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New craft bourbon distillery is a first for Newport News

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Posted at 12:50 PM, Jul 01, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-01 12:50:10-04

Newport News, Va. – The Commonwealth and the City of Newport News are welcoming a new craft bourbon distillery — the first of its kind in the city, that will source 100 percent of its corn, wheat, and rye needs from Virginia agricultural producers.

Ironclad Distillery officially began distilling in June along the waterfront in revitalized downtown Newport News. The company’s signature product is small batch Virginia Bourbon aged in 15-gallon barrels.

The distillery and the city of Newport News have been awarded a $12,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund that will help them continue to use Virginia-grown products in the production of their small-batch bourbon.

“With award-winning corn and grains from Renwood Farm in Charles City County, the generous support of the Commonwealth and the City of Newport News, and our unique downtown location engulfed in the brackish air sweeping off the James River, my family and I are very proud to be making a bourbon with a distinctly Virginia flavor,” says Ironclad’s President and CFO Stephen King.

Ironclad is committing to purchase more than 675,000 pounds of Virginia corn, wheat, and rye over three years.

“Today’s announcement is an excellent example of the important role that our diverse agricultural economy can and will play in building the new Virginia economy. This AFID grant to Newport News leverages agriculture to bring together multiple aspects of economic development –  entrepreneurship, manufacturing, tourism, and community revitalization – in one operation.  Projects like these strengthen these important sectors of the Commonwealth’s economy and enhance Virginia’s reputation as a world-class spirts, wine, cider, and craft beer producer,” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

The first public batches of bourbon from Ironclad aren’t available just yet. In the meantime, you can check out their Facebook page for updates!