New brewery coming to Lexington this fall

The long-awaited Heliotrope plans to use seasonal, local ingredients and is slated to open this November

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New brewery coming to Lexington this fall

Heliotrope's storefront will open soon at its location on Main Street. Photo by Shefali Konda, '22.

Heliotrope's storefront will open soon at its location on Main Street. Photo by Shefali Konda, '22.

Heliotrope's storefront will open soon at its location on Main Street. Photo by Shefali Konda, '22.

Heliotrope's storefront will open soon at its location on Main Street. Photo by Shefali Konda, '22.

Shefali Konda

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The long-awaited brewpub Heliotrope Brewery is planning to open in downtown Lexington this November after delaying its opening past this summer.

The brewery will replace the former storefront on 128 South Main Street.

“Launch Lex,” a competition which awards money to promising upcoming businesses, allocated a grant of $20,000 to founders Jenefer Davies, who is the director of the Washington and Lee dance program, and Erik Jones to open the brewery.

A representative from Main Street Lexington, the organization that planned the Launch Lex program, commented on the importance of local businesses in enhancing Lexington.

“We are excited to have another reason for people to come downtown and add to the vibrant community that exists in downtown Lexington,” she said. “We want to keep everything as local as possible.”

Heliotrope Brewery derives its name from its seasonal nature, as the food and drinks they serve will change seasonally to reflect the local produce being farmed at the time.

It prides itself on producing beers, pizzas and salads that strive to represent Shenandoah Valley.

Heliotrope’s logo hangs above the main entrance to the brewery. Photo by Shefali Konda, ’22.

“A heliotropic flower is one that follows the sun across the sky throughout the day,” said co-founder Davies. “We chose the name because our brewing and our culinary creations will follow the seasons.”

Davies stressed the importance of the local community in their business. Supporting the local economy by working with local artisans and farmers “creates a great synergy between the community and local growers,” she said.

Co-founder Jones said he wants to create an inclusive community space where conversation can flourish.

“We really want the space, first and foremost, to be a place where people come to have conversations with their friends and neighbors,” he said. “To that end, we’re wary of anything that might detract from that, such as televisions, live music inside or anything else that holds the attention of the entire room captive.”

When Heliotrope Brewery opens, Jones says that he wants it to seem like their store has always been part of the Lexington community.

“I think we kind of want to surprise people and just throw the doors open one day,” he said. “People poke their head in the space all day to ask when we’re opening. I want to be able to just say, ‘It’s today. Come in and have a beer.’”

The brewery has a tentative opening date in early November, as the brew system and building adjustments have yet to be finished, Jones said. He stressed the importance of being methodical in the construction and completion of a project this scale.

Heliotrope Brewery is currently hiring for cook and taproom positions. They are looking for employees who want to learn more about breweries, beers on tap and craft beer, Jones said.

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