Deschutes Brewery announced its much-anticipated decision on an East Coast location at an event in downtown Roanoke, Virginia. The growing brewery, which was founded in Oregon in 1988 by Gary Fish, has explored hundreds of potential locations in the region over the last two years. The company selected Roanoke based on several criteria including a culture and community that fit well with Deschutes’ decades-deep roots.
“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,” says Fish, the CEO and founder of the brewery. “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.”
The future Roanoke facility has been lovingly dubbed “Brew 4” as it takes its place in line after the original Bend, Oregon, public house (Brew 1), the brewery’s production facility in Bend (Brew 2) and the Portland, Oregon, public house (Brew 3). Brew 4 will be located at the eastern edge of Roanoke with construction on the site beginning in 2019. Eventually, a little over 100 new jobs will be created for the region, and the new brewery will produce around 150,000 barrels to start, with a design to increase capacity as needed. Deschutes expects to start shipping beer from the Roanoke location in about five years.
“Roanoke is honored to be chosen as Deschutes Brewery's East Coast location after a very thorough review of several communities in the Southeast,” says 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 as we continue to build a diverse, resilient economy.”
Deschutes Brewery chose to add an east coast location after the company’s distribution footprint (which currently includes 28 states and the District of Columbia) reached the east coast. By having a production facility on the eastern seaboard, the brewery will be able to deliver beers—such as its flagship Black Butte Porter—to states east of the Mississippi quickly and more sustainably.
Michael LaLonde, president of Deschutes Brewery, who was an integral part of the east coast location selection team, says, “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. 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.”