Four months after the Virginia Alcoholic Beverages Commission turned down B Chord Brewery’s application to operate near Bluemont, the brewery faces new resistance to its new plans near Round Hill.
After the ABC turned down his previous application, B Chord creator Marty Dougherty found a 64-acre parcel west of Round Hill for his business. But four people—including Bluemont-area residents who opposed Dougherty’s previous plan—objected to the ABC again, forcing a hearing the morning of Thursday, Oct. 20.
Dougherty said the objections have more to do with general opposition to economic development in western Loudoun.
“There are people out here who want nothing to happen,” Dougherty said. “They assumed when they bought their properties that it would stay the same forever. … Those people are now coming into conflict with younger people who are moving here who desire to open up businesses, who desire to operate things other than equestrian farms.”
The objections were raised under a law that permits the ABC to turn down a license if “the number of licenses existent in the locality is such that the granting of a license is detrimental to the interest, morals, safety or welfare of the public.”
Without the brewery, the parcel would be open to more homes—Dougherty said his property was already approved for a seven-lot subdivision and has nine wells and eight drainfields already. He said people living and operating businesses near the property have expressed support for his plans to build a farm brewery, growing hops or grain on the property for use in the brewery. He also said people have answered his call for letters of support.
“People understand what’s going on here, and they appreciate what businesses like ours can do for Loudoun, and for western Loudoun in particular,” Dougherty said. “Especially people who have been here for a long time.”
Dougherty hopes that the objections will be dismissed at the hearing Thursday morning, either because there are not too many breweries or because the objectors do not qualify as aggrieved parties.
“My best answer back to them is that it seems pretty clear that if a large number of people support the brewery, then of course it’s not too many,” Dougherty said.
B Chord Brewery has been listed on the Loco Ale Trail for months in anticipation of its opening. Dougherty’s new property is on Williams Gap Road just off Rt. 7.