Danville business combines winery and brewery
- July 30, 2014
Craft beer lovers consumed half of the beer Julie Brown and her husband, Ethan, made for the May opening weekend of their new 2 Witches Winery and Brewing Co. Inc. in Danville. Now the couple is “trying to ramp up our beer production,” says Julie Brown, adding that the beers consumed included everything from an IPA named the Witching Hour to a stout called the Mother of All Witches.
The Browns came up with the idea of co-locating a winery and brewery after visiting breweries and urban wineries in North Carolina. “We started wondering if we could combine a brewery and a winery and use the same equipment,” she says.
Brown has access to her parents’ 2 Witches Vineyard in Pittsylvania County — a name that reflects a Halloween photo of Brown and her sister in witch costumes when they were young. The vineyard processed both white and red wine last fall. Brown hopes to serve a few varieties of white wine — Vidal Blanc, Traminette and a blend of the two — soon. “We probably won’t release the reds until winter,” she says, noting that the red wines are aged in American oak barrels.
The couple has been using a small one-barrel brew system to make the beer they now offer. “We will have one release each month,” Brown says. “So far we have made eight different styles. We want to have six varieties on tap at all times.”
They will provide tastings of wine and beer as well as flights of beer at the winery and brewery. “We can sell a bottle of wine and you can consume it onsite or offsite,” she says. “The only offsite offering of beer is a 64-ounce growler you can take home.” They also hope to provide craft beer to the Danville market.
She would like to grow both grapes and hops in Danville on the couple’s two-acre business site on the Dan River. “We will probably start the hops farm next February or March,” she says. “We are looking at research from North Carolina State to find out what varieties will grow here.”
The couple plans to add al fresco seating at the winery and brewing company. The site also will host weddings and private functions. Currently, the couple is not offering food at 2 Witches, “but we have a food truck that comes on site and we will probably do more of that,” Brown says.