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WV craft beer makers face obstacles amid industry growth


Charleston Gazette-Mail

Patrick Guthrie, owner of Bad Shepherd Brewing in Charleston, heads Black Sheep Burrito & Brews as well.
(Gazette-Mail photo by Kenny Kemp)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Although rarer nowadays, sometimes entrepreneurs return to West Virginia to catch the rising tide of a burgeoning industry.

That was the case for Aryn and Sam Fonda. The couple moved from North Carolina — where craft beer is omnipresent — back to Aryn’s home state, taking the knowledge they acquired while working for a local brewer with them. They own the Raleigh County brewery, Weathered Ground, which they opened a little more than a year ago.

“We always had aspirations to open up our own, and in the Charlotte area there’s 40-plus breweries,” Aryn Fonda said outside Weathered Ground’s taproom in Cool Ridge one morning. “When we decided to move to West Virginia, it made sense. We caught it at the wave where craft beer is really expanding in the state.”

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