Mountain Valley’s Winter Idea to Help Its Local Businesses

Between the pandemic and winter weather really taking a dent out of many business owner’s livelihoods, Mountain Valley Brewing found a way to help.

The Axton, Virginia farm brewery — which produces around 120 barrels per year on a 1.5-bbl system — took its original 430-square foot taproom and converted it into a county general store to give small crafters and producers of goods in the area a chance to sell wares that normally would have been available for consumers at local farmers markets or craft shows.

​Peggy Donivan, the brewery’s co-founder, said the smaller taproom had not been in use since March 2020 and instead the brewery moved into a larger 1,000-square-foot location on the property to accommodate more visitors at a time along with utilizing a large patio and the outdoor space.

Yet she felt the old spot could be converted into a “General Store” of sorts.

“It’s cute. It’s adorable,” she said. “I said to my husband, why don’t we get a to-go cooler, keep two or three taps up there, keep the deck open. I said let’s buy some inventory, set it up as a country store.

“We were running out of room in our barn for our swag — sweatshirts, hoodies, hats, all that stuff — and just make that our store.

The store includes goods from the neighbors of the brewery, which includes soaps and candles along with homemade goods like jams, jellies, and pickles.

The new setup enables Mountain Valley us to have drive-up to-go service as well.

“Prior to that, you’d have to park, walk down, wait for us to can your stuff,” Donivan said. “This way we’ll have cans pre-made, you can just come up, get your beer to-go, have a beer, do some shopping, sit on the deck and be on your way.”

The brewery just recently purchased a canning machine for 16-ounce can fills to-go through a grant set up by the state and that has helped in sales as well. The brewery is also looking into cold brew coffee ideas to help facilitate consumer relationships with those that may not want a beer, or to entice those that may come along with people looking to buy beer and give them options to support local businesses as well.

​”We’re hoping this store will get us through the winter and then help us kind of integrate into the local community a little bit more because it’s a pretty small community,” Donivan said “So many of our customers make their living or supplement their living at craft shows and farmers markets, and they have not been able to do anything.

“So we’re trying to give a small outlet for them.​”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.