Stone Brewery project construction, funding is ‘right on schedule’

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Beer lovers are celebrating a big day for the Stone Brewery project in Richmond. New, $2.5 million worth of equipment from Germany has arrived in the Port of Richmond.

“They were dropped here by tugboat at the sugar pad, off loaded by trucks and they’ll be set in place by these cranes you see behind me,” said Senior Construction Project Manager Randy Pruitt Wednesday at the site of the Stone Brewery on Williamsburg Avenue.

In total there were 20 tanks — vessels for fermenting and bright beer tanks, which is where the beer goes before it’s packaged.

“These 12 will hold four brews from our brew house, and we already put eight that are already in the building for single brews,” said Pruitt.

Richmond City Council approved to issue $23 million in bonds to pay for Phase 1 of the project. City officials said Wednesday there was some confusion over the city’s ability to issue those bonds. Reports said the city wasn’t allowed until the 2014 financial report got released. That came out earlier this week,10 months after it was due.

“This project is not affected by that report. This project is on time, on schedule, moving forward, hitting the milestones as planned,” said Lee Downey with the city’s Planning and Economic Development.

Downey says city leaders will issue those bonds when they feel it’s necessary.

“We’re using capital funds now that were available to us already,” he said.

The project has been well underway, but this shipment marks a big step forward for Stone and Richmond.

“We lost a week with the hurricane and the storm and the rain but overall we’re right on schedule,” said Pruitt.

Trucks will be carrying those tanks until 5 p.m. Thursday. The city issued a traffic advisory as the 3100 block of Wharf Street will be closed at times throughout the day.

Stone reps say the plan is to have the first beer brewed in April.

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