COVA Brewing Company | Scott Bateman

COVA Brewing Company.  What is it?  When will it open?  What are they going to have? We will explore these and other questions with the founder Scott Bateman.

Full Transcription

Eric 0:03
In today’s episode of the podcast, I am with going to be having a conversation with Scott Bateman. Scott is one of the founding owners of the soon to open depending on when you’re listening to this, the soon to open Cova Brewing Company now, it is currently fall 2019. As we’re recording this, Cova is set to launch in spring of 2020. So depending again, on when you listen to this, you’re either getting a preview of a new business coming into the area, or you’re getting a behind the scenes look at an established business in the area. because let me tell you something, I have had the privilege of hanging out with Scott and some others of his team since we recorded this episode. And I know that without a shadow of a doubt this business is going to be in ocean view for quite some time. And so I tell you that then just to give you a little heads up hear the noise quality of our conversation is a little echoey we are when we record this when we recorded this we were standing in the middle of of a shell of a building.

Eric 1:45
They have renovated a an old garage, the several Bay mechanic’s shop. And so it was like a tire and muffler place and, and so it’s it’s very echoey It was hot. So we had some windows open and we’re right there at an intersection. So you hear cars. But that’s just the whole that one of the things that I personally like about the podcast, I hope you do too, is that we’re just we’re just on on location. And you’re getting to listen into our conversation with all of the ambiance and background noise and all of the stuff that is so ocean view. And so I really hope you like that part of it.

Eric 2:26
Speaking of liking the podcast before we get into the conversation with Scott, when it’s over, we’d really appreciate it if you would take a moment and leave us a rating and review on your favorite podcast place whether that’s on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, wherever it is you found this podcast, leave us a rating and review it helps other locals and Oceanview to find this podcast and discover things to do and review is well as it helps people that are planning a vacation in this area. Helps them find it as they’re they’re googling and searching and, and coming up with all of their plans for their upcoming vacation trip in here to the ocean view area.

Eric 3:08
So with with all of that, without any further ado, why don’t we go ahead and play for you the conversation that I got to have with Scott at the what’s going to be an amazing Cornerstone business here in ocean view, the Cova Brewing Company.

Eric 3:30
Well hey again, everybody. Welcome to this episode of the Discover OV podcast I am standing while I’m gonna let him describe where I’m at. I’m here with a guy named Scott Scott. Welcome to the podcast.

Scott 3:43
Thanks, Eric.

Eric 3:43
Yes. So where are you and I’m standing right now.

Scott 3:46
We’re standing at the eastern gateway to ocean view. On the corner of pretty lake and Shore Drive. Right in right run outside of the East beach neighborhood. Yeah,

Eric 3:58
We’re standing inside a pretty hot building. So

Scott 4:02
Very warm in here

Eric 4:03
Very warm. Because I don’t think there’s any electricity in this building.

Scott 4:07
No water, no electricity at the moment.

Eric 4:10
We’re standing in the shell of a building used to be a garage. Yeah, used to be a garage. But what’s it what are we going to what’s it going to be here?

Scott 4:18
Well, we’re going to transform this car repair facility that’s really been a car repair facility since the 60s as best we can tell into a micro craft brewery and a craft coffee house.

Eric 4:32
I love it. And this is we are in what’s going to be the home of COVA

Scott 4:36
COVA Brewing Company

Eric 4:37
Cova Brewing Company. We do have the door open because it’s hot. And so people are gonna hear cars. That’s good. Yeah, yeah. So they’re here some cars in the background, but, but we’re just going to talk a little bit. So um, so I just I’m just curious, the first question I want tocott ask is why out of all the, I mean, so COVA stands for coastal Virginia.

Scott 5:00
Some would say that.

Eric 5:02
Some would say that? Ok

Scott 5:03
Yeah. Well, I mean, it is a I think a up and coming coastal reference, or a geographic reference for coastal Virginia. But I don’t know that. It’s, it’s officially been. I wanted that yet. So maybe we’ll have some some help with that.

