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Rockbridge Vineyard moves into beer

Published: Oct. 22, 2020 at 5:58 PM EDT
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RAPHINE, Va. (WDBJ) - People have been coming to Rockbridge Vineyards for wine for around thirty years.

“I mean, I can’t count how many times, in my brief times working in the tasting room, that people have said: Man, I wish you guys had something besides wine. I don’t like wine," said Parke Rouse. "So, now we do.”

Beer. Four kinds right now, available in the newly-expanded tasting room.

“Built almost all of it ourselves," Rouse explained. "That was a fun project for someone who doesn’t like doing construction and doesn’t really like heights, being on top of a 27-foot roof.”

But now they have tanks fermenting beer to go to the kegs back under the tasting room.

“It’s a completely different ball game,” said beer consultant April Anderson.

Family friend Anderson had already done some work for Devils Backbone, so while Rouse had some experience with home-brewing, he decided to call in the pro.

“Obviously, anything that you do, you want to do well," she said. "But my main focus, aside from doing well, was to be the advocate to Parke that he needed, to make sure that his vision of starting a brewery and connecting the cohesive property with the winery that’s already established, just to make it the most successful it possibly could.”

And it’s a success with the winery’s founder, Rouse’s Dad, who agrees with the old saying.

“Which is: It takes a lot of beer to make good wine," Rouse said. "When you get off work, off a long day of harvest, you don’t want to go home and drink wine. You’re going to knock a few light, cold beers.”

And now he doesn’t even have to go to the store.

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