Thursday night, Ardent Craft Ales announced that it has purchased its brewery building and property located at 3200 W. Leigh St. in Scott’s Addition and plans to expand.
Co-owners Tom Sullivan, Kevin O’Leary, and Paul Carns purchased the 25,875 square foot property from local developer Scott Coleman of Crossroads Development, who originally partnered with the brewery in 2013 to renovate the property.
Ardent plans to expand starting with a wider distribution and more equipment, which is expected to begin later this year.
The brewery officially purchased the property at the end of February, but the plan has been in the works since November according to Sullivan, Co-Owner and Director of Operations.
“When we started this process, the first concept was to go through the SBA with one of their programs and buy the real estate and then some of the equipment we want for expansion and it kind of gets rolled into that program and that loan,” he said. “We really had a great experience working with Crossroads Development, they were really awesome helping us get this whole project off the ground.”
The brewery began as a co-operative in 2010 in a garage in Church Hill and they opened their brewery, taproom, and beer garden opened in June 2014. Since then, Ardent has continued to come out with innovative beers and unique recipes, and even took home awards from the Virginia Craft Beer Awards for their Schwarzbier and Bourbon Barrel Aged Honey Ginger brews in 2016.
Sullivan said they’re looking to add five new fermentation tanks and two brite tanks when they expand, roughly doubling their production capacity along with expanding on their original facility.
“We’re at the point where our initial build-out and infrastructure that we installed, sloped floor, the chiller, various piping…we’ve consumed all of that space and used all of that, so just to add one more tank we have to install more infrastructure,” he said.
Besides adding new equipment, Sullivan said Ardent hopes to expand their distribution.
“We’re interested in being able to produce a little bit more and open other markets in Virginia, we haven’t decided which ones yet, but we just want to put ourselves in the position where we can do that,” Sullivan said.
Ardent currently distributes through Brown Distributing in the Richmond market and Chesbay to distribute to the Hampton Roads area.
You can go get a taste Ardent’s release of their dobbelbock Defenestrator this Saturday, March 18.