Eric 5:18
Maybe Maybe it’s that maybe so. So with all of coastal Virginia to choose from, why is COVA Brewery starting here in Ocean View?

Scott 5:29
Well, we are my wife and I, Susan are products of ocean view, we’ve lived here, majority of our life over 50 years each. And so we our parents were military, her father, Army, my father, Navy, and all from this area. So we’ve we’ve invested a lot and that communities invested a lot in us. So when we started this journey, there really wasn’t a question about where we were going to open this brewery, it was always going to be ocean view. But it was to be determined what location. So we came upon this location about a year ago back actually a little over a year ago, June of 18. And we fell in love with it, the possibilities for it with the building itself having such great character, its proximity to the beach into a lot of activity that’s coming here in this Eastern section of ocean view. And also, it’s got an expansive outdoor area that gives us the flexibility to expand and and go forward. So it’s taken us a lot longer than then I’m sure the community would appreciate. Because we’ve been on a mission to acquire this property. So we’re actually getting close to that now.

Eric 6:42
Okay. All right. And that’s that kind of stuff takes time. That’s all but you, but you haven’t let that hold you back. You’ve told me you’ve already even got all your equipment.

Scott 6:51
We did. About two weeks ago, we were in a position. You know, always looking at the marketplace looking, you know, one of the two major expenses that a brewery will have other than its location, if they’re purchasing it will be its production equipment. So we were on the the lookout for potentially used equipment, you know, the market is changing a little bit from a brewery landscape. And we were able to pretty much buy the entire brewery production from a library in Colorado that closed a couple months ago. And equipment was only a few years old, and we got it at a really good price. So it was one of those things where we’re going to trust that that this is all going to move forward. And this this was an opportunity, we want to seize it. So

Eric 7:36
Nice. So you’re gonna have the craft beer, but you’re also gonna have craft coffee.

Scott 7:41
Right. Right. My wife and I started this journey, like I said a little over a year ago. And since then we’ve actually found some additional partners to come into this with us, they had an affinity for craft coffee, they were looking for a location in ocean view, it met all of our goals and everything that we were planning to do to be able to offer pretty much a one stop for folks during the day. What we say now is COVA there’s something brewing at COVA all the time will be coffee by by day and beer by night.

Eric 8:16
That’s nice

Scott 8:17
Evening. So the the plan always was to offer a coffee function, if you will during the day. And so this really just kind of came together for us. So we’re going to be also investing in some significant craft coffee equipment, and be open for early morning service for that as well.

Eric 8:37
Okay, now, it’s, uh, let’s see, it’s August 2019. As we record this. Now, it will be several weeks before this is out, you know, on the web, but when’s your What do you guys shooting for for a launch?

Scott 8:52
So it it really for us It begins with the closing on the property and that is scheduled by the end of August at this at this juncture. So we will start immediately we’ve already got our contractor, like we said, we’ve already got our equipment lined up, so that won’t hold us back. So with the contractor beginning right away, we’re looking at about a 24 week. So about five to six month window to have the facility ready to go for opening. So that puts us in and certainly in early 2020. So that’s kind of where we’re at this at this point.

Eric 9:27
Okay, nice. Nice. Now do you guys have any idea Have you started working on your your brews yet? Do you have you? You had the chance yet to drink? What will be the signature COVA brewing craft beer?

Scott 9:42
Let’s let’s say I hope so at this point. We have definitely been on a mission over the last really six months or more to really kind of hone in those recipes and to be able to hit the ground running and we have a very experienced brewery production team are Partner partners is, has a PhD in pharmacology and has been homebrewing for many years and has just, you know, great been a great wealth of information. Our head Brewer is also very skilled and his experience here locally working with other breweries and experience and craft production as well. So we’re, we’re excited about what we’re going to be able to bring to the community.

