The seashore islands bring memories of a warmth and a quality of life not found elsewhere.
Memories of family and friends – good food, drink, and conversation - these are the roots of the Cape Charles Brewing Co – a production Brewery and Brewpub that emphasizes quality and integrity in everything we do to bring the rhythm of the islands to life.
WALLOPS ISLAND IMPERIAL IPA
Wallops Island started as a location that housed several upscale “clubs” for those looking for an escape from the city. Later, it became a large NASA Space Launch Site. To date more than 14,000 rockets have been fired from that location. Our Imperial IPA has a crazy amount of hops, but like most of the rockets fired, smooth and flawless. Our hop schedule packs a “wallop”.
ASSATEAGUE ISLAND PILSNER
One of the largest islands in the Barrier Island chain, Assateague was originally granted to a colonist in the 17th century. It is now best known for beautiful beaches, its lighthouse, and the feral horses that roam and graze abundantly. Some of these ponies, are annually rounded up by “Saltwater Cowboys” and swim a narrow channel into Chincoteague where they are auctioned with the proceeds benefiting the local fire company. Like the Chincoteague ponies, our pilsners are lighter in stature, but big in character.
COBB ISLAND IPA
Cobb Island is our favorite in the chain. It was originally named Sand Shoal until an enterprising Nathan Cobb bought the island for a 100 bags of salt. After the Civil War, a hotel was built to house the well-to-do northern businessmen during their fishing and hunting expeditions. Nathan Cobb and his three sons were their guides, and cultural differences between guests and landlords seemed to disappear. It was said that Warren Cobb, the eldest son, never refused an invitation to “splice the main brace” and each succeeding drink only made him happier than the one before.
SMITH ISLAND STOUT
Smith Island is appropriately named after Captain John Smith who helped found Jamestown and mapped a remarkable fair representation of the Chesapeake Bay. Because of its location at the convergence of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the Cape Charles lighthouse, has guided mariners from the treacherous shoals that mark this area. Our stout has a full malt “keel” that provides safe passage for those navigating the darkness of an English style ale.
Cape Charles Brewing Company is a family owned and operated business. Two brothers, Chris and Mark Marshall, joined forces with their mom, Deborah Marshall in starting the business. On a daily basis, you can find family members working at the front or behind the scenes in the production area. It is truly a family affair! None of this could have occurred without the wonderful staff that keeps things going. From the kitchen, to bar, to dining area, to production area, all team members have a passion for good food and good beer.
Cobb Island is a slip of land, six miles long with a gentle berm that drops to the ocean. Just over a century ago, it was a gathering place for the rich and famous.
Originally named Sand Shoal Island, it was bought in 1839 from one William “Hardtime” Fitchett by Nathan Cobb for 100 bags of salt that Cobb had boiled out on Fitchett’s own island.
Renamed Cobb Island, and after the Civil War, a hotel was built to house the well-to-do northern businessmen during their fishing and hunting expeditions. Nathan Cobb and his three sons were their guides, and cultural differences between guests and landlords seemed to disappear. It was said that Warren Cobb, the eldest son, never refused an invitation to “splice the main brace” and each succeeding drink only made him happier than the one before.
The Eastern Shore of Virginia has historical roots that go back to the earliest settlement of the colonies. It’s pristine waters and rich farmland spawned strong industries centered around seafood and agriculture. With the construction of the Bay Railroad, the town of Cape Charles became a railroad community. With its deep-water harbor, freight was carried by ship from Hampton Roads to Cape Charles. The goods were then transported by trains bound for Philadelphia and New York. The completion of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel connecting Hampton Roads to the Eastern Shore signaled the end of commerce by rail in Cape Charles. The railroad, while still in existence, is limited to small industrial runs on an infrequent basis.
The Cape Charles Brewing Co. is situated adjacent to the railroad. Our property contains some of the old train trestles and one of our buildings was used to unload and weigh cargo headed to the Northeast. The property later became the “Reliable Hardware and Lumber Yard," where it served in that capacity for many decades. The property has a history of strong commerce in which goods and supplies were sold and distributed from that location.
It is in these bones that we intend to resurrect this property. It will be transformed into a vibrant brewery and brew pub that will attract local residents and visitors alike to a destination unlike anyplace in eastern Virginia. Flavorful craft beer from our 15 barrel production brewery will constantly churn out and satisfy even the most discriminating palate. With 15-18 taps on location, we intend to ensure that we have a strong supply of our flagship brews for sale on premise and in other retail markets. Additionally, we will constantly be changing with session, seasonal, and experimental brews to create the best beer to be had.
Our proximity to the Barrier Islands provides a unique perspective of the constant shift by Mother Nature. This chain of 23 islands stretch from Assateaque Island at the Maryland border to Fisherman’s island at the foot of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. These islands are now uninhabited but have a rich history of settlement in which fortunes were made and lost. Our branding will capture this essence and becomes a backdrop to our delicious craft styles created on the Eastern Shore.
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