The rise of craft beer in Hampton Roads

Posted at 6:04 PM, Aug 01, 2014

Norfolk, Va. (WTKR) - From Virginia Beach to Williamsburg, the craft beer industry is picking up steam in Hampton Roads.

August is craft beer month in Virginia.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation reports there are currently 82 breweries in Virginia with an economic impact of more than $622 million.

Smartmouth Brewing Company in Norfolk opened its doors in 2012 and is now expanding its capacity by 75% to keep up with demand.

"It’s going pretty rapidly and really quickly," Head Brewer Greg Papp told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo.

The City of Norfolk considers attracting craft brew makers, an important part of their economic development plan.

City Council recently rezoned a property on Northhampton Blvd. owned by Norfolk to attract a brewery, brewpub or microbrewery.

Norfolk is also in the running to become the East Coast home for the California based Stone Brewing Company.

Another California-based brewery, Green Flash Brewing, is going to set up operations in Virginia Beach.

"I think the more the merrier. We all make different beers. We make different brews than all the other breweries and same with them. I think the diversity is really good," Papp commented.

You can learn more about the craft beer industry in Virginia by clicking here.