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'A lot of sacrifice' | New Black-owned brewery set to open in Hampton this January

Coffee and craft beer are coming to Hampton's Phoebus neighborhood with the opening of 1865 Brewing Company.

HAMPTON, Va. — Something new is brewing in Hampton's Phoebus neighborhood.

This January, 1865 Brewing Co. expects to finally open its doors after months of COVID-19 related delays to the new brewery. 

“Really been supply chain issues. We have a lot of sanitary equipment that we have to buy to make beer properly and sanitarily. But just getting the fitting and pumps we needed was back-ordered; most of it comes from overseas," said Randy Jones, the brewer and manager at 1865.

In a Facebook post from October, the team announced it would postpone its grand opening from November until January of 2021. 

COVID has greatly impacted the brewing industry and many of the materials and products we need to open are currently unavailable. 

We apologize to all of our supporters and appreciate all of the love we have received so far. We want to ensure we give each of you the best experience possible. 

Jones' beer-making skills are backed by co-owners William Comer and Whitteney Guyton, collaborating to make possible the new project on South Mallory Street. 

“We’re just excited to open up, a different twist on the craft beer industry," Comer said. 

The brewery will not only make small batches of local craft beer, but also serve coffee throughout the mornings. Despite the months-long wait to open, the targeted January grand opening comes with COVID-19 safety protocols, like reduced seating capacity and a closed bar-countertop area. 

But patience comes easy when the brewery stands for more than just the beer it's selling. For Comer and Guyton, it's about as much about changing a narrative and having a conversation, one that starts with the title of the brewery itself.

The "1865" in the brewery's title is meant to honor the abolition of slavery, with the passing and ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865 as well.

“Billy said, 'What about 1865?' When he said it, I felt it. I knew in my heart and spirit that that was it," Guyton said. 

“So many people feel breweries and beer is this middle-aged white guy kind of thing, but that’s not fair. There’s so many people and cultures that like to partake in beer, too," Guyton said. 

Specific opening plans have not yet been set by the brewery, according to Jones. Pre-ticket sales or soft openings could be implemented to accommodate COVID-19 cases.

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