Deschutes Eyeing Virginia for Possible East Coast Brewery

deschutes_new_6_pack

It’s no secret that Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery has been on the hunt for a location to build an east coast brewing facility. A recent report from Charlottesville Tomorrow, a non-profit news organization covering land use and development in the Charlottesville, Va. area, confirms that the company is indeed considering Virginia.

Deschutes president Michael LaLonde told the website that Albemarle County is “one of several” east coast sites the company is currently eyeing. Other areas Deschutes is said to be investigating include Asheville, North Carolina; Greenville, South Carolina; and Charleston, South Carolina.

In order to land Deschutes, the Albemarle Planning Commission would first need to rezone an area near the Interstate 64 and U.S. 29 interchange. Approving that reclassification, however, is somewhat complicated. The area is currently zoned for “single-family homes” and would need to be rezoned for any commercial uses. An Albemarle County “Comprehensive Plan” strictly regulates land use and helps to determine what kinds of new developments are approved.

Adjusting which zones are able to be developed for commercial endeavors can be difficult, Charlottesville Tomorrow reporter Sean Tubbs told Brewbound. One area of concern is increased traffic, he said. So, in an effort to better understand the impact a commercial development would have on the area, The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) commissioned a study and determined that a project could “generate more than 5,000 daily trips,” Tubbs wrote.

Nevertheless, county and state officials are preparing incentive packages to help attract the brewery. Specific details have not been revealed, but the packages could include state grants and waived development fees.

The location Deschutes is said to be looking at is currently owned by Sweetspot of Albemarle LLC and located next to the Virginia Eagle Distributing Co.

The ownership group behind Sweetspot is still a bit of a mystery, according to C-Ville Weekly. In county filings, Sweetspot listed an Atlanta address belonging to Douglas Holladay, a 1976 graduate of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Holladay currently serves as an operating partner of Meritage Funds (not to be confused with Meritage Group, which owns Columbia Distributing), and represents the firm as a director of one of its portfolio companies, Crisp Media.

Calls placed to both Holladay and Deschutes founder Gary Fish were not returned as of press time.

A work session to determine the viability of rezoning the area in question is scheduled for September 2. A public hearing is also scheduled for September 9.

Brewbound Job Board

The leading job board for the beer industry. Featuring hundreds of jobs from leading breweries and associated companies.

Brewbound Marketplace Listing

The Brewbound Marketplace features listings for equipment, services, and more. Post a listing today.

Brewbound's Database of Breweries

Brewbound's database of breweries includes thousands of breweries from around the world.


Beer Events Calendar

A public calendar of events that are happening in the beer industry

View calendar | Post Event
Brew Talks GABF 2019

Denver, CO ● October 4, 2019

Register Now
Brewbound Live Winter 2019

Santa Monica, CA ● Dec. 4 + 5, 2019

Early Registration Open
Cannabis Forum Winter 2019

Santa Monica, CA ● December 6th, 2019

Register Now
Brewbound Podcast

The Brewbound Podcast features interviews with beer industry executives and entrepreneurs, along with highlights and commentary from the weekly news. New episodes every Thursday.