New Brewery Coming Soon to Crozet

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The new Pro Re Natter Brewery is moving into the former Moose Lodge on Route 250 in Crozet.
The new Pro Re Natter Brewery is moving into the former Moose Lodge on Route 250 in Crozet.

Crozet’s emergence as a tourist entrepot will advance another step later this summer when Pro Re Nata Brewery opens in the former Moose Lodge on Rt. 250 close by the Interstate 64 interchange.

Crozet dentist Dr. John Schoeb, joined by two other investors, bought the 3.2-acre Moose Lodge property, which has agricultural zoning, thinking it might work as a boarding kennel. But it turned out that use wouldn’t meet minimum sound distances. Then new state laws meant to stimulate farm enterprise came along. Now they are planting hops instead and transforming the lodge, which came into the world as a truck repair shop, into a small-scale brewery.

“The name Pro Re Nata, or PRN, is a Latin term we use in medicine when we write prescriptions for pain medication,” explained Schoeb. “I would write it like this: Take one or two Percocet every six hours PRN dental pain. So it means ‘as needed.’ So come to the brewery ‘as needed’ for relief.”

Word of the brewery has been creeping around and Schoeb said his patients have asked him about it. “People are ecstatic about it,” he said. “I have patients who were in the Moose Lodge and they are thrilled.”

He is being closely advised by a Charlottesville-area brewery on the art, science and business of brewing, but Schoeb said they preferred to stay in the background and he declined to name them, referring to them only as “well-known and very willing to help. They are overseeing production for quality.” He credited them with invaluable help in production design.

“We’re going to be a ‘green’ brewery,” said Schoeb. PRN has a well and septic system. Beer production will go into a separate waste system and the used grains will go to farmers as stock feed.

The brewery is expecting to produce 1,200 barrels of beer a year, or 2,400 kegs. It is limited to 15,000 barrels per year by law, he said.

Schoeb said he expects to hire eight to 10 employees to start ,and he will split time between his dental practice, Crozet Blue Ridge Dental, which is large, and the brewery.

Twenty dumpster loads came out in the demolition of the exterior and interior of the 5,000 square-foot block shell, Schoeb said.

“The structure is good and we kept the footprint. We’re just fixing it up,” he said.

The new exterior will “play off the board-and-batten barn across the road. It will have a standing seam metal roof, too.”

John Schoeb
John Schoeb

Inside, half of what was the Mooses’ dining room—and was previously the truck shop’s service floor—will become the brewery operation, a seven-barrel system with 14 stainless steel tanks, all being custom-made. High ceilings designed for trucks allow plenty of height for brewery vessels. The building is getting insulation (it had none) and the 15 large windows in the original construction, from the day when one hoped for a breeze to get cool, will be reinstalled.

Picking up on its history, two truck-size glass bay doors, like those on the Crozet firehouse, will be on the building’s front and rear walls.

“The bonded area—the untaxed stage—will be fenced off,” said Schoeb. “It will be open so you can watch the brewing process. Our total seating will be 200.”

The other half of high-ceilinged space will have tables, a spot for a small stage, and along the front wall, the highway side, there will be a L-shaped bar with 35 seats. Given Crozet’s affection for its history, the Moose Lodge’s road sign is coming inside and getting lit up to hang over it. They will start with six taps at the bar. “That’s six beers on day one,” said Schoeb.

“We’re going for a higher-end look,” he said. “We want it to be ridiculously cool.”

In the building’s remaining half, what had been a spacious kitchen and lobby is now a large, bright seating area with panoramic views of the Blue Ridge, plus bathrooms and office space toward the rear. It can be closed off from the production area by large barn doors on tracks and will be available for private parties. Outside will be a large patio seating 50 and a fire pit with shrubbery screening off the road.

The brewery won’t have a kitchen. It will have a food truck it owns and operates in the parking lot.

Hops will be grown on the back of the property and along the 100-space parking lot. The rear will also have a large lawn for kids to run on. There is enough room to enlarge the brewery at some point.

Schoeb said 15,000 cars a day presently pass the location, now sure to be another Crozet stop on the Brew Ridge Trail.

Rendering of the new brewery design. Renovations of the former Moose Lodge building are expected to be complete later this summer.
Rendering of the new brewery design. Renovations of the former Moose Lodge building are expected to be complete later this summer.

