Virginia Tech’s Department of Food Science and Technology Fermentation Program is one of the first programs in North America to earn recognition from the Master Brewers Association of the Americas (MBAA).
What you might not know is that Deschutes to Roanoke is a project four years in the making.
Here’s a glimpse of how it came together.
January 2012: Roanoke Regional Partnership begins “water” campaign to showcase the Roanoke Region’s availability of high quality and quantity of water, good wastewater capacity, and affordability.
May 2012: Partnership holds conference call with Deschutes’ Michael Lalonde, president & COO; and Peter Skrbek, CFO.
July 2012: Partnership creates outreach campaign of Deschutes beer photographed around the Roanoke Region and sends to company.
October 2012: Partnership and Virginia Economic Development Partnership travel to Great American Beer Festival to meet with Gary Fish, founder and chairman, and Michael Lalonde, president, at Great American Beer Festival.
The ongoing dialogue between the Roanoke Region and Deschutes began to take shape with constant communication over the next couple of years. It became clear that the communities had a lot in common. The process included an official request for information in October 2013 and multiple visits between Bend and Roanoke.
March-April 2014: Search for sites begins.
October 2014: Partnership asks for Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s assistance.
November 2014: Partnership meets with company in Bend.
Business and quality of life. These two components were a part of multiple visits here by from Deschutes employees. Business was on the agenda although almost every visit included fun – from joining hundreds of people on the greenway for a pub run to biking at Carvins Cove to having a bite and a beer at some of the region’s best restaurants.
November 2014: Dinner for Deschutes team at Governor’s mansion.
November 2014: Roanoke visit and tour of potential Roanoke Region sites by Deschutes team. Later, in February 2015 the consultant informs the City of Roanoke a site in the Roanoke Centre for Industry & Technology is a Virginia finalist.
February 2015: Partnership contracts with Six-Eleven Bicycle Co. to make a Deschutes branded bicycle which is featured in a video to company.
May 2015: City of Roanoke staff travels to Bend for reconnaissance.
May 2015: Deschutes team spends time in Roanoke to evaluate the site and take in activities, events and learn more about similarities between Roanoke and Bend.
June-September 2015: Serious conversations between Deschutes and the City of Roanoke begin.
Media coverage began to appear that Deschutes was looking for an East Coast home and Roanoke was among a handful of communities on that list. Support from all over the region – from editorials in the newspaper to chatter in the community to the #Deschutes2Rke campaign on social media to gifts sent from individuals to the brewery – has been incredible. You could hardly leave home without someone talking about Deschutes’ East Coast aspirations.
October 2015: The “Deschutes 2 Roanoke” Facebook page, created by Michael Galliher, shows overwhelming community support for the project. Social groups, organizations, and individuals post photos to social media holding signs spelling #Deschutes2Rke.
November 2015: City of Roanoke is selected as the preferred site for the project, pending due diligence and agreement on terms.
December 31, 2015: City of Roanoke receives signed letter of intent from Deschutes.
March 22, 2016: Deschutes announces that it has selected Roanoke for its East Coast location.
DALEVILLE, Va. (MAY 24, 2016) – Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits, the 11th largest craft brewer in the United States in 2015, will invest about $48 million to establish an East Coast brewing operation in Botetourt County. The company has agreed to purchase the 259,040 sq. ft. Lawrence Companies building located on International Parkway in Botetourt Center at Greenfield where it plans to create 178 jobs in manufacturing and retail operations.