has helped created a craft environment for mid-western Virginia.

“People have been driving from all over the area,” Sadovnic said. “We have regulars and we still have people that come in and didn’t even know we are here, even if they just live on the other side of town.

“People can still discover [the brewery], but we have a good reputation in the area. Other breweries are learning as they open that this is a good place to be opening. People are excited for craft beer and it’s still growing.”

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