Shea Gibbs



Jeff Bloem used 17 years of experience in supply chain analysis to research and form the Woolen Mills-based Murphy & Rude Malting Co. He now supplies local brewers with Virginia-sourced malts. Photo by Eze Amos

Local entrepreneur capitalizes on brewing’s ignored ingredient

Beer has been made with malt for hundreds —if not thousands—of years, but a Charlottesville entrepreneur only recently thought to exploit the steeped, germinated and dried grains to find a unique way into the craft beverage world. Jeff Bloem opened Murphy & Rude Malting Co. in Woolen Mills in February. He intended to focus on […]

Studio IX developer James Barton says Virginia is poised to become the next great tech hot spot, and he’s hoping his newest venture, Vault Virginia, will contribute to the local innovation landscape. Photo: John Robinson

Can growing numbers of local open work areas fuel tech innovation?

The technology community is notoriously secretive, but there’s one thing Charlottesville techies can’t hide: The local innovation infrastructure is growing at a rapid pace, with two new co-working spaces set to open on the Downtown Mall this year. Construction is expected to begin on the Charlottesville Technology Center, which will go on the former Main […]

Photo: Kwikset

Be key free: Linking up locks means flexibility and convenience

Home locking technology hadn’t changed much for more than a century—until a few years ago. The advent of the smart home gave folks the ability to take their front door security, and locks in general, out of the dark ages. Keyless entry houses are still buttoned up with the standard pin tumblers invented in the […]

“The traditional recipes for a cocktail up to the late 1800s were all the same—bitters were a part of almost all cocktails,” says Kip McCharen, founder and owner of McCharen’s Bitters. “It’s a seasoning. It serves the same function as salt and pepper or lemon juice in a dish.” Photo by Matt Bonham

Local artisan launches bitters company out of necessity

Bitters are back, baby, and one local is looking to get in on the action. Wait, bitters? “The traditional recipes for a cocktail up to the late 1800s were all the same—bitters were a part of almost all cocktails,” says Kip McCharen, founder and owner of McCharen’s Bitters. “It’s a seasoning. It serves the same […]

This outdoor fireplace in the city was inspired by those the homeowner had seen at local restaurants like La Taza and Fry's Spring Station. Photo: Matthew Cox

Fire pits add style and comfort as temps ease lower

Average high temperatures in Charlottesville don’t dip below 50 until well into December. So what do you need to enjoy the outdoors right up to the holidays? Nothing more than a small, well-built fire pit. “It’ll certainly keep you warm, especially if you’re standing around it,” says Matthew Cox, owner of Crozet’s Appalachian Landscapes, which […]

Photo: Ryan Wheeler

Food at Scott Stadium ups its game with some national help

You’re at a tailgate party outside Scott Stadium taking down dogs and burgers two at a time. You’re thinking, “I don’t want to pay a bunch of money inside for food. I’ll fill up now.” This year, you might want to think again. According to Matt Smythe, director of operations for Aramark’s UVA dining program, […]

Give the heater a break—upgrade your insulation

Give the heater a break—upgrade your insulation

They say the human body loses most of its heat through the head. So when it’s cold out, you put a hat on. Before winter approaches (or even autumn!), invest in a hat for your house. According to Austin Craig, sales consultant for Davenport Insulation, attic insulation is critical to maintaining a constant temperature in […]