Looking For Nothing In Particular, You’re Likely To Encounter The Extraordinary.
Neil Burton, the founder of Strangeways Brewing, has always had a penchant for exploring the unknown, especially when it comes to beer. As a result, he has found himself in some of the more peculiar corners of the world tasting as many unique beers as possible. What he discovered on his journeys is not of great importance. But what he returned with is—a profound passion for, and acute knowledge of, implausibly good beer.
Combining this fixation on great beer with his penchant for the unfamiliar, Neil imbedded himself in Virginia’s burgeoning craft brew culture. Realizing he didn’t want to merely be a spectator of the craft beer business, Neil began tirelessly working towards the goal of what would eventually become Strangeways Brewing.
We fought the law and our law won.
At first, Neil intended to create a new brand of beer by utilizing another’s existing brewing facility (often referred to as alternating proprietorship). However, he quickly found that the law would not allow for such an arrangement. So, working with Virginia legislators, he set to change the law. And it worked. But by the time the bill had passed (House Bill 359), Virginia’s mushrooming craft beer industry had experienced historic growth and breweries no longer had the capacity to make their space available to others. Still, Neil was pleased to have helped broaden the possibilities for future brewery projects to enter the craft beer market.
With more than three years of research and business planning behind him, Neil had devoted so much time and effort to the venture that he knew he could take on opening his own brewery—just not alone. Fortunately, at the Governor’s signing of the bill he had proposed, he met someone with a love of beer that is equally irrational only to his own.
Strangeways becomes a two-headed-beast.
It could be kismet, or it could be completely random that Neil should meet long-time brewer Mike Hiller. Either way, it seems the two are nothing short of a natural pairing. Combining Neil’s industry knowledge and entrepreneurship with Mike’s extensive brewing experience, all the pieces just fit. Their mutual desire to use the finest ingredients, pursue the imperfect, entertain their curiosity and add an element of anomaly to the brewing world is indeed what fuels the strange in Strangeways Brewing.