Adaptive reuse of an historic shuttered grist mill property in Amherst, VA into a destination brewery, including a restaurant and tasting room, a bed and breakfast, and an event space, all on a working organic farm with an on-site full time resident farmer. Buildings on the campus included the 7,000 square-foot grist mill, with additional untouched floors above, an ice production warehouse, a 3,000 square-foot historic brick residence, an additional residence predating all other buildings on the site. Partial power for the brewery will be drawn from the restored historic waterwheel, and portions of the working farm’s produce will be used in the brewing process.
CHALLENGES: Challenges on this project included preservation of the complex historic gristmill machinery, while opening up enough of the main floor plate to allow for a seating area. Fire safety in an all-wood building involved some discussion with local officials and the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Being adjacent to a stream prone to flooding, mitigation of flood risk to the stacked stone foundation was also a consideration.