Stable Craft Brewing in Augusta County, Va., is making an investment of over $200,000 and adding six new jobs to open a new farm-winery operation and plant 75-150 apple trees on the farm over the next two years.
Diversifying the Stable Craft brand with craft ciders will expand Stable Craft’s offerings and fit well with the Brewery and its sister business, Hermitage Hill Farm & Stables, a premier event venue operating since 2008, according to Owner Craig Nargi.
“We can now grow our own fruits and source more Virginia ingredients to better our economy, and the entire time we can share this work and experience directly with our guests when they visit our farm,” Nargi said.
Stable Craft, with its new farm-winery license, will partner with other wineries to offer ciders and wines in the Stable Craft tasting room and to guests at Hermitage Hill wedding events. Stable Craft expects to have guest cider taps and wine available this month.
“We are seeking to increase our brewery visitation numbers by broadening our appeal and showcasing our agriculture story. Farm to glass just got more exciting,” Nargi said. “We have had so many people ask for wine and cider with our special events and tasting room, and now we can supply this demand.”
Having previously received an Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Grant (AFID) in 2017, Stable Craft has committed to increasingly purchase Virginia ingredients. The operation is focused on local product offerings and currently flavors its craft beer with produce from Valley farms. Stable Craft is committed to supporting the robust agriculture economy in the Shenandoah Valley, distinguished by the location of four of the top five agriculture-producing counties in Virginia, one of which is Augusta County.
Involved in both food and beverage as well as tourism, Stable Craft’s model contributes a unique combination to the economy. Craft beer, cideries and wineries remain an important resource for Virginia, helping to boost overall tourism spending. The newly-released revenue numbers provided by the Virginia Tourism Corporation reveal tourism generated $25 billion in visitor spending in 2018. This is a 4.4 percent increase over 2017
“Stable Craft is a unique combination of tourism and manufacturing,” added Gerald Garber, Chair of the Augusta County Board of Supervisors and representative of the Middle River District where Stable Craft is located. “Food and beverage is imperative to Augusta County and the Shenandoah Valley, and we embrace our entrepreneurs who are growing their own notion of today’s agriculture.”
Stable Craft Brewing launched in 2016 and currently employs 32 residents. Through its wholesale beer and wine distribution partner, the Augusta County-based AgriBev Distribution, it sells its award-winning beers throughout Central and Western Virginia.