Eric 10:27
But how many of you have any idea yet? How many What’s the right word? for this? For recipes? How many versions not gonna be versions? How many flavors? Yeah,

Scott 10:38
There’s, there’s different styles of beer styles is probably the best. So well, you know, we’re, we will plan to have a great beer in every style that that the the average beer drinker would be looking for. Today’s industry is changing a little bit, because it’s really kind of going outside of the traditional craft style of beer, where you’ll see many breweries are getting into craft seltzers, flavored seltzer water, there’s also sours and other types of beers. And of course, the cideries and ciders are, are something that breweries don’t necessarily do. But those are that are out there as well. So our plan is to, you know, be there at the leading edge with with whatever the trends are. So certainly, the traditional styles, but we’ll have some specialty one off beers that will really allow the community to tell us what they like to drink. So we’ll be in a position to get input from the community and be able to, you know, let let them vote with their, with their tasting of our products.

Eric 11:44
All right, and you said something i thought was interesting. I, I’ve never heard of this or even been into a brewery that does it, that doesn’t mean anything. But so you said something about how are people going to get your beer, it’s like a self service almost.

Scott 12:02
So we’re looking to kind of set a new precedent for craft beer experience for our customers. So one of the ways to do that, through our research, is to enhance that customers experience by letting them make the decisions on what beers they want to try what beer they want to drink one ounce of versus 16 ounces or more, and allow them the flexibility to make those decisions. And we will provide the infrastructure and the assistance to do that. So we’re going to plan you this what they call a self serve tap system. And will allow, like I said, any any customer to select for anywhere from an ounce to 16 ounces at a time, with the maximum, you know, per per day. And in to that to that point, I think it really gives the flexibility and give someone where they don’t have to commit to a full pint of beer to only find out that really wasn’t what I wanted. And you know, they only try it in one ounce increments

Eric 13:08
So that they’re not even limited to a four option flight.

Scott 13:12
No, no, we’ll be able to, you know, starting out with 12 taps is our goal. So there’ll be 12 beers on tap. In addition to what I mentioned earlier about the crap flavored seltzer, it’s potentially that will come in the future, but we are planning to also offer a wine, red wine, white wine, option via tap as well. And so they’ll you know, our goal is is to basically offer something for everyone. If you’re not a beer drinker that will have a coffee option for you or a different type of coffee, beverage or house wine depending on what you’re what you’re looking for.

Eric 13:50
Great. And you were saying that the there’s going to be outdoor seating. I have entertainment like what’s what’s what’s going on with that?

Scott 13:59
Yeah, I think one of the things we’re most excited about this location is it does have basically half an acre of grassy area beyond the building, which will allow us and the city has given us approval for for entertainment as well as to be able to fence off that area and make it part of our you know, ABC approved area for for consumption. So our goal is to have outdoor entertainment and have you know, firepits at some point, cornhole basically be a gathering place for the community to come out and enjoy the location.

Eric 14:36
And you just do just that gather.

Scott 14:37

Eric 14:38
A place a very, I get the sense from talking to you that this is going to be a very relaxed laid back place fun with this with an energy to it but not a, an overwhelming energy, if that makes sense.

Scott 14:56
Yeah, absolutely. We’re focused on building community and Giving Oceanview a place that is unlike anything else in the community that they can, you know, bring their their kids bring their dog, you know, bring their games that they want, you know, sit up at a picnic table or bring their own beach chairs. You know, we’ve talked about doing some movie nights and different things for the community. So when once we get going a little bit further, we’ll start talking to some members of our communities to see really what are the things we want to start with in that regard, and not overwhelm and try to do too much too soon. But yet, you know, be be a strong presence in the open in the community.

Eric 15:39
Nice. Nice. Okay. And then the same kind of thing with the coffee. The whole experience. There?

Scott 15:45

Eric 15:46
It’s all it’s all for people that can’t see because there’s an audio podcast, we’re in one bit like it’s, it was a garage, there’s multiple garage doors. And so it’s a big open room.

