WARRENTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe traveled today to Warrenton to announce state-backed support for four economic development projects, including Wort Hog Brewing Company’s plan to build a microbrewery in Old Town Warrenton.
Warrenton and Wort Hog teamed up to secure a $600,000 loan from Virginia’s Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) program, which backs redevelopment projects aligned with local economic development goals. The low-cost loan, made directly from the commonwealth to Wort Hog, will jump-start the brewer’s plans to turn a one-block section in the center of town into a brewery and pub.
"The redevelopment of this property is key to the revitalization of this historic downtown that boasts so many unique restaurants and other tourist assets,” said Gov. McAuliffe. “It will help the region continue to attract more businesses and more visitors."
Projects vying for the grants were evaluated competitively, with an emphasis on several factors, including bolstering economic development efforts and aligning with regional or local strategies.
“This is going to help continue to revitalize Old Town Warrenton. We already have great restaurants and shops, and this is going to bring more of them,” said Warrenton Mayor Powell Duggan. “We’re very excited to have Wort Hog here. These types of projects are what we want to see in making Warrenton the place to be.”
Wort Hog co-owners Cris Bezdek, Matt Lutz, and Louis Oliva cited the town’s commitment as a major driver in both its decision and landing the IRF funding.
“Warrenton has been aggressive in demonstrating its commitment to our vision,” Lutz explained.
“The IRF loan will help us get to where we want to be even sooner than planned, and we couldn’t have landed it without the town’s support,” Bezdek added.
Wort Hog’s plans include converting two buildings into a brewery and pub. The group plans to invest $1.4 million over the next several years. The pub is expected to open in August 2016.
Warrenton launched its new economic development efforts in February 2015, setting up its first dedicated economic development office in over a decade and partnering with Fauquier County’s existing economic development office. The unified town/county approach to economic development helped secure Wort Hog’s commitment.