Champion Brewing

Charlottesville-based Champion Brewing is closing its Richmond outpost but plans to open a location at the Shops at Stonefield in Albemarle County.

RICHMOND — Charlottesville-based Champion Brewing will close its site in downtown Richmond at the end of the month.

"We are not renewing our lease, which expires in December, and the landlord has asked to list the property early, so our last day will be August 31," said Champion’s president and head brewer, Hunter Smith.

The brewery opened its Richmond outpost at 401 E. Grace St. in 2017, five years after its flagship spot near Charlottesville's Belmont Bridge.

"The Richmond market has been very supportive of our beers, particularly our experimental brews, since day one," Smith wrote in a news release at the time.

The Richmond location was announced as a brewpub that was going to serve beer from the Charlottesville operation and ones brewed at the new space. The pub portion was announced as Sur Taco and Sandwich, a restaurant from Jason Alley and Michele Jones, who at the time (and until June) owned Pasture restaurant on the same block. The restaurant never opened and Pasture closed in June. 

Champion launched its own food menu and added wine to its offerings in 2018.

In June, Grit Coffee — a Charlottesville-based coffee shop — opened a location inside the Richmond Champion, and they're hoping to stay.

"We're working to figure things out with Champion and the landlord. We'll be open for business as usual, and currently don't have plans to move," said Lauren Marks, operations manager for Grit.

Champion's looming closure was first reported by Richmond BizSense.

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