New Realm Brewing open in Virginia Beach

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Print this page By Michael O'Connor
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New Realm Brewing Company has opened in the former Green Flash Brewing Co. site.

A new realm has opened in Virginia Beach’s beer scene after a green flash fizzled out.

New Realm Brewing Co. opened in August at 1209 Craft Lane in Virginia Beach. The site was previously the short-lived East Coast location for the California-based Green Flash Brewing Company. Bob Powers, a New Realm co-founder, says expanding to Virginia Beach from Atlanta was enticing. 

“This was an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up,” Powers says.

New Realm had the winning private bid for Green Flash’s equipment and has leased the 58,000-square-foot location, Powers says. He would not say how much the winning bid was but said New Realm plans to invest millions in the Virginia Beach brewery. Powers said Virginia Beach and New Realm didn’t enter into any incentive agreements.

The Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development worked on marketing efforts with the owner of the brewery location, The Miller Group, to attract New Realm to Virginia Beach, said Michelle Chapleau in an email. Chapleau is a business development coordinator with the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development. 

"New Realm is going to add significant capital investment to the facility," Chapleau said. "Virginia Beach anticipates increased revenues from real estate taxes and sales taxes."

New Realm’s Virginia Beach location can make up to 40,000 barrels annually. It has a tasting room with 15 different beers on tap and a 44,000-square-foot outdoor beer garden. A 400-seat restaurant is planned to open in early 2019. Beginning Thursday, festivities are being held to celebrate the opening at Virginia Beach.

The Virginia Beach brewery opened under the Green Flash banner in 2016 and closed 16 months later. Observers said at the time that expanding too quickly can be risky for craft beer makers. Powers says New Realm’s business model is to be a southeastern brewer without growing too fast.

“We don’t really have national aspirations,” Powers says. “Unless we have a facility on the ground, we won’t go into the market.”

Powers, Carey Falcone and Mitch Steel formed New Realm in 2016 in Atlanta, where the company has a 20,000-square-foot operation.

New Realm has entered a distribution agreement with Hoffman Beverage to get its beers in bars, restaurants and retailers around Southside Hampton Roads. Based in Chesapeake, Hoffman Beverage’s craft beer portfolio includes Bold Rock Hard Cider and Devils Backbone Brewing Co.

Powers says in the next year or two New Realm will work on establishing its brand around Virginia.

“We’ll expand around this state when it’s the right time,” Powers says. “It’s building brands the right way – one pint at a time.”

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