Brew News

Center of the Universe Brewing Company expands to Tidewater.


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The wild beer ride continues. Carytown’s Garden Grove Brewery will be the 100th brewery in Virginia when it opens, and today, Ashland’s Center of the Universe Brewing Company announced that it’s expanding into Norfolk and Virginia Beach in February.

It’s remarkable growth for a company that was started just over two years ago by an ex-baseball player and former aerospace engineer, Chris and Phil Ray. COTU was the first in the area to can beer instead of bottle it, and if you were looking around the summer of 2013, COTU brews such as Main St. Virginia Ale and Chin Music Amber Lager began discreetly showing up deckside at pools across Richmond.

“When talk of expanding our territories started, we all agreed the Tidewater area was first on our list,” owner Chris Ray said in a press release.

Hoffman Beverage Co., which will distribute the COTU brand, is the Southeastern Virginia equivalent of Brown Distributing and similarly carries an extensive selection of craft beer. Legend Brewing is the only other Richmond-area brand that it offers.

Starting the week of Feb. 23, expect to see events celebrating COTU’s introduction to the area at Virginia Beach’s Whiskey Kitchen, Tubby’s Tavern and Whole Foods, and Norfolk’s Public House.


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