San Diego-based Stone Brewing Co. has announced it has signed a formal letter of intent with the City of Richmond, Virginia, signifying the companyâ€™s interest in building its East Coast facility in the cityâ€™s Greater Fulton Community. Subject to local approvals, Stone plans to invest $74 million to construct a production brewery, packaging hall, destination restaurant, retail store and its administrative offices. Construction of the facilities will occur in phases. The brewery is anticipated to be operational in late 2015 or early 2016, with Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens opening a year or two after that. Ultimately, the company will employ more than 288 people.
More details from a company press release:
â€œThe search for our location east of the Mississippi River was no easy endeavor,â€ said Stone President and Co-founder Steve Wagner. â€œWe received and reviewed hundreds of proposals, visited more than 40 sites, and received quite a bit of attention from communities and craft beer fans. The three finalist cities each provided diverse offerings, however, we decided to begin next-step negotiations with Richmond because of their ability to meet our extensive site requirements, subject to the cityâ€™s approval. We also feel that Richmondâ€™s vibrant energy and impressive craft beer culture, along with the uniqueness of the property, will allow us to create a truly memorable Stone experience for our fans. We are honored by the amount of time and effort all the communities that submitted proposals put forth, and we want to specifically thank Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones for welcoming us.â€
Adds Stone CEO and Co-founder Greg Koch, â€œA facility on the East Coast will allow us to meet demand for our beer, ensure we are providing our fans with the freshest beer possible and also serve as a distribution hub for states located east of the Mississippi. We look forward to becoming an integral part of the lively craft beer community in Richmond, the state of Virginia and the entire eastern U.S.â€
Stone anticipates building a 200,000 square-foot production brewery and distribution facility on 14 acres of land. Equipped with a 250-barrel brewhouse, the brewery will produce year-round and special-release beers to be bottled, kegged and distributed, as well as enjoyed on-site. The company also plans to renovate a two-story, 30,000 square-foot building, transforming it into a destination restaurant spanning four acres and highlighting locally grown organic food, complementing the harmonious nature and seasonality of the locationâ€™s surroundings. The restaurant will feature beautifully landscaped gardens where visitors will be able to enjoy craft beer, dine and relax in an inviting atmosphere.
â€œTodayâ€™s announcement marks the fruition of months of partnership and aggressive efforts to show Stone Brewing Co. that Virginia is the best state for its new craft beer production and hospitality facility,â€ said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. â€œThe company received submissions from more than 20 states, and the Commonwealth of Virginia was selected. This competitive, high-profile project really puts Virginia on the map and cements our standing as a serious player in the craft beer industry. In addition to Stoneâ€™s significant investment and more than 288 new jobs, the far-reaching economic benefits of this operation are innumerable. The City of Richmond offers the infrastructure, available site and building, and natural resources that will allow the company to thrive and grow, and we are confident that Stone will benefit from the Commonwealthâ€™s excellent business environment for years to come. Today is an achievement of great magnitude, and we are excited to welcome Stone Brewing Co. to Virginia.â€
â€œWe are thrilled about Stone’s decision to choose Richmond as its East Coast production and distribution facility location,â€ said Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones. â€œAfter competing with 20 other states, we are so pleased that Stone has discovered those attributes that make Richmond a great place to do business. The fact that they have chosen a site in the Greater Fulton Community underscores their understanding of the rich history and natural assets that we have to offer. As they bring their unique craft beer and visionary business model here, I look forward to the many opportunities that lay ahead with Stone.â€
This is the second expansion announcement Stone has made this year. In July, the company unveiled it will become the first American craft brewer to independently own and operate a brewery in Europe with the opening of Stone Brewing Co.Berlin.