Ballast Point brew tanks go in; restaurant opening in May with views, banquet room

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One of the Ballast Point brew kettles was set in place last Wednesday morning in a newly excavated area that is next to what will be the brewery’s restaurant (behind the windows). A second kettle is now in, along with the mash mixing kettle and a lauter ton that both will be on the “shelf” to the right of the kettle. They had to be installed before the walls and glass windows go up.
Photo by Ed McCoy

The view from what will be a second floor deck will be spectacular. But that may not be the most welcome part of the new restaurant Ballast Point Brewery and Spirits is adding to the brewery that’s expected to open this summer at Botetourt Center at Greenfield.

Instead, it may be the banquet dining room that will seat well over 100 guests in a venue that’s long been lacking in Botetourt County. It will provide a place for wedding receptions, parties and other events in a restaurant setting that has otherwise generally meant a trip to Roanoke for parties that size and larger.

Ballast Point Vice-President of Engineering and Facilities Keith Brushett said the brewery itself is on track to open in the summer. The company hopes to open the restaurant by the end of May.

Shanna Harkins (right), the restaurant designer for the contractor, R. Douglas Inc., goes over the floor plans for the new restaurant at Ballast Point Brewery and Spirits with Botetourt Tourism Director Lisa Sumpter (left). In the background, Botetourt County’s Management Assistant Cody Sexton (left) talks with Ballast Point Vice-President of Engineering and Facilities Keith Brushett about the brewery and restaurant.
Photo by Ed McCoy

Last week, the contractor for converting the former “Lawrence Building” into a brewery was in the process of installing the two copper brew kettles, mash mixer and lauter tun that will also be a focal point for the restaurant.

The 350 barrel (10,850 gallon) brew kettles were nestled into an excavated area next to the restaurant where they will be visible through the glass windows that will stretch around the two sides of the west-facing building. The mash mixer and louderton will sit above the brew tanks within their own glass wall rooms.

The second floor deck will provide seating overlooking Preston Lake and Greenfield with the Botetourt Sports Complex and those spectacular views of Tinker Mountain and the Alleghany Mountains to the west.

Shanna Harkins, the restaurant designer for the contractor, R. Douglas Inc., said the restaurant is about 18,000 square feet. All together, the brewery, warehouse and restaurant will take 271,386 square feet.

The frame for the bar was taking shape in the restaurant area when county officials and the media were invited to see the brew kettles go in.
Photo by Ed McCoy

Crews were working at a steady pace when the media and county officials were invited to visit the brew kettle setting last Wednesday. A huge bar was already framed, metal studs, plumbing and electrical for the kitchen were in place and some dry wall was going up.

While windows provided a view of what restaurant visitors will be able to see, they are being replaced.

A lower patio will be added with lots of seating and a fire pit not far from the brew kettle enclosure.

The second floor enclosed deck will overlook the kettles and lake.

The contractor is reworking what will be the entrance to the restaurant that will also include a private dining room along with the banquet facility.

Brushett said Ballast Point has already done some hiring and will be posting more job opportunities soon.

Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits is investing $48.7 million to establish its first East Coast brewing operation at Greenfield. The company expects to create 178 jobs in its manufacturing, retail and restaurant operations.

— Ed McCoy