Cash Crop: Michael Waltrip Uses Southwest Virginia Grain to Make Local Beers | WJHL

BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) – A two-time Daytona 500 champion is working to bring more local beers to the area using grains grown in southwest Virginia.

The Michael Waltrip Brewing Company has launched 3 Ranges Appalachian Ale, a beer born from grains from three major chains in the Appalachians: Allegheny, Blue Ridge and Cumberland.

“It’s a great way to celebrate this year’s Appalachian grain harvest, help write a new chapter for agriculture in Southwest Virginia, and contribute to a local economy that is now a second home for me, ”said Michael Waltrip Brewing co-founder Michael Waltrip. “Southwest Virginia has special meaning to me, and with the opening of our Bristol location, joining other leaders in local building and buying is a privilege. We invite you to support our local farmers and businesses by tasting our new beer: 3 Ranges Appalachian Ale.

It all started with Appalachian Grains, a state version of the company, which is a specialty grain broker in Southwest Virginia that aims to connect local producers with craft breweries and distilleries across Virginia.

Appalachian Grains is a private project made possible with the support of InvestSWVA.

“The impact of the use of our grain by someone like Michael Waltrip is significant; this collaboration provides another growth opportunity for our farmers in southwest virginia, and it catapults our region into the national sustainability conversation, ”said Will Payne, director of InvestSWVA. “First, this is an economic development project that responds to the business priorities of supply and demand. We’re helping farmers stay busy and earn more by producing high-quality grain for a booming market.

“Second, by strengthening the local supply chain of Virginia breweries and distilleries, we are reducing transportation costs, food miles and the carbon footprint of grains typically sourced from around the world. While helping Michael Waltrip Brewing deliver another tasty beer.

Malted barley comes from farms in Lee, Scott and Washington counties, opening the door to a new grain market for local farmers.

The third season was launched with triple the area, with the possibility of becoming a major supplier of craft breweries and distilleries.

Workers in the Appalachian Grains industry hope making more flavors brewed with local grains will minimize the import of grain from outside Virginia, with a new grain cleaning and storage facility expected. open in Norton in 2022.

The launch of the facility is dubbed “Project Thoroughbred” and received a grant of $ 500,000 from the Virginia Tobacco Regional Revitalization Commission and $ 2.5 million from the Virginia Department of Energy’s Abandoned Mining Land Economic Revitalization Program.

“The Thoroughbred Project advances many of Virginia Energy’s missions,” said John Warren, director of Virginia Energy. “This project opens the door to the market for local farmers and will provide a new source of Virginia farm produce. This cereal distribution center is a true achievement in reusing a former coal site to benefit the community and vital Virginia agricultural sector.

The Lonesome Pine Regional Industrial Facilities Authority will own the terminal, the statement said, and the grand opening is expected in the coming months, with operations starting in fall 2022.

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