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Waltrip plans brewery at old Studio Brew location in Bristol

March 25, 2021

Source: Bristol Herald Courier
BRISTOL, Va. — Former NASCAR driver and Fox TV personality Michael Waltrip plans to establish a new brewery and taproom in the old Studio Brew location in Bristol, Virginia.

Michael Waltrip Brewing Co., founded last year in Phoenix by the two-time Daytona 500 champion driver, plans to occupy 10,000 square feet and operate on the first two floors of the brewery at 221 Moore St., according to a written statement.

The company’s lineup is currently distributed only in western states, including Arizona, Idaho, Oregon and Wyoming. Plans include producing Waltrip’s “Two-Time” lineup of lagers and ales for distribution throughout the Southeast region of the country.

“I am very enthusiastic to share this great news with so many friends and followers in this part of the country who have asked and waited for over the last year about where they could enjoy or purchase my beer,” Waltrip said in the statement. “I can say now it’s coming soon. We’ll brew our fabulous beers and also open a taproom with a great kitchen along with an event space to accommodate special gatherings.”

It is expected to open in mid-summer.

“Bristol is excited to welcome Michael Waltrip Brewing Company to our city,” City Manager Randy Eads said Wednesday night. “With Bristol Motor Speedway in our back door and now having Michael Waltrip Brewing here, this is an opportunity for Bristol, Virginia to showcase what we have; local people who want to make a difference in our community. [Building owners] Allen Hurley and Jim Bunn were instrumental in bringing Michael Waltrip Brewing to Bristol. This is what it takes to help rebuild a city.”

Studio Brew opened in 2016, but closed more than a year ago, after Hurley and Bunn acquired a historic building originally constructed in 1910. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Plans include adding a covered patio and a beer garden for special events.

All three signature brews of Michael Waltrip’s Two-Time lineup will be produced in Bristol. They include a “blonde” ale called “Checkered Past,” a coconut India pale ale and “Vamanos,” a Mexican-style lager. Each beer has a special story behind it and some clever, subtle references to racing, according to the statement.

“We’re making the styles of beer that I love to drink whether I’m at the track, golf course or just relaxing. It’s going to be great to share my beers with everyone in Bristol and all over the southeastern part of the country,” Waltrip said.

Plans also include producing seasonal varieties and taproom-specific beers and seltzers that will be unique just to visitors.

dmcgee@bristolnews.com| 276-645-2532 | Twitter: @DMcGeeBHC