Press Clips: How Virginia Wooed Stone

thomas jefferson

Thomas Jefferson

Times Dispatch Explains How Virginia Wooed Stone

He was the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third U.S. president. Now, 188 years after his death, Thomas Jefferson can add to his resume.

According to a Times Dispatch report, economic developers in Virginia dug up (read: hired an actor to play) Thomas Jefferson to help sell Stone Brewing on the state when the company was still in search of a place to build a facility on the east coast.

The ploy, which took place during a June lunch in Stone’s Escondido, Calif. backyard, apparently worked — though the state hardly left its fate solely in the hands of an ersatz Founding Father. The Times Dispatch feature goes beyond that lunch meeting and explores both the broader partnerships and discussions that secured the deal.

To start, it comes out that the Virginia Economic Development Partnership “was the first state-level suitor in the door,” meeting with Stone on March 17. Throughout the process, the article adds, the VEDP “served as a central coordinator, gathering information Stone needed from various state agencies and working with Virginia localities, including Richmond.”

It was an all-hands-on-deck effort it seems, as both small brewers in the state such as Hardywood Park Craft Brewery as well as the NFL team Washington Redskins pitched in to sell Stone on Richmond. Even unaffiliated citizens, perhaps unbeknownst to them, played a role:

“After a dinner at The Cask Cafe on South Robinson Street, Stone officials said they wanted to walk back to their downtown hotel. City officials learned the next morning that the group didn’t do it in a straight shot, but made stops at Joe’s Inn and other local spots to talk to regular Richmonders about beer.”

The lengthy article goes into much greater depth about all of this and is well worth the read.

Washington Post Profiles “Mr. Shelf Space,” C. Dean Metropoulos

On the heels of the sale of Pabst Brewing to Oasis Beverages and TSG Consumer Partners, the Washington Post has published a profile of C. Dean Metropoulos, the billionaire who turned a $500 million profit by parting with the heritage brand.

Metropoulos, who acquired Pabst for $250 million in 2010 and sold it for a reported $750 million just four years later, has made a lucrative living as a turnaround expert.

The Pabst deal, reports the Post, was different from others, however — like the Twinkie revival he spearheaded — in “one important way.”

“To lead the beer giant, he tapped his sons, who, unlike their decorous father, were known largely for their fast-talking, party-boy gloss.”

Even with his sons on board, the Metropoulos strategy from brand to brand, whether with Pabst or Chef Boyardee, has been relatively basic, the article continues:

“The Metropoulos playbook, for all its success, is deceptively simple: Buy a well-known brand that has, as Dean told Leaders Magazine, lost its “mojo;” re-energize it with new packaging, maybe, or a high-profile ad campaign; sell the newly hyped brand for a handsome profit; repeat.”

Maine Boasts Impressive Craft Beer Numbers

To kick off the week, Maine Biz published a story highlighting some of the impressive contributions Maine’s craft brewers have made of late to the state’s economy.

To put it succinctly, the industry employed 1,500 people in 2013 and generated an economic impact statewide of approximately $189 million both directly and indirectly.

Of course, with every conversation about the rapid growth of the industry, the “bubble” is bound to come up. It does here too, though the brewers interviewed didn’t voice any concern that it would be bursting anytime soon.

“To help foster the industry’s growth — and perhaps to fight against a bubble-bursting scenario — [Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild, says the organization] is launching a new event series called “Beer School.” The series was scheduled to kick off on Nov. 2 and aims to attract beer enthusiasts throughout the next year with interactive events that allow them to meet local brewers, taste their brews and learn about various aspects of the trade.”

Trapp Lager Expands

Vermont’s Trapp Lager Brewery has expanded its production facility, increasing its brewing capacity from 2,000 to 50,000 barrels per year, according to Seven Days.

Additionally, Trapp Lager added new storage and fermentation tanks to help ramp up its lagering capabilities.

Beyond added production, Trapp Lager is also planning to open a 150-seat beer hall and garden by next summer, the article adds, while also growing distribution throughout New Hampshire and Massachusetts.