Region’s newest brewery, Brainstorm Brewhouse, opens within Scott’s Addition meadery

brainstorm brewhouse Cropped

Darryl Puller, Bill Cavender and CM Bryant. (Courtesy Brainstorm Brewing)

Some spare space at a local meadery has led to the region’s newest brewery.

Brainstorm Brewhouse recently opened within Black Heath Meadery’s building at 1313 Altamont Ave. in Scott’s Addition.

The new brewery is a joint venture between Black Heath owner Bill Cavender, CM Bryant and Darryl Puller. 

Bryant and Puller had previously been involved with Capsoul Brewing Collective, a local contract brewery that last year launched a crowdfunding campaign as it searched for a brick-and-mortar spot.

No longer part of Capsoul’s efforts, Bryant and Puller were still interested in a brewery venture and said they got to know Cavender through the local beer world. Cavender, who founded Black Heath in 2015, said it was at the bar at The Answer Brewpub last year that he ran into Puller and the seeds of Brainstorm were planted. 

“We sat and chatted for a while and we came up with the idea for Black Heath to bring on this beer project,” said Cavender said. “We decided to work together to expand Black Heath and bring on this new vision for Brainstorm.”

“The puzzle pieces fit together so well,” Puller added. 

Bryant, who got into the beer industry by hosting beer-share events, said Cavender and Puller approached him with the Brainstorm idea not long after he left Capsoul. 

“I’d decided that it was time to part ways (from Capsoul) and it just so happened that Bill and Darryl had this awesome conversation about blending mead and beer together, and decided to bring me into it,” Bryant said. “I was like, ‘This is a wonderful opportunity. Yes, sign me up.’” 

brainstorm brewhouse beer

Brainstorm’s initial lineup includes a chocolate lager, honey lager and double IPA.

While Brainstorm’s beer is available on draught at Black Heath’s Scott’s Addition taproom, the group set up Brainstorm’s brewing operations at Black Heath’s nearby Dabney Road production facility, where Cavender said he had some extra space. 

“As a business, if you’re paying the rent for a big space and you’re not using it, it gets pretty expensive over time. So I was looking for opportunities to do something different, whether that was bringing in a soda company or a kombucha company,” Cavender said. “I had been knocking ideas around and then this fell in my lap.”

Brainstorm’s three-barrel brewing rig allows Puller and Brainstorm to get creative with beers, and there’s already been some cross-pollination with Black Heath’s mead, which is made with fermented honey. One of Brainstorm’s initial brews is Buzz Worthy, a honey lager, along with a chocolate lager and double IPA. Puller said the stouts he’s brewed over the years have been well-received and that he’s planning to add some darker beers to Brainstorm’s lineup in the future. 

The trio said they’d like to eventually get into packaging Brainstorm’s beer for distribution to a few restaurants around town, but in the near term they’re focusing on the beer itself. 

“That’s always been my thing from the very beginning: start small and let the beer build the business,” Puller said. 

Brainstorm held a soft opening in Scott’s Addition last week, and is planning a grand opening for later in the summer. 

Another local meadery, Funktastic Meads, also recently got into the beer game. The Midlothian meadery added beer by way of contract brewing agreements with some local and out-of-town breweries. 

Also new to Scott’s Addition brewery scene is Satellite, a spinoff spot from Kindred Spirit Brewing that opened in the former Castleburg Brewery space on Ownby Lane. 

brainstorm brewhouse Cropped

Darryl Puller, Bill Cavender and CM Bryant. (Courtesy Brainstorm Brewing)

Some spare space at a local meadery has led to the region’s newest brewery.

Brainstorm Brewhouse recently opened within Black Heath Meadery’s building at 1313 Altamont Ave. in Scott’s Addition.

The new brewery is a joint venture between Black Heath owner Bill Cavender, CM Bryant and Darryl Puller. 

Bryant and Puller had previously been involved with Capsoul Brewing Collective, a local contract brewery that last year launched a crowdfunding campaign as it searched for a brick-and-mortar spot.

No longer part of Capsoul’s efforts, Bryant and Puller were still interested in a brewery venture and said they got to know Cavender through the local beer world. Cavender, who founded Black Heath in 2015, said it was at the bar at The Answer Brewpub last year that he ran into Puller and the seeds of Brainstorm were planted. 

“We sat and chatted for a while and we came up with the idea for Black Heath to bring on this beer project,” said Cavender said. “We decided to work together to expand Black Heath and bring on this new vision for Brainstorm.”

“The puzzle pieces fit together so well,” Puller added. 

Bryant, who got into the beer industry by hosting beer-share events, said Cavender and Puller approached him with the Brainstorm idea not long after he left Capsoul. 

“I’d decided that it was time to part ways (from Capsoul) and it just so happened that Bill and Darryl had this awesome conversation about blending mead and beer together, and decided to bring me into it,” Bryant said. “I was like, ‘This is a wonderful opportunity. Yes, sign me up.’” 

brainstorm brewhouse beer

Brainstorm’s initial lineup includes a chocolate lager, honey lager and double IPA.

While Brainstorm’s beer is available on draught at Black Heath’s Scott’s Addition taproom, the group set up Brainstorm’s brewing operations at Black Heath’s nearby Dabney Road production facility, where Cavender said he had some extra space. 

“As a business, if you’re paying the rent for a big space and you’re not using it, it gets pretty expensive over time. So I was looking for opportunities to do something different, whether that was bringing in a soda company or a kombucha company,” Cavender said. “I had been knocking ideas around and then this fell in my lap.”

Brainstorm’s three-barrel brewing rig allows Puller and Brainstorm to get creative with beers, and there’s already been some cross-pollination with Black Heath’s mead, which is made with fermented honey. One of Brainstorm’s initial brews is Buzz Worthy, a honey lager, along with a chocolate lager and double IPA. Puller said the stouts he’s brewed over the years have been well-received and that he’s planning to add some darker beers to Brainstorm’s lineup in the future. 

The trio said they’d like to eventually get into packaging Brainstorm’s beer for distribution to a few restaurants around town, but in the near term they’re focusing on the beer itself. 

“That’s always been my thing from the very beginning: start small and let the beer build the business,” Puller said. 

Brainstorm held a soft opening in Scott’s Addition last week, and is planning a grand opening for later in the summer. 

Another local meadery, Funktastic Meads, also recently got into the beer game. The Midlothian meadery added beer by way of contract brewing agreements with some local and out-of-town breweries. 

Also new to Scott’s Addition brewery scene is Satellite, a spinoff spot from Kindred Spirit Brewing that opened in the former Castleburg Brewery space on Ownby Lane. 

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Stephen Varvel
Stephen Varvel
29 days ago

Fantastic – congrats guys, I look forward to getting down there and trying some!

Shawn Harper
Shawn Harper
28 days ago

Sounds like great beers!

Kombucha might be a good business idea! I tried some at Ellwood Thompson by a Charlottesville area producer and they had some interesting varieties and a Richmond one might get some interest.