Alewerks Brewing Co. in upper York County is looking to expand as demand for its craft beer continues to increase.
By the end of next year, Alewerks plans to double its production capacity from 5,000 to 10,000 barrels a year, managing partner Chuck Haines said.
"We can't produce enough beer to meet demand," Haines said, adding that demand across the state and at Colonial Williamsburg is on the rise.
The brewery produces three 18th-century-style beers for Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in addition to its six year-round and three seasonal beers.
Alewerks, which started in York County in 2006 with the backing of about 15 investors, added a couple distributors this year, Haines said. He said the brewery also sells a fair amount with 10 beers on tap in its taproom, which expanded from a tasting room in 2014.
"Sales picked up considerably in the past two years and they're growing," Haines said. "The whole craft beer industry is growing."
Earlier in December, the York Economic Development Authority approved a $30,000 grant to help Alewerks get two 60-barrel fermenters and expand the cold room at its facility in Ewell Industrial Park off Mooretown Road, said York Economic Development Director Jim Noel. The brewery employs about 25 people in its facility near the Williamsburg Premium Outlets.
Alewerks has also been helpful in attracting other craft breweries to the area with The Virginia Beer Co. set to open next year, Noel said. Toano-based Brass Cannon Brewing also announced it would be moving into a larger facility near Alewerks in York County by March.
"They're a really strong attraction from a tourism perspective. Their brewery tours are sold out all the time," Noel said. "We'd love to see them continue to grow."
For more information, call 757-220-3670, visit alewerks.com or go to the taproom at 189-B Ewell Road. Hours are noon to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Bozick can be reached at 757-247-4741. Sign up for a free weekday business news email at TidewaterBiz.com.