During Downtown Blacksburg’s annual Christmas parade, Beliveau Estate Winery sported a vintage red convertible draped with a banner that read, “Coming 2019 – Brewery.” The announcement elated Southwest Virginia residents and set in motion the first of many stages in transforming Beliveau’s sprawling estate into a family-focused farm.
Derek Gassler, winemaker and soon-to-be brewer, shared with us Beliveau’s long-term plans. Currently in the works is construction on the estate’s new beer tavern and beer garden, both of which are expected to open early summer. The tavern will complement the existing tasting room and will pour four to six beers on a rotating tap. “We know that the winemaking process has many similarities to beer making, so we feel we have a leg up getting started. We will collaborate with local brewers as we develop and evolve our own craftsmanship and style of beer making,” says Gassler. “We look forward to creating memorable experiences for craft beer lovers by offering local brewers an opportunity to showcase special brews that will be featured regularly at our brewery.”
The Beliveau team also hopes to create a gluten free beer to appease gluten allergies and intolerances, such as that of estate owner, Yvan Beliveau. Also seeking inspiration from the wine cellar, Gassler is excited to experiment with barrel-aged beer. “We are a winery, so we have this ability to build [on our] sustainability by reusing some of the barrels that we can no longer use for wine for beer.”
With libations offered for both wine and beer lovers alike, Beliveau sets its sights on the kids. Beliveau intends to design a separate kid-friendly area for friends and family to play, relax and dine. In addition to Beliveau’s current food offerings, Gassler announced plans to serve healthy and kid-friendly treats like homemade ice cream and freshly squeezed juices.
“Our expansion is not only about adding beer, it is about creating a truly family focused destination,” reiterates Gassler. “Families can hike our scenic property, fish our stocked pond or enjoy an afternoon sitting and sipping with friends while kids play on the rocks or sandboxes.”
Beliveau Estate Winery is located at 5415 Gallion Ridge Road, Blacksburg.