Scott 15:57
Yeah, so our plan is to have a craft coffee bar, which will be manned with baristas, and and staff to help craft your your favorite coffee beverage. So if you, you know, like espresso based drinks, those will be available costs, of course, other types of coffee, where we have recipes that are in process for kabucha, and some other other beverages, again, working within our approvals of the city to be able to serve all of these. That’s that’s the plan. So some of the variety.

Eric 16:36
That has to be an enjoyable part of this experience right now, is the the recipe building and experiment. I mean, it’s, is that happening at your house? I mean, what’s what’s that look like?

Scott 16:48
Yeah, we have no, absolutely no idea what we’re doing. But having that done this before. But yeah, we are brewing beer on a regular basis. And like I said, Our experienced brew team, I’ve got three recipes right now that are waiting for me to start the process. So you know, we use our family and friends, you know, as kind of our early tasters and this and each other. And to really just continue to be able to, when we’re ready to start brewing, when our production equipment, so we can hit the ground running already know what recipes we’re going to start with and be ready to take that to the next level. And I will caveat by saying this, it is much different when you’re brewing and five and 10 gallon batches versus 300, you know, multiple large batches in size. So it obviously, is something we’ll have to continue to work with initially.

Eric 17:42
But you’ve got your head brewers experiment, you’ve got experienced people in this with you,

Scott 17:48
Yeah, absolutely. And we wouldn’t be able to, to be competent to hit the ground running.

Eric 17:53
Yeah, I think it’s going to be a great success. And you talked about and I know some of this is still in the planning. But as we’re sitting here talking about now, you’re you’re looking at like, you know, some food trucks in the evenings and weekends. Are you guys thinking about like, are you going to be open? How many days a week? Are you going to be open when you when you come out of the gate?

Scott 18:12
Yeah, still to be determined? You know, we’ll honor our team to have a Sabbath day, if you will, we’ll figure out what day that is and how that will work. But we will definitely be open, you know, at least six days a week, and we’ll open probably early morning 53 6 o’clock. And then, you know, our intent is again, not to be open late, but nine o’clock, probably during the week and then the weekends somewhere between 10 and 11. Yeah.

Eric 18:44
Okay. All right. That sounds good. That sounds good. Now, have you already you had mentioned restez and stuff like that? Is that everybody? Is that going to be family and friends? Are you going to be doing some hiring when you get closer to launch?

Scott 18:57
Oh, yeah, we’re we’re definitely going to need to hire some some staff. But what we’ve started with our friends and family and a member of our family has experience as a barista and was trained and really knows the the inner workings of of a coffee shop coffee house. So that experiences has been phenomenal with us. And of course, on our team, we have, you know, very much what I would call better experts on the coffee side than than I myself. I’m the basic filtered brown water is what I drink. But we definitely have a team of very strong folks to help in that area too.

Eric 19:39
Great, great. Do you know how many estimate how many local, you’ll be able to hire?

Scott 19:48
I mean, we’ll probably within the first year gear up to about 12. Again, well given the you know, the six and you know, potentially 11pm Yeah, weekend We’ll have, we’ll have to have some weekend team crew, and certainly several different shifts during the day. So we know that there’ll be a transition period from the coffee house and when the brewery opens for sure, for public consumption in the afternoons during the week. So there’ll be an overlap period there. And then we’ll have probably a second shift come in for the coffee in the evenings dependent upon the volume and what that looks like.

Eric 20:24
Yeah, yeah. So I love the fact that all of this is still developing, growing and your desire to respond to the local community. So that’s gonna be, but you’re not like, we in ocean view, we are a you know, also definitely a tourist destination. You know, we’ve got visitors coming in, and things like that. So for those that are listening to the podcast, that are listening, because they’re going to be vacation here, and a couple was a couple of weeks, and they’re working through the podcast to discover places to do things like that. You know? I mean, I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t be a welcoming, invite exciting place for tourists because my wife and I, one of our favorite things to do, and we’re on vacation is we want to go where the where the locals go. And that’s what we’re talking about right here. This is going to be this is going to be the brewery where the locals go.

