Residents of Ashland and Hanover County appreciate a good beer.
The ubiquitous “golden beverage” is dispensed at barbecues, street parties, crab and shrimp feasts, oyster roasts and tailgating parties throughout the year.
The finer foreign brews and domestic craft beers are big sellers at local restaurants, pubs super markets and specialty shops like Ian Kirkland’s Caboose.
Soon, we will have our own craft brewery, one backed by Ashland’s resident Major League Baseball star, Chris Ray, 30, his brother Phil, 34, and their families.
Although he is better known in the sports world as a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and now the Cleveland Indians, Ray started making his own beer four years ago and amazes friends and family with his thirst-quenching home-brewed beverages.
Ray and his family plan to open Center Of The Universe (COTU) Brewing at an undisclosed location near Ashland and the Bass Pro Shops at Winding Brook.
Chris Ray is a relief pitcher who has earned the nickname "The Closer." Center of the Universe Brewing will have a focus on community involvement and charitable activities. Ray has previously brewed "Homefront IPA" in conjunction with Seattle’s Fremont Brewery. The proceeds from the beer’s sales go to Operation Homefront to assist American servicemen and their families facing financial hardships.
See "Baseball pitcher, brother to open brewery in Ashland" for more news on the brewery. There is also a Facebook page where current information is posted.