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New Brewery Opens Downtown on Main

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Written by David Hall

With a logo reminiscent of the city’s seal and a name like Olde Salem Brewing Company, it’s clear the new establishment on has some stake in their chosen community. Along with 2 other partners, Salem-born Sean Turk is the owner of the brewery which recently had its opening day November 21st.

At about 15 barrels a week, the brewing company is making just enough to serve its in-house customers. Brewmaster Kevin Campbell has no formal education in brewing, but has gained experience over the years working in such local establishments like Big Lick Brewery in Roanoke and Bull and Bones in Blacksburg as well being an avid homebrewer.

For the first batch, Campbell roles out a few old standards in craft beers. Their beer list, 7 beers long, contains a kolsch, two porters, and an in-your-face IPA with 126 IBUs. A local real estate salesman, Turk said he wanted to invest in the community because of his roots as well as the revitalization happening downtown.

I was born here and my family has a lot of ties here in Salem,” said Turk. “My dad was the finance director for the city for 45 years. [There’s a] strong sense of community and there’s a lot for good stuff happening here, a lot of positive momentum.” 

That momentum shows no signs of slowing down. In the past few years, new businesses have been opening along main street. Olde Salem brewing company is the newest addition, but not the last. Developers from Roanoke are renovating the old theater on college and main to be a boutique hotel.