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VA: Deschutes Brewery to Invest $85M, Create 108 Jobs in Roanoke

3 Jun, 2016


Deschutes Brewery, the fifth-largest craft brewer in the United States, announced 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.

“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.”

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.”  

Once Roanoke area craft beer lovers learned that it was a finalist for the project, support was overwhelming. People from around the region posted dozens of photos holding #Deschutes2Rke signs on social media. 

"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 jobs, investment, industry leadership, and tourism draw will have economic impact throughout Virginia’s Blue Ridge.  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.”

Deschutes Brewery 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.

The City of Roanoke and the Roanoke Regional Partnership worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership on the project.  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 beyond the City of Roanoke and across the region.

“The Economic Development Authority is thrilled to support Deschutes Brewery in the decision to construct their East Coast manufacturing and distribution facility in the City of Roanoke,” said Charles Hunter, Chair of the Economic Development Authority. “The EDA has a long history of working to recruit and retain businesses to this city, and we are excited to work with Deschutes as