Deschutes Brewery, the fifth largest craft brewer in the United States, announced March 22 that it will build an East Coast brewery in the City of Roanoke. The company will invest $85 million on a 49-acre site in the Roanoke Centre for Industry & Technology, where it will employ 108.
The company conducted a two-year search of several states and cities before deciding on Roanoke. The Roanoke Regional Partnership began talking to Deschutes in 2012 as part of a campaign targeting the craft beer industry. The Partnership coordinated eight visits by the company and its consultant and connected them with dozens of organizations and individuals throughout the region.
“You can tell by the over-the-top reaction from the people who live here, that we all believe Deschutes Brewery will make a huge difference in this community,” said Beth Doughty of the Roanoke Regional Partnership. “The cultural fit is strong and the synergy between Deschutes and Roanoke will bring incredible energy to what we’re doing here. We know this company shares and appreciates our community values particularly around outdoor recreation and livability.”
Michael LaLonde, president of Deschutes Brewery, said, “After visiting several amazing communities over the past two years, we are very excited to be heading to Roanoke. 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. #Deschutes2Rke we’re on our way and proud to be able to now call Roanoke our second home.”
“Roanoke is honored to be chosen as Deschutes Brewery’s East Coast location,” said Roanoke City Manager Chris Morrill. “It is a company with a strong culture of community engagement, recognized for its craftsmanship and will be a perfect fit for Roanoke’s vibrant outdoor lifestyle. We are thrilled to welcome Deschutes to Virginia’s Blue Ridge as we continue to build a more diverse, resilient economy.”
Deschutes is a craft brewery founded in 1988 as a brew pub in Bend, Ore. The brewery is known for brewing beers including Black Butte Porter and Mirror Pond Pale Ale. In 2008, the brewery opened a second pub in Portland’s Pearl District. Deschutes Brewery now ships beer to 28 states, the District of Columbia, and around the world from its main brewing facility located on the banks of the Deschutes River.
Economic impact modeling by the Roanoke Regional Partnership indicates this project will have an overall annual economic impact of $209 million and spur creation of more than 305 secondary jobs. The impact will extend across the region.
But did you know that the region is home to two new distilleries as well?
Franklin County Distilleries is located in Boones Mill and is believed to be the first legal distillery in the county since before the prohibition era. It produces corn whiskey.
Twin Creeks Distillery in Rocky Mount opened shortly after Franklin County Distilleries and produces peach brandy, a rye whiskey and a “First Sugar” moonshine.
A great, high-quality water supply and the county’s heritage make sense for this pair of businesses. “It’s such a distinctive Franklin County heritage product that is now wondrously legal,” Boones Mill Mayor Ben Flora told The Roanoke Times. The distilleries are part of a larger vision for the county and tourism growth.
Learn more about both businesses in a recent story from The Roanoke Times.
Learn why the Roanoke Region is a good fit for businesses in the food and beverage industry.