Virginia Brewing Company Team in Place

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Hovermale returns home as head brewer

The Virginia Brewing Company (VBC) will soon hold its Grand Opening & Beer Fest at the ZeroPak complex in Winchester, Virginia. The celebration will feature craft beers, barbecue, and live music as the microbrewery welcomes the public to its new brewhall and event space.

John Hovermale, Jr., previously of Harpoon Brewery in Windsor, Vermont, has returned to his native Winchester, Virginia to brew craft beer for the VBC. As a young man, Hovermale traveled Europe and grew enamored of European beer culture.

"I was intrigued by how this one town's brewery was so much a part of the community and vice versa," Hovermale says. "After returning from Europe I attended the Siebel Institute of Technology, where I studied brewing. After paying my dues working in the cellar of a brewery in Biloxi, I joined Harpoon. Now I've come full-circle, brewing beer in my hometown."

A division of the ZeroPak arts and cultural complex, the VBC is managed by ZeroPak principals James Justice and Janette Hooper.

As founder and driving force of the ZeroPak project, Justice has extensive entrepreneurial and team-building expertise. He brings a strong sales, services, and technical background acquired during his years as a U.S. Army intelligence officer and later as an employee of Microsoft Corporation. He oversees day-to-day operations at ZeroPak and the VBC.

As investment partner in ZeroPak, Hooper contributes entrepreneurial management and development expertise, as well as a high-technology background utilized in the operation of her own software company. She calls regularly on her engineering and electrician experience in the continuing redesign and re-development of the ZeroPak property.

Also lending talents to the VBC are Mike St. Jacques and Barrett Waybright. St. Jacques is a combat-infantry veteran and polyglot (he speaks fluent Russian, plus a healthy smattering of German and French). Waybright is a graduate of James Madison University with a BBA in Finance and a minor in Economics.

Managing branding and public affairs for the ZeroPak project is Mark Doyon, a 20-year veteran of communications and image design at the national level. Doyon focuses on community-building through the creation of popular cultural products and programs.

Visit the ZeroPak project at:

ZeroPak and Virginia Brewing Company

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