Fri Oct 6

Bolstering the Brewery

Three of the four new 20-barrel fermentation vessels.

By Katherine Hensley

Stable Craft Brewing expects to triple beer production once its brewery expansion is complete.

Stable Craft is building a four-story warehouse and barrel-aging room on its property in Waynesboro, Va, as well as adding new brewing equipment. The physical expansion started on August 24 and is a result of a need for more fermentation vessels to keep up with the demand for Stable Craft beers.

The expansion is partially funded by a $15,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund that was approved by Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Augusta County, where the brewery is located, has matched the state grant with local funds. Private funds are also being utilized.

The brewery’s equipment prior to the expansion included six 10-barrel fermentation vessels and one 10-barrel bright tank, according to Chris Fann, Stable Craft’s head brewer. Four 20-barrel fermentation vessels, one 20-barrel bright tank and a bottling line have already been added to the brewery as part of the expansion.

Stable Craft Brewing’s new bottling line produces about 20 bottles per minute.

Right now, theoretically, we are putting out 60 to 80 barrels a month on the existing system, Fann said. We will be able to triple that after the expansion, he added.

The new barrel-aging room that is in the process of being added will hold about 50 53-gallon barrels at one time. Fann particularly enjoys barrel-aging beer and is looking forward to increasing Stable Craft’s capacity to do so.

I like the different flavor profiles from experimenting with the different types of wood, Fann said. He views it as a creative outlet and a viable opportunity for the brewery considering barrel-aging beer is a relatively new venture for the craft beer industry.

The new equipment and increased space will, ultimately, allow Stable Craft to add variety in its tasting room while maintaining its 16 taps that are currently available.

The equipment will also allow the brewery to add soda production to its reservoir of offerings. Stable Craft’s current goal is to bottle soda by the end of the year and, in due time, offer two to four taps of soda in the tasting room, in addition to the beer taps, Fann said.

Britchin’ Brown labels are ready to go on the new bottling line.


The current expansion is projected to be complete by this Christmas, according to Craig Nargi, Stable Craft Brewing’s owner and operations director. But expanding the business is no new feat to Nargi.

Nargi purchased the property with his wife Nikki in 2006 and has been developing it into the successful wedding venue, agri-pub and brewery it is today ever since. The latest addition of a warehouse and new brewing equipment is just the most recent measure of accomplishment for the duo.