In brief: A booze trail, one new declaration, two new job openings, and more…

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City boosters and brewmasters have come together to blaze the Charlottesville Ale Trail, a two-mile stretch they’re calling the premier urban and pedestrian beer trail in Virginia. Click to enlarge. City boosters and brewmasters have come together to blaze the Charlottesville Ale Trail, a two-mile stretch they’re calling the premier urban and pedestrian beer trail in Virginia. Click to enlarge.

‘United by beer’

City boosters and brewmasters have come together to blaze the Charlottesville Ale Trail, a two-mile stretch they’re calling the premier urban and pedestrian beer trail in Virginia.

The six stops along the way are Random Row Brewing Co., Brasserie Saison, South Street Brewery, Champion Brewing Company, Three Notch’d Craft Kitchen & Brewery, and Hardywood Pilot Brewery & Taproom.

After downloading a “passport” at charlottesvillealetrail.org, participants are encouraged to visit each stop for a pint or plate, which will earn them a stamp in their passport. Get a stamp from each spot, and you’ll win a prize.

“Cheers,” said Random Row co-owner Bradley Kipp at a September 3 press conference. He says he’s always amazed by the collaborative nature of local brewers, who pitched in with business advice and tips on how to source ingredients when he opened Random Row two years ago. A press release called this phenomenon “united by beer.”

Chris Engel, the city’s director of economic development, said there was only one brewery in town when he moved here in 2005. Then, in 2012, the General Assembly voted to allow breweries to sell full glasses of beer without restaurants on-site, which “lit a fire under microbreweries,” he said.

Tourism has a $600 million impact on the community annually, according to Engel, and he hopes the ale trail will help drive that.

But to drink half a dozen pints and walk the whole trail in a day? Says Engel, “You gotta be committed.”

Great pay, lousy hours

City Council’s clerk and Chief of Staff Paige Rice is leaving her $98K-a-year job September 21 after eight years. Rice’s job was recently retitled “chief of staff” when it was expanded to include supervision of two new staff positions as well as the assistant clerk, an arrangement that Mike Signer describes as a “parallel government to the city manager.”

Nice raise

Rice’s salary as clerk was $72,842 in 2017, and it was bumped $25K—35 percent—when she became chief of staff.

Suicide support

City councilors  honored Suicide Prevention Month (September) with an official declaration at their September 17 meeting. “Let’s take a moment to check on our friends, even the strong ones. Let’s support each other. Let’s love each other,” urged Councilor Wes Bellamy on Instagram.

Jail board vacancy

Bellamy (center) at the September board meeting. Photo: Eze Amos

Bellamy also announced at the council meeting an opening for a Charlottesville representative on the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail board, which has recently been at the center of controversy surrounding voluntary calls to federal immigration agents when undocumented immigrants are released from jail. Interested citizens are urged to apply (though you’ll have to wait till the position gets posted).

Appalachian tuition break

UVA’s Board of Visitors voted to expand tuition discounts for out-of-state students who live in the federally defined Appalachia region and attend UVA’s campus at Wise, the Cav Daily reports.

Back to work

After the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a stop work order to builders of the controversial $6 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline earlier this summer because there was concern that it would interrupt federally protected species near the Blue Ridge Parkway, Dominion Energy spokesperson Aaron Ruby said September 17 that the National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have concluded the project is safe, and work will resume.

Autopsy results

Charlottesville Police have ruled the death of Thomas Charles “Colonel” Franklin, 65, a suicide, as reported by CBS19. Franklin died June 10 when he left the Cedars Healthcare Center and drowned in a nearby creek.

Sisterly love

While some folks in Charlottesville were still hiding from Hurricane Florence on September 17, the delegation visiting its French sister city, Besançon, was celebrating the two towns’ liaison. Mayors Jean-Louis Fousseret and Nikuyah Walker planted a poplar tree to commemorate the dedication of a traffic circle in the French city, named after our town in central Virginia.

Quote of the week:

“Those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” —U.S. Senate candidate Corey Stewart, who accused senators of having their own “secret ‘creep list,’” and advocated the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

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