Steam Bell boosts Midlothian brewing space

Steam Bell is adding 3,000 square feet of production space to its Midlothian brewery. (Matt Lillard / Steam Bell)

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. — Ahead of opening a second taproom, a local brewery is beefing up its flagship facility in Chesterfield County.

Steam Bell Beer Works is adding 3,000 square feet of production space to its brewery at 1717 E. Oak Lake Blvd. in Midlothian.

The expansion will double the production capacity at the brewery, which siblings Brittany and Brad Cooper opened in summer 2015. It currently uses four 20-barrel tanks and is adding three 30-barrel tanks.

Brad Cooper said Steam Bell has been selling most of its beer out of its Midlothian taproom, but has signed with Brown Distributing. The increased capacity will help it expand on the wholesale side of the business.

“We’ve been kind of sporadic in distribution, just in the central Virginia market, because our capacity is so low,” he said. “We knew we wanted to make a push into the wholesale market.”

In addition to brewing volume, Brittany said, the new space will provide room for storing barrel-aged beers, some of which will be aged in an iconic Kentucky distiller’s barrels.

“We had the great fortune of meeting Julian Van Winkle (of Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery) and he gave us a few Pappy Van Winkle barrels,” she said.

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