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Brewery offers sneak peek

Third Street Brewing Co. held a sneak peek Saturday that included beer tasting for investors and their guests — drawing a large gathering from the community.

According to John Dudley, one of the brewery’s founders, the company has close to 40 local investors.

The brewery project — which is located at 312 W. Third Street in Farmville on the ground floor of the High Bridge Lofts — began renovation on what used to be the Southern States Building about one year ago.

“People who have put in various amounts of money,” Dudley said regarding the investors. “You know people, we have people who work at the local colleges and universities, we have people who work at the town, business owners who say, ‘We think that’s interesting and we want to put in something — we can’t put in a lot, but we want to put in something to be supportive.’”

Dudley said the brewery could have a grand opening “probably in September sometime.”

“A lot of it depends on the building, when the renovation is complete and also when our (Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control) licensing is complete,” Dudley said. “We’re shooting for August, but it’s looking like September.”

He said the brewery’s founders and staff were excited to open as soon as they could.

“We think that we put together a beautiful space … We’re really excited about what’s been going on,” Dudley said. “Every event that we have had we’ve gotten more excited about the potential for this business and for what it could do for the community too.”

He cited some who attended the sneak peek who didn’t know each other meeting for the first time, noting that aspect of the event was fun for him.

“When you live in a small town it’s easy to think that you know everybody,” Dudley said. “…But you come here and meet all new people.”

He said businesses in the area were excited for how they, and the brewery, could have a mutually-beneficial relationship.

In one section of the brewery, Dudley said there will be a bar space, and some long farmhouse type of tables that could facilitate communal conversations.

“If you have a table for two, you come in with your guest and you sit and have your own conversation, which can be great,” Dudley said. “But it’s nice to also for you to sort of be forced to sit to people you don’t know, to share some space with some other people and we hope to foster some friendships and some acquaintances.”

He said the other section of the brewery, where the entrance is located, will have couches and comfortable chairs where people can “really maybe have some time for themselves or conversation with a certain person.”

Regarding the building, Dudley said it has been “wild to see this transformation.”

“A year and a half ago you walk into this room and you think, ‘Wow, OK. It’s cool looking but how are we going to make it work?’” Dudley said.

Investor Dan Dwyer said he’d been an investor for a week but had seen the progression from the beginning of the venture.

“You’re investing in two things: you’re investing in this business and you’re investing in the community,” Dwyer said, citing he wasn’t speaking in his capacity as a member of the Farmville Town Council. “It’s marvelous; it’s putting people to work. This is going on in every other place and Farmville’s the hub. …”