Bardo Brewery for Sale
June 9, 2003 - One of the more colorful chapters in craft brewing history is drawing to a close as Bill Stewart, Jr. puts the Bardo Brewery in rural Amissville, VA up for sale. In a May 13 email, Stewart announced that he will be moving to Australia after July 1, and wants to find a buyer for the brewery and surrounding property. According to the Web site www.bardorodeo.com/sale.html, he's asking for $950,000 for "the whole kit and caboodle," which includes 25 acres of property, brewery and tasting room, log cabin, and a parcel of recipes that have won three medals in Great American Beer Festival competition. He's willing to take offers, however. And if he can't arrange a package deal, heŞll consider selling the land and buildings separately while shipping the brewery to Australia "for our operation there."
Stewart opened the Bardo Brewery in 1993 in Arlington, VA. Occupying a former Oldsmobile dealership, for several years Bardo vied for the title of the country's largest brewpub, with about 20,000 sq ft of space accommodating 900 people. The establishment was known for its unusual décor, including the chassis of a Plymouth Fury embedded in the plate glass window.
In 1998 Stewart moved the brewing equipment to his farm in Rappahannock County, Virginia, about an hour's drive from Washington, DC. However, licensing and legal problems have hampered his attempts to resuscitate the business.
Bardo's original location still operates as Dr. Dremo's Taphouse, a multi-tap run by Bill's father. No Bardo beers have been sold there since late 2001/early 2002. - Greg Kitsock