Grape Discovery Center Welcomes New Brewery to Site

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Popular Seattle-based Ghostfish Brewing Company (GBC) beverages will soon be produced locally when a new East Coast processing and distribution center opens within the existing vacant space at the Grape Discovery Center (GDC) in Westfield, New York. The County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA) Board of Directors passed a resolution today authorizing AL Tech Revolving Loan Fund Loans for 3811 Holdings, LLC dba Ghostfish Brewing Company East.

Financing will support working capital and equipment purchases for the new brewery location.

“As the largest dedicated gluten-free brewery in the US, Ghostfish
Brewing Company has built a customer base that is extremely loyal,” stated Kristine Morabito, CCIDA Project Manager. “A well-established business, they are currently distributing to 17 US States and two Canadian Provinces.” Ghostfish Brewing Company “East,” will use the new location to satisfy the steadily increasing demand for Ghostfish products, specifically Canadian territories and US States east of the Mississippi River. Ghostfish offers a diverse array of beers with six year-round beers, several rotating seasonal varieties, and several special releases. The brand has won over 23 medals in highly competitive beer competitions, including six Great American Beer Fest medals and three awards in non-gluten-free categories. Ghostfish was also voted “Best Beer Brand” in the 2017 Gluten Free Buyers Guide, and Grapefruit IPA is the #1 selling gluten free beer in the US.

The brewery will occupy 5,100 square feet at Westfield’s Grape Discovery Center. GBC East President, Richard Smith stated, “We chose this location based on favorable production cost, the good labor market, proximity to I-90 for distribution, water quality for brewing, and sources for raw materials.” Longtime Chautauqua County resident and GBC East Vice President, Matthew Swank added, “This location also had economic resources available for production facilities, such as CCIDA assistance, and, of course, synergies with the Grape Discovery Center, Lake Erie Wine Country, and other craft beverage producers in the County.”

The plan is to use their space for production and eventually brewery tours, with the possibility of eventual tasting and purchasing at the Grape Discovery Center.

The Grape Discovery Center is the official Visitor’s Center for the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt, designated a New York State Heritage Area in 2006. Developed by the Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association, it seeks to be an experiential destination that supports and promotes the grape industry through sharing stories and engaging, educating and informing the public about all things grape.

Westfield Town Supervisor, Martha Bills said, “The Town has supported the Center all along the way and we are very pleased to see this new business in Westfield there with more of the building being used.”

Mark Geise, Deputy County Executive for Economic Development and CCIDA CEO said, “Chautauqua County has seen a tremendous increase in the number of breweries and distilleries in the past several years. The new gluten-free brewery is unique and will add value to the County’s other collective craft beverage makers. The new tenant will also help the GDC be more sustainable.”

County Executive, PJ Wendel, said “The diversification of having a craft beer, and specifically a major US gluten-free brewery operation cohabitating the space, will help draw additional visitors to the Grape Discovery Center, which should boost retail sales and showcase the facility for future events rentals or group visits. We welcome this new business venture to Chautauqua County.”

There are current efforts to promote craft beverages in the County. The Chautauqua Region Economic Development Corporation (CREDC) is in the initial planning stage, working with the Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau (CCVB) and the Lake Erie Wine Country (LEWC), to develop a marketing strategy to promote craft beer breweries and distilleries within Chautauqua County. The strategic collective marketing campaign and brand will align with, complement, and also promote the existing LEWC organization.

About the CCIDA

The CCIDA is an economic development organization authorized and empowered by the State of New York to make Chautauqua County a better place to work, live, visit, and conduct business. The organization facilitates development by attracting new businesses, while promoting the retention and expansion of existing businesses. Assistance in the form of incentives – tax abatements, low interest loans, and bond financing – enhances the opportunities for job creation and retention for our businesses. For more information, visit www.ccida.com .