By Randy Arrington
LURAY, May 13 — Many people today want to know where their food is grown. The move is toward fresh, free-range and farm-to-fork. At Hawksbill Brewing Company, they take the same approach to beer.
“The inspiration for Hawksbill Brewing Company originated in 2015 with the local farms of Page County. We set out with the goal of using local ingredients in our beers whenever we could, starting with hops grown in Luray, Virginia,” reads the local brewery’s website. “By the time of our grand opening in 2017, we had developed beers that also used local honey and blackberries, and we’re creating new recipes that feature local ag products all the time.”
On Friday afternoon — appropriately at 5 o’clock — local community leaders, patrons and even a few tourists gathered at the Luray brewery to celebrate its fifth anniversary.
“Congratulations on five years and many more years to come,” said Gina Hilliard, president of the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce. ” You guys have been a tremendous asset to the Town of Luray.”
Breweries have exploded across the Commonwealth over the past two decades, and what was once confined to dark alleyways in the form of a “speakeasy” are now sought after to help spur economic development, especially in downtown areas.
“Six years ago, I can remember a statement at the time…that not having a brewery is a missing piece of downtown,” Mayor Jerry Dofflemyer said. “Well, we have found that piece.”
Brewmaster David Sours said the key to local brewery’s success has been two-fold — an incredible staff, and the “one thing we do well”… represent the community. Sours touted the venue’s overwhelmingly positive reviews on various rating sites, such as Yelp, stating the brewery has evolved with the staff and created the “feeling of community” that tourists and local alike crave.
“I said five years ago this was going to be amazing,” Jackie Elliott, program director for the Luray Downtown Initiative, said. “I’m so glad to be right.”
Owner Jim Turner credited the brewery’s success to community partnerships, positive reviews on social media, tourist traffic, regular locals and a “totally dedicated staff.”
“It’s about all of those things,” Turner said.
The brewery features several beers on regular rotation. Pilot recipes and seasonal beers are frequently on tap as well, according to their website, and they use visitor feedback to decide which ones to promote to a full 5-barrel batch. To see their regular beer list, click HERE.
Utilizing the agricultural backdrop of Page County — the fourth-highest agricultural yielding county in Virginia — and the “community feel” of a tourist town that houses less than 5,000 but welcomes a million visitors a year, Hawksbill Brewing Company holds true to its beginnings by sticking to its roots.
“From the farm, to the kettle, to the keg, to the glass,” the brewery’s website states, “that’s why we say our beers are ‘grown here, brewed here!'”
Hawksbill Brewing Company is located at 22 Zerkel Street (just off East Main Street across from the firehouse). Summer hours begin May 23 and run from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 12 to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays. They will also be open on Memorial Day from 1 to 6 p.m. Reach them by phone at (540) 860-5608 or check our their WEBSITE or their Facebook page.