Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Ballad Brewing of Danville is the newest recipient of a grant from the Virginia Tourism Growth Fund (VTGF). The VTGF is a Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) program established to grow tourism development projects across the state. Ballad Brewing will receive more than $90,800 in VTGF funding which will be matched by the City of Danville.
“The launch of Ballad Brewing is an exciting development for the City of Danville and an important addition to Virginia’s growing portfolio of more than 160 breweries,” said Governor McAuliffe. “The brewery will aid our efforts to grow and diversify our economy, particularly in Southern Virginia, by adding a new attraction for visitors to the region, who will benefit from the many outstanding tourist attractions it offers and generate economic activity in the process.”
“Craft beer is a rapidly growing industry in Virginia, contributing $1 billion in economic impact and employing nearly 9,000 people across the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore, who attended the official ribbon-cutting today. “Economic development projects such as Ballad Brewing bring much needed direct visitor spending, jobs, and tax revenue to localities. Visitors to Danville will now see why Virginia is for Craft Beer Lovers.”
Ballad Brewing plans a 2017 opening in Danville’s River District, and will produce beer with a 20-barrel, stainless steel brewing plant and 3-barrel small batch pilot plant. Production capacity of Ballad’s system will be approximately 10,000 barrels per year. The brewery will invest $1.5 million and is projected to create a tax benefit of more than $47,000 in its first full year of operation. Ballad Brewing will create 6 new jobs in its first year of operation.
“This type of contemporary, locally-owned business is indicative of entrepreneurs that make Danville, and our region, so authentic and appealing,” said Delegate Danny Marshall.
Senator William Stanley also noted, “This effort to work with the city of Danville to welcome craft beer lovers is an important step to grow tourism in Danville.”
“Ballad Brewing will initially produce three of four different flagship styles of beer and a will also offer a wider variety of offerings in the tasting room. For the first six months, these products will be served exclusively in the brewery’s tasting-room,” said Ross Fickenscher, Managing Partner.
Co-managing Partner Garrett Shifflett added, “Retail customers will come to view the operation of the brewery, while purchasing beer by the glass, beer to go, and retail items such as company logo T-shirts and glassware.”
“Ballad Brewing and its tasting room will be an exciting new addition to Danville’s River District,” said John Gilstrap, Mayor of the City of Danville. “It will draw new visitors to explore our rich history, retail and dining options, as well as outdoor recreational activities along the Dan River.”
The Virginia Tourism Growth Fund (VTGF) is a VTC program established to grow tourism development projects to include new or expanded facilities or venues for lodging, recreation, entertainment, epicurean, cultural, or destination retail products or services designed to attract travelers to the Commonwealth. Both non-profit and for-profit private sector businesses are eligible to apply, VTGF grant awards cannot exceed 15 percent of project cost and there is a minimum 1:1 locality match of VTGF grant award. The project must create net new jobs and public financing cannot exceed 30 percent of project cost. For more information on the Virginia Tourism Growth Fund, click here.
Tourism is an instant revenue generator in Virginia. In 2015, visitors to Virginia spent $23 billion, which supported 222,600 jobs and contributed $1.6 billion in state and local taxes.