Jeremy was kind enough to give us a tour of Sunken City Brewery during out last visit providing us with a behind the scenes look at the guts of the brewery and a brief history behind the name. As legend has it, an entire town was submerged in Smith Mountain Lake when the damn was built and the lake was born, swallowing cemeteries, churches, and brothels alike. The brewery has a large map on the back wall illustrating where the sunken city is located underneath the vast lake as it stands today. Jeremy was also proud of the breweries high tech gadgets, especially the new canning machine that will help Sunken City Brewery spread their beer to even more thirsty mouths. Although the canning machine will speed up the process, it is still a slow and artistic procedure involving only a few skilled employees. Lots of love goes in to each six pack of Dam Lager or Red Clay IPA, sold cold and fresh behind the bar.
Sunken City Brewery has been opened for just over a month, but it had the interest of the townies while the brewery was still under construction. That’s what you get for opening something really cool in a town that desperately craves it. If Sunken City Brewery keeps producing unique fresh beer and giving patrons what they want, the sky is the limit. The owner, Jerome Parnell, knows this all too well. He’s a businessman at heart while he gives Jeremy free reign to help their dreams come alive. Jeremy brews, Jerome sells. It’s a match made in brewery heaven. Locally brewed and hand-crafted beer is the corner stone of Sunken City Brewery, but Jerome Parnell has dreams to expand selling to local restaurants and grocery stores.
There are a few things Sunken City Brewery can do to solidify their place in the community, the most important being adding a full time food or bar snack menu. Right now, Jerome is content selling potato chips as a snack to hungry customers, or throwing evening parties where local food trucks and musicians sell the food and entertainment while Sunken City Brewery sells the beer. However, Jerome’s response to my question regarding the possibility of a gourmet bar snacks menu was “You are the 9,000 person to ask me that”. Although adding a menu to the brewery is an added expense and worry, Jerome should take the hint. He’s selling great beer that makes his customers tipsy upon consumption. A gourmet bar snack menu will only help Sunken City Brewery get patrons to stay longer to drink more beer while satiating their need to nibble.