Scott 21:21
Yeah, absolutely. So I think that will probably just be an intrinsic benefit for us to be here and exist for the community. But we’re really excited about the community now that’s growing, with several large projects that are really underway right now, just on the other side of the shopping center, you know, 196 to 100, you know, high end townhomes or condo units that are going to be coming in, and there’ll be their first residents, I think, in the spring of next year. So we’ll be opening, you know, right about the same time, just before, there’s, you know, huge development at the end of pretty lake. And also on the other side of the bridge by the Marina, there’s already some significant development there. So that coupled with the East beach community, our Oceanview community here as well, that’s where our focus is going to be. We’re also equally excited about the, the Airbnb, you know, movement here locally, because that does, like you said, brings new folks into the community, but want to partner with those, those businesses to make sure we are, you know, our marketing to them, and through them to their, their clientele that are coming in. So I think it’s a, it’s a huge opportunity for us to take advantage of.

Eric 22:40
I find it to be I’m excited for from a local perspective that lives here. I’m very excited for you guys to open, can’t wait to come down. You know, be able to sample, you know, the beers and find my favorite and and hope that it doesn’t go away. So. And yeah, so that’s great. Well, if people want to follow along with the journey right now, what’s the best where’s the best place for us to send people to get connected to the story that you guys are unfolding here for the COVA Brewing Company company.

Scott 23:17
There’s a link on our website, which is COVA And it’s basically a follow our journey link. We also are posting updates on our Instagram accounts, which I just recently posted the announcement that we and some photos of our brewery equipment purchase. And so I’m actually seeing that being loaded on the truck, and then the truck heading here to Virginia. So that was you know, again, a very exciting movement. Our goal is for us to also take some photos and keep people abreast of what’s happening with this, this building and construction. You know, people are driving by all the time and it will say to me, I’m not seeing any activity over there. Well, you know, within a couple of weeks, we’ll start seeing some activity. And so we’ll keep some updates on that and have a strong presence.

Eric 24:05
Cool. Yeah, I’m by the time this podcast is live, and people are listening to us right now. If it’s before spring of 2020. They’ll be able to go on and see that because that’s you know, we’ll watch about the time you’re saying construction, if it’s after spring 2020 somebody made me listen to this and 2021 2122 or something like that. They’ll be able to come here and see where you’re at at that point. And what all that’s developed and are the fire pits here. Yeah, and all this on my end. So just so excited. Thanks Scott as we wrap up this podcast episode for discover OV any parting thoughts or last tidbits, anything you wanted to make sure you shared and people heard before we close it out?

Scott 24:45
Thanks, Eric, for this opportunity. I would say that again. Our mission here with this project in this business is to really bring light to the community and to be part of the continued growth and expansion. And really the the revitalization of ocean view we lived in ocean view when it was this part of ocean view specifically was pretty scary at a certain point in time. And it’s its life. And so we were just, you know, just eccstatic to be part of the revitalization and all the growth that’s happening here. And I’m a I’m a boater. So I have a saying that basically, you know, one of the things we want to do is to help other local businesses, like us being here helps local restaurants helps other local businesses to expand my vote or reference, there is a rising tide floats all boats. So if we can, we can do that we’re successful here, then our community will be successful in the community businesses be successful.

Eric 25:48
So hey, I love that love that you guys are so focused on the community. That’s something that’s come up a couple times as we’ve talked, and I think that’s key. You guys are really going to be successful Ocean View business. And so thanks for being on the podcast guy.

Scott 26:01
Appreciate it.

Eric 26:02
I’ll be back when you open getting on. And I mean, it’s got I am so looking forward to coming in there when you get things open at COVA. And for those of you listening friends, thank you so much for checking out today’s episode of the podcast. You can find out more about COVA by finding a link to their social media, their business, website, all of that kind of stuff. Just head over to Ocean View ocean view dot biz, forward slash 004. That will get you to this episode, Episode Four of the Discover OV podcast. Thanks again for listening and have a great rest of your day.