Local Breweries Helping the Economy

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- More money is making its way into the Valley and neighbors and owners alike credit local breweries for the increase.

"Everybody knows where Harrisonburg is, they just, you know, need a point to come in and try the different things that we have to offer especially when it comes to craft beers and stuff like that," said Liz Wilson, who lives in Harrisonburg and has seen the influence of breweries. "I guess it's really built up since the arrival of restaurants like Billy Jack's and Jack Brown's and especially with Capital Ale House."

Local brewers say when their businesses are successful more money stays local.

"People don't necessarily come into town to, from Vermont to go to Jack Brown's, but if they come to visit breweries, because that's what they like to do, you know, we can always recommend where they should go," said Adam Shifflett, a co-owners of Three Brothers Brewing.

Three Brothers Brewing Company alone generates tens of thousands of tax dollars.

The new bottling system at Three Brothers increases their production capacity by 20 fold, which in turn, means more money pumped into the local economy.

"The packaging was kind of our bottleneck," said Shifflett.

He said the goal is to bring in visitors from out of town.

"We're trying to work with the guys that are coming into Harrisonburg and putting in you know, a real brewery to make it a destination location," said Shifflett.

More breweries are coming.

Another brewery will open later this year in the old Cassco ice house complex.

Locals agree that local beer is a draw.

"I think it's a good attraction for people," said Wilson.

Eddie Bumbaugh with the Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance said there will be a tasting room opening in Urban Exchange and that the Midtown Market convenience store will soon open a bottle shop.

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