Press Clips: Deschutes Eyes 1 Million Barrels in Roanoke; Untappd Launches Platform for Retailers

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Deschutes Targets 1 Million Barrels Annually at Roanoke Production Facility

Deschutes Brewery predicts its new facility in Roanoke, Virginia may ultimately produce up to 1 million barrels of beer annually.

Roanoke’s City Council this week reviewed a proposal from the nation’s eighth largest craft beer manufacturer to build a $95 million facility on 49 acres of city-owned land along Blue Hills Drive. The Bend, Ore.-based brewing company chose Roanoke as the future site of its second commercial production brewery last month after visiting “hundreds” of potential locations along the East Coast.

According to the proposal, Deschutes projected the new brewery would produce at least 190,000 barrels of beer within its first year of coming online, and grow its annual production up to 330,000 barrels by 2025. The company expected that annual production would eventually climb to 1 million barrels.

As part of Deschutes’ pending $2.75 million acquisition of the land, the city has agreed to help the company negotiate the purchase of several adjacent properties surrounding the site — allowing the company to expand in the future.

Additional conditions in the contract between Roanoke and the brewery require Deschutes to invest a minimum of $55 million in equipment and construction for the new development, hire at least 70 employees and open the brewery for full production by June 1, 2021.

Deschutes told the city it expected to employ more than 100 individuals by the first year of regular production and would hire at least 50 more employees by 2025. The company already expected to exceed the minimum building investment by $40 million.

Deschutes is currently performing its due diligence on the condition of the land and working with engineers to create a final design for the new facility. The company has until May 1, 2018 to buy the land. Pending the contract’s final approval, construction of the new brewery will begin by June 1, 2019.

Untappd Launches New Taplist Platform for Retailers


Untappd, a mobile app which allows consumers to rate and review the beers they drink, is now offering a new service tailored to retailers looking to tap into the world of digital drinkers.

In a recent post on its website, the company announced the launch of Untappd for Business — a new platform which would grant subscribing retailers, or “verified venues,” the ability to share up-to-date tap lists and push notifications with the social media outlet’s 3 million users.

Consumers on Untappd will now be able receive alerts about upcoming events or view full tap and bottle lists at the “verified” bars and bottle shops they choose to follow. They can also receive a notification when a specific beer they like becomes available at a subscribing venue within a 15-mile radius of their location.

Untappd for Business is the first new revenue stream the company has launched since it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Next Glass, a wine and beer recommendation platform, in January. At the time, Untappd co-founder Greg Avola said the company would use the merger as an opportunity to look for new ways to monetize the mobile app.

AB-InBev Accepts Asahi Offer for European Brands


Anheuser-Busch InBev has formally accepted a nearly $3 billion offer from Japanese beer company Asahi Group Holdings to purchase SABMiller’s European brands Peroni, Grolsch and Meantime Brewing.

The world’s largest beer company offered to divest the brands last year in an effort to expedite a review by European Union antitrust regulators of its pending $106 billion acquisition of SABMiller. Without the divestiture, the so-called resultant “MegaBrew” company would have more than a 15 percent market share in several European countries.

AB InBev entered into exclusive negotiations with Asahi back in February after a month-long bidding war against Spanish beer maker S.A. Damm, European equity firms BC Partners and EQT, and American firms Bain Capital and KKR.

According to Bloomberg, the transaction will be the largest acquisition in Asahi’s history and its first foray into European markets. The company has searched for new growth opportunities outside of Asia as sales have flattened in its home turf.

Last week, AB InBev sent the EU an official proposal to divest the three brands in order to create a competitor in the European market. The European Commission, the agency tasked with reviewing the EU’s antitrust concerns, will decide whether to approve or further investigate the transaction by May 24.

AB InBev has already committed to major divestitures in the United States and China pending the deal’s closure. The company also made an offered to invest nearly $70 billion in South Africa’s economy should antitrust regulators approve of the acquisition there.