Starting a Farm Brewery

Apr 25, 2022 | Uncategorized

Craft beer is very popular, and the number of farm breweries are increasing across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Starting a farm brewery could become an alternative source of income for our local farmers. Breweries can be a major tourist attraction by drawing visitors from outside the County.
A farm brewery is an exciting idea! But, there are steps to be taken before it becomes operational and the doors open to the public.
• Property needs to be zoned for agriculture: A1, A2 and A3, check with Community Development Department to verify that the property is properly zoned. 10 acres is the required minimum and having a land survey to verify parcel acreage would be helpful.
• Before starting any major plans a zoning permit will need to be issued by Community Development Department.
• File for a State Corporation Commission (SCC) business name and when ready a state liquor license through the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Authority.
• A copy of the business incorporation papers and an approved zoning permit will be required to obtain your King George County business license from the Commissioner of Revenue office.
• If an extra building is needed review the farm building exemption form and provide the Community Development Department with a copy of the property plat with an indication of where your building will sit.
• Verify that the property has adequate water and septic, check with the Health Department for additional requirements and specifications that may be required.
• Gas or propane and electricity will be necessary for the brewing process and storage. Most equipment will need at least 220 volts or 440 volts. Depending on service territory contact Dominion Energy or the Northern Neck Electric Cooperative for assistance with upgrades and construction. For gas or propane needs consider contacting a local oil and gas provider such as: Quarles, Ferrell or Amerigas.
• Virginia Department of Transportation may have updated entrance requirements for Agri-based tourism businesses. Contact the district office to verify requirements or for additional assistance.
• If the intention is to have “special events” such as weddings, a special exception will be required. The farm brewery will then require at least 20 acres under the special exception ordinance and will need to be approved by the Board of Supervisors to operate as an event venue.

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