36 COMMENTS

    • More none,
      We are trying to create a great use for the old Moose Lodge. We are working with a world class brewer and are planning on having great beer in a really great environment. Please bring your dog to the brewery.

  1. This sounds like a great option for Crozet. I love the idea of outdoor seating and an opportunity to drink great beer. Can’t wait for it to open!

  2. Crozet already has a world class brewery. I guess if you want to have mediocre liquid in an outdoor setting this will do.

    • Teddy I’m glad you are so open minded! We are working with a world class brewer to provide quality. Keep an open mind I know it’s hard

    • For many years Richmond had Legend brewing and they were quite successful. I see no one complaining about having Hardywood, Ardent, Isley, Triple Crossing, etc. around now as well.

      • Beer Monkey
        Thanks for your insight. We do have a great brewery in Star Hill. I have been there many times. Variety and another place to enjoy great beer is what we are working towards. If there was only one restaurant in Crozet people would going out of the area to eat. Lucky for us that live here we have many good places to eat here close to home.

  3. Looking forward to the new brewery. Convenienly off of 64/250, it’ll be perfect for that much needed after work beer. Can’t wait to see the views of the Blue Ridge from the front Biergarten.

    • nkkdhiker
      Thanks for your comments. I love to hike the trails around our beautiful community. Hope to see you at the brewery. Please come and introduce yourself.

  4. John, great job and I know it will be a success. Not many people understand how much time and effort and risk go into what you are doing, even to get to this point. I look forward to having the brew that your people make! Great job!

    • David
      Coming for you that says a lot. The lodge is a great benefit for Crozet and the residents are extremely well taken care of and happy.

  5. This is a great idea, providing jobs to the people of Crozet, and dining options for residents as well. There is no need for calling the product mediocre before it has been produced.

    • Brian
      Thanks for your comments. Its a great site with with incredible views. Look forward to having you come over.

  6. quid magnum est praeter haec! I’ve been most impressed with the collaborative spirit and mutual support shown among the local breweries – and most craft brewers in general…sounds like this will be another example. congrats on leaping numerous hurdles already to get to this point (no small feat in Albemarle County!) and it will be exciting to follow the development of PRN in the coming months. looking forward to your opening and seeing what you have to offer!

  7. I can’t wait for this to open in Crozet! What a great local and tourist opportunity! I’m about to graduate from college in Hospitalty Management and I love seeing my little town I grew up in flourish. By the way! If you ever decide to hire management I’m your girl Dr. Schoeb!

  8. I’ve been driving past your location for 30 years to and from work.
    Good luck with this great venture!
    Most of the micro breweries around seem to concentrate on brewing pale ales and India pale ales. For folks who prefer their brews to be not too hoppy..it will be great if you have a good selection of alternative brews.

    • Peter
      Thanks for your comment. We are going to have a broad range of beer styles. You are not the only person who wants less hoppy beer. So many people have told me that. We are going to have a lot of light , drinkable less filling beers. Also our beer is going to be freezing cold !

  9. I think it is a great idea in a perfect location! I also love that it is close to home and a fun spot to visit without having to go back to town! What type of job opportunities will be available and when will hiring begin?
    Thanks!

    • Tina
      Thanks for the post. We are looking forward to opening this summer and we are having a great time meeting new people who are interested in breweries. We will post job openings soon. Please apply.

    • David
      I would be happy to speak with you about our project. Call my office manager Melissa 823-2385 and she will get me if I am not with a patient. I look forward to speaking with you.

  10. Dr. schoeb, We cannot wait! I think you hit the jackpot with the location. I wish you were also serving food, but the food trucks will have to suffice. It is not often that I can tell my co-workers that my dentist is also a brew master! We wish you much success, and we cannot wait to support you and other Crozet businesses in the area.

    Crozet resident since May, 2010.

    Regards,
    Alex

    • Alexander
      We are going to have a full service food trailer. It is a forty foot stainless steel gourmet kitchen! The chefs we have interviewed said its nicer than the restaurants kitchens they work in. We are working on a full menu and really plan to have a great set up. Thanks for the interest.
      John Schoeb

  11. I am so excited and can’t wait to the end result. I live right by there and would love an opportunity to talk with you. When will the brewery be opening?

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