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Ironclad Distillery Plans Bourbon Distillery In Newport News, Virginia

Ironclad Distillery will open a new small-batch bourbon distillery in the City of Newport News, Virginia. The company, the first craft distillery in revitalized downtown Newport News, will source one-hundred percent of its corn, wheat, and rye needs from Virginia agricultural producers.

Stephen King, President and Chief Financial Officer of Ironclad Distillery commented, “With award-winning corn and grains from Renwood Farm in Charles City County, the generous support of the Commonwealth and the City of Newport News, and our unique downtown location engulfed in the brackish air sweeping off the James River, my family and I are very proud to be making a bourbon with a distinctly Virginia flavor.”

Ironclad Distillery will invest $100,000 in the site improvements and equipment needed to open a new distillery, tasting room, and remote-licensed ABC store in a revitalized warehouse district on the James River. The company’s signature product will be small batch Virginia Bourbon aged in 15-gallon barrels. Ironclad Distillery is named after the famous Civil War engagement between the U.S. Ironclad Monitor and Confederate Ironclad Virginia, also known as the Merrimack, which took place within sight of the distillery.

The Commonwealth of Virginia is partnering with Newport News and Ironclad Distillery on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services worked with the City of Newport News to secure this project. Governor McAuliffe approved a $12,000 grant from the AFID Fund to assist Newport News with the project. Ironclad Distillery is also committing to purchase more than 675,000 pounds of Virginia corn, wheat, and rye over three years – 100% of the agricultural products needed for the new production venture.

“Ironclad Distillery’s investment represents an exciting new opportunity for Newport News and our local Virginia grain producers, who are successfully marketing their Virginia-grown inputs to the emerging craft beer, cider, and distilled spirit industries,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore.

“We are delighted to award this grant to a project that will not only promote Virginia’s agricultural sector, but also demonstrate the role agriculture can play in urban revitalization. With more than 260 wineries and cideries, 100 craft breweries, and 20 craft distilleries, Virginia is quickly emerging as the preeminent craft beverage player on the East Coast. These entrepreneurial ventures are creating jobs, generating revenue, and helping the Governor’s overall efforts to build the new Virginia economy,” he added

Governor Terry McAuliffe said, “Today’s announcement is an excellent example of the important role that our diverse agricultural economy can and will play in building the new Virginia economy. This AFID grant to Newport News leverages agriculture to bring together multiple aspects of economic development – entrepreneurship, manufacturing, tourism, and community revitalization - in one operation. Projects like these strengthen these important sectors of the Commonwealth’s economy and enhance Virginia’s reputation as a world-class spirts, wine, cider, and craft beer producer.”


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