Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday that Big Trouble Malting and Spirits will open a new malting facility and craft distillery in the City of Petersburg. The company will invest just under a million dollars and create nine new jobs in Petersburg, while sourcing all of its needed feedstock – or more than 40,000 bushels of barley, wheat, rye, and fruit – from Virginia agricultural producers. The Commonwealth is partnering with Petersburg and Big Trouble on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund (AFID).
Speaking at the event in Petersburg, Governor McAuliffe said, “Big Trouble brings together multiple aspects of economic development – agriculture, entrepreneurship, manufacturing, tourism, and community revitalization – in one operation and is another excellent example of leveraging some of the Commonwealth’s greatest assets to build a new Virginia economy. In partnership with Petersburg and Big Trouble, we are also highlighting Virginia’s ability to work with big companies and smaller operations, such as our burgeoning craft beverage industry. Virginia’s status as a world-class wine, cider, beer, and spirits producer is rising and we aim to raise it even higher. Today’s announcement is another victory for that effort.”
The new malting facility and craft distillery, which is located in Petersburg’s historic downtown district, brings a new economic development and agritourism opportunity to an area of recent revitalization in the community. Big Trouble will invest in site improvements, equipment, and new building construction to renovate an underutilized historic building. In addition to producing its own malts and spirits, Big Trouble will sell malts, a much needed ingredient for Virginia’s craft beer industry, to local brewers.
“Big Trouble’s investment is exciting not only for Petersburg and the Commonwealth’s fast-growing craft beer and distilled spirit industries, but also for Virginia agricultural producers who are capitalizing on new or expanded markets for their harvests,” said Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore. “With more than 260 wineries and cideries, 100 craft breweries, and 20 craft distilleries, Virginia is quickly emerging as a significant craft beverage player on the East Coast. The McAuliffe administration has made growing this sector a key component of our economic development strategic plan. In addition to jobs created, investments made, and tourism generated by craft beverage makers, they are providing new production and revenue streams for local producers.”
“Petersburg is uniquely situated for this type of business —so close to ideal farmland, and a stone’s-throw from the agricultural resources at Virginia State University,” said Dave McCormack, Co-owner of Big Trouble Malting and Spirits. “I’m thrilled to help develop this business in Petersburg — it’s a great addition to the neighborhood, and a great win for downtown.”
“The demand for malted barley is huge, and the market is vastly underdeveloped,” added Tony Kvasnicka, Co-owner of Big Trouble Malting and Spirits. “Our goal is to support Virginia craft brewers, and create an operation where growers can confidently raise barley and other alternative crops for the craft beer industry.”
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) worked with the City of Petersburg to secure this expansion for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $50,000 grant from the AFID Fund to assist the City of Petersburg with the project. Big Trouble Malting and Spirits is also committing to purchase more than 40,000 bushels of grains and fruits from local producers, supporting existing agribusinesses in the region.
“Today’s announcement by Governor McAuliffe is another win for the City of Petersburg, our residents and the regional economy,” said W. Howard Myers, Mayor of Petersburg. “The City is excited to have Big Trouble join our business community spurring jobs and development for our city. The city is poised for continued economic development and this announcement fits perfectly with the City’s vision for growth and vitality.”
Speaking about the AFID grant, Senator Rosalyn Dance, D – Petersburg said, “I am pleased to welcome Big Trouble to Petersburg and I appreciate their investment and job creation in the historic downtown as the city continues its revitalization efforts in that area. I am also pleased with the company’s commitment to our region’s farm families. With agriculture as Virginia’s largest private industry, we need to do all we can to facilitate more growth in this important economic sector. Thanks to this announcement, we have another business utilizing Virginia-grown products and providing more opportunities for our farmers for years to come.”
Delegate Joseph Preston, D – Petersburg added, “Today’s announcement represents an important win for the City of Petersburg. I am energized by Governor McAuliffe’s dedication to economic development throughout the Commonwealth and honored to work with him to further those goals. Today’s AFID grant is a testament to the work of our region to diversify our economy and lure innovative companies, like Big Trouble Malting and Spirits, to create new jobs and bring new investment to Petersburg.”
About the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund: The AFID Fund was created during the 2012 session of the General Assembly and is being embraced by the McAuliffe Administration as an important tool in growing the Commonwealth’s agriculture and forestry sector and helping to make Virginia the leading exporter of agricultural and forest products on the East Coast. More information about the AFID grant, which has the flexibility to assist projects large and small throughout Virginia, can be found at http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/agribusiness/afid.shtml.