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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Small brewery opening in Ladysmith

The founder of the Virginia Barbeque restaurant chain is opening a small brewery in the Ladysmith area of Caroline County.

Rusty Beaver Brewery will be in a 1,000-square-foot space at 18043 Jefferson Davis Highway. That used to be a location for Virginia Barbeque, which Spotsylvania County resident Rick Ivey owns with his wife.

Last year Ivey converted the Ladysmith location into a business called Hops Brew Shop, which sells home-brewing supplies. Ivey and his son, Austin, for the past couple of years have been brewing beer at their 20-acre farm in the Beaverdam area (hence the name Rusty Beaver Brewery). They opened the business to service the growing hobby.

The Iveys will continue to sell home-brewing supplies at the Ladysmith store, but most of the space will be transformed into a small brewing operation. They plan to brew five different beers (see below).

The Iveys plan to brew beer there a couple of days a week and be open to the public for growler fills and beers by the glass four or five days a week (perhaps Wednesday through Sunday). They will serve a few menu items — probably including Virginia Barbecue sandwiches, chips and hot dogs — during hours that are open to the public.

Ivey thinks Rusty Beaver Brewery will open within 60 days. Austin Ivey will run the operation. They hope to get a sign on Interstate 95 near the Ladysmith exit pointing people there. At some point they may expand into a bigger space.

Hops used in the brewing will come from the Iveys’ nearby farm, where they would like to someday offer wedding receptions and other special events. Ivey hopes to be distributing Rusty Beaver Brewery products to bars within six months.

What they’ll brew

Here is a list and description from Rick Ivey of the beers that he and his son plan to brew and serve at Rusty Beaver Brewery:

  • Smashed Bastard (alcohol by volume, 5.2): Named for single-malt and single-hop brews (smash). Brewed with two-row barley malt and German Hallertau hops for an easy-drinking beer that works for the common Bud man.
  • Buck Tooth “Big Bite” IPA (ABV, 6.5): A classic IPA with fruity aroma and a bitter finish. Brewed with pale and caramel malt. The hop bill includes Citra, Galaxy, Green Bullet and Crystal.
  • Old Dominion Brown Ale (ABV, 5.7): A rich brown ale with deep chocolate tones, two-row malt, Belgium chocolate malt and caramel 40L malt with Cascade and Northern Brewer hops.
  • The Quake Stout (ABV, 9.9): Named for the Louisa quake during which the Iveys envisioned their brewery. Includes English Muntons pale malt, black and chocolate malt with a hop bill of Magnum, Summit and a little Willamette at the finish.
  • Zen (ABV, 7.5): Quake Stout and Smashed Bastard brew mixed (black and tan style) to a yin and yang perfection. The Iveys’ favorite.