Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery to Build $85 Million Facility in Roanoke, Virginia

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Virginia is for (Deschutes beer) lovers.

After much-anticipation, Bend, Oregon’s Deschutes Brewery today announced plans to build a second commercial brewing facility in Roanoke, Virginia.

The company, which brewed a majority of the 340,000 barrels it produced in 2015 out of a large brewery in Bend, Ore., doesn’t plan to begin construction on the new east coast location until 2019.

Dubbed “Brew 4,” – in addition to its full-scale brewery in Bend, Deschutes operates two smaller “public houses” in its hometown as well as Portland, Ore. – the new brewery will initially be capable of producing upwards of 150,000 barrels annually and create more than 100 new jobs, according to a press release.

Already distributed in 28 states and expanding distribution in the east, Deschutes’ new Virginia facility, which will cost approximately $85 million to build, will enable the company to more efficiently deliver its products to markets east of the Mississippi.

At an announcement ceremony in downtown Roanoke, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said a $3 million investment from the state’s “Commonwealth Opportunity Fund” was used to help attract Deschutes to the area.

“This is a big, big deal for us,” McAuliffe said during the ceremony.

Deschutes had visited “hundreds” of potential locations, including sites in Charlestown, South Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina, before ultimately deciding on Virginia. The company said it expects to begin shipping beer from the new location in “about five years.”

“We started Deschutes Brewery when craft beer wasn’t burgeoning and led with a beer style that wasn’t popular at the time – Black Butte Porter,” CEO and founder Gary Fish said via a statement. “This pioneering approach was a key driver behind our decision to go with Roanoke, as that same spirit exists in this community and its fast-growing beer culture.”

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Deschutes, which was founded in 1988 and is now ranked as one of the largest craft beer companies in the U.S., according to the Brewers Association, first began researching the possibility of an east coast brewing facility in 2012 and started scouting potential locations in 2014.

“Although it was a tough decision – we loved so many of the communities that we visited over the past two years – we are very excited to be heading to Roanoke,” president Michael LaLonde said via the statement. “We love the region and everyone we’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with during this process has been incredible. We have absolutely been blown away with how the community rallied around bringing us here and has given us such a warm welcome.”

Recall that fellow west-coast craft brewery, Stone Brewing Co., in 2014 announced plans to construct a $74 million brewery in Richmond, Virginia. A number of western craft breweries have recently expanded in the east: California’s Sierra Nevada built a new facility in Mills River, N.C., while Green Flash Brewing opted for a smaller facility in Virginia Beach. A pair of Colorado companies, New Belgium and Oskar Blues, also built in the Asheville area.

Additional coverage:

Asheville Citizen Times

Richmond Times-Dispatch

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