Citing a slowdown in the craft beer industry, a local brewery is looking for more time to hold up its end of a 2017 economic development deal.
The Goochland County Board of Supervisors voted last week to extend the deadline for Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery to complete a $14 million expansion at its headquarters at 4100 Knolls Point Drive.
In 2017, then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that Lickinghole would receive more than $500,000 in state and local grants and tax reimbursements to help fund the expansion. The deal included a performance agreement requiring Lickinghole to add 36 jobs, spend $12 million on the expansion and purchase $449,000 of Virginia-grown products.
The deadline to complete the expansion was set for the end of this month, before Lickinghole requested a 15-month extension.
“Due to the economic downturn in the craft brewery industry, Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery will not be able to meet the original performance date,” the county ordinance reads.
The new requested deadline is the end of November 2021. Supervisors approved a request to amend the performance agreement, and the county’s Economic Development Authority is now scheduled to vote on it at its Aug. 19 meeting.
The status of Lickinghole’s expansion is unclear. CEO Lisa Pumphrey wasn’t available for comment by press time. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Goochland County previously confirmed that the government funds were distributed to Lickinghole in 2017.
The amendment to the agreement also adds a paragraph that states Lickinghole must provide annual progress reports of their investments to the county and EDA through December 2024.
In the original agreement, Lickinghole agreed to open a taproom in Lynchburg, but changed course shortly after and decided to open a location in Shockoe Bottom. The brewery closed that location earlier this year.
Lickinghole wasn’t the only local brewery to be incentivized to do more business in Goochland. Hardywood Park Craft Brewery received $1 million in grants from the state and county to help fund its $28 million West Creek production facility, which was completed in 2018.