~ Ragged Branch Distillery to Open Craft Spirits Production, Creating Four New Jobs ~
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that Ragged Branch Distillery will invest $225,000 in Albemarle County to open a craft spirits production operation, which will source 100% of its grain from Virginia producers, and create four new jobs over the next three years. The Commonwealth is partnering with Albemarle County and Ragged Branch Distillery on this project through the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund.
“Ragged Branch Distillery will be an economic driver for tourism, agriculture and manufacturing in Albemarle County,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “Building a new Virginia economy means growing new businesses that create jobs and opportunity across economic sectors. The craft distilled spirits industry is thriving in our Commonwealth and I am proud to contribute to its success, both as Governor and as a customer.”
“Opening a new distillery located on a farm is indicative of the direct connection between our craft beverage makers and their agricultural inputs,” said Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Basil Gooden. “Ragged Branch Distillery’s continued investment in Albemarle County represents the company’s commitment to the region and to Virginia’s grain producers, who are successfully marketing their Virginia-grown inputs to the craft beer and distilled spirit industries.”
Governor McAuliffe approved a $17,000 grant from the AFID Fund to assist with the project, which Albemarle County is matching with local funds. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) administers the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund.
“I want to thank Governor McAuliffe, the Commonwealth of Virginia, Secretary Gooden, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and Albemarle County for this generous grant,” said Ragged Branch Distillery Partner Alex Toomy. “We are firmly committed to Albemarle County as the ideal location to produce our Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey from locally sourced crops. Albemarle County, and Virginia at large, are important partners in our effort to produce an authentic Virginia product that, we hope, will be a source of pride for the area for years to come.”
“On behalf of the County, I want to express our appreciation to the Governor’s Office for supporting this exciting new enterprise in Albemarle County that demonstrates the importance of small scale, compatible agricultural businesses to our thriving rural areas,” said Albemarle County Board of Supervisor Member Dr. Elizabeth Palmer. “I also want to congratulate Alex Toomy, Chris Sarpy, and Russell Nance on achieving this important milestone and thank them for choosing our county as the home of their distillery.”
Senator Creigh Deeds said, “This is what rural economic development looks like: a few jobs at a time, utilizing local expertise and raw materials. This is a win for Albemarle County and for Virginia agriculture.”
“I am really glad to see a company that is using agricultural products to produce a good that we can use here in Virginia,” added Delegate Matt Fariss.