Shadow Farm, a 53-acre farm in Lucketts, Va., announced the development of Lucketts Mill Hopworks, the State of Virginia and the mid-Atlantic’s first commercial-scale hops production and processing facility. The East Coast craft scene is just insane right now with the West Coast craft brewing invasion, so the timing for such a move is impeccable.
Building on that announcement, Flying Dog Brewery out of Frederick, Md., is nearing the final stages of a partnership to create a separate and unique farm brewery destination on that same property. The project, Farmworks Brewery, is set to open in summer 2015.
Jonathan Staples, who launched James River Distillery in Richmond earlier this year, purchased Shadow Farm with the hopes of growing hops and other ingredients necessary for brewing and distilling. Staples’ vision for local agriculture attracted Flying Dog to add a brewing dimension to the operation.
“We are really excited to have Flying Dog on board at Shadow Farm,” Staples said. “They are a world-class brewery, and they are the perfect partner to bring Virginia’s agriculture to life through a different and distinct experience that will offer a new array of fascinating beers.”
Farmworks Brewery, which will be owned and operated by Flying Dog, will be situated on approximately 5 acres of the property and will include a 15-barrel brewhouse, cellar, coolship and tasting room and hospitality area, along with an extensive barrel-aging and sour beer facility. With a selection of beers unique to Shadow Farm, it will be a separate and distinct experience than Flying Dog’s existing brewery, which is located just 17 miles north of Lucketts in Frederick.
“At Farmworks Brewery, we plan to bring the same brewing energy, passion and talent that our fans have grown to love from Flying Dog,” Flying Dog COO and Brewmaster Matt Brophy said. “Agriculture is such an important part of brewing, and having access to the resources at Shadow Farm will allow us the freedom to experiment and innovate with a whole new collection of beer styles. It’s a unique setting, and we plan on brewing some pretty unique beers.”
Flying Dog will focus its energy on highly-experimental beers at Farmworks that will include robust barrel aging, wild fermentation and sour beer programs. Farmworks will also utilize the onsite hops and farming resources to craft recipes for beers made with local Virginia ingredients.
Lucketts Mill Hopworks, which will be operated by Cumberland, Md.-based Organarchy Hops, will be supplying Farmworks, as well as other regional breweries, with annual crops of Virginia-grown hops. It will also provide a central location where growers will be able to bring their crops for processing and packaging. The 10,000-square-foot facility will house top of the line equipment and handling procedures required but out of the budget for the small grower.
“Creating this facility opens up the door for all growers to focus on their crop and expanding their yards instead of shelling out thousands of dollars for their own equipment,” Organarchy owner Solomon Rose said. “We are now able to assist new growers with processing and supply chain management, as well as work hand-in-hand with area universities on how to grow quality hops in this region.”