Nelson Supervisors Approve New Brewery in Nellysford

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The Rockfish Gap overlook on Route 250 was renovated last fall. Scenic viewfinder binoculars and signage are coming soon.

The Nelson County Board of Supervisors approved two Special Use Permits at its first meeting in January, one for a new brewery in Nellysford and the second to allow extended-stay camping at Devil’s Backbone Brewery south of Nellysford. 

The proposed Wintergreen Brewery received a unanimous approval on the request by Frederick Phillips, owner of the property at 2188 Rockfish Valley Highway. The building was formerly the Wintergreen Market, next to Ace Hardware and the Blue Ridge Pig. 

The brewery’s regular production is anticipated to be three 5-gallon batches. Seating will be limited to 12, with an expected average of 25 customers daily. 

The Special Use Permit required for Extended Stay Camping at Devil’s Backbone Basecamp on Beech Grove Road was approved on a 3-1 vote. Central District representative Ernie Reed voted no, saying, “In the absence of an updated Comprehensive Plan, which is so terribly needed, the county does not have any direction on specific zoning for extended stay campgrounds.  Also, many people in my district have contacted me on this issue and are concerned that an extended stay campground could become a haven for pipeline workers—and all the problems that may accompany them, especially adjacent to a brewery—in the event that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline should begin construction in the county.”

Clair Richardson, director of the Nelson County Parks and Recreation Department, said the overlook on Rt. 250 at Rockfish Gap was graded and landscaped last fall, with two ADA-approved picnic tables added, and coming next are scenic viewfinder binoculars and helpful signage.

The meeting was the first for new supervisors David Parr, representing the West District, and Robert “Skip” Barton, South District, who was absent due to illness. The board reorganized with Tommy Harvey, North District, elected as chair and Ernie Reed as vice-chair. 

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