Champion Brewing Co. will not buy local church

13News Now Ali Weatherton explains why Champion Brewery backed out of turning a historic Ghent church into a brewery.

NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Champion Brewing Company has officially withdrawn their application to convert a local church into a microbrewery. 

The brewing company had been eyeing the Unitarian church on Yarmouth Street for months. However, they were met with push back from residents who lived near the building

On July 20, the Ghent Neighborhood League held a vote on whether community members wanted the brewery in the their neighborhood. According to an email, sent by the League's President, 133 people voted, which is 63% of the members. 82 people voted in favor of the brewery and 51 people were against it.

The neighbor's feelings are not the reason for the brewing company backing out. In the end it all came down to money. 

According to a statement from Champion Brewing Company, the cost of renovating the church is too high. 

"We were drawn to the church as a great spot for Champion, but the cost of renovation makes it prohibitive," said Champion's owner Hunter Smith. "The outpouring of support for a Norfolk Champion location  means we will continue our search for the right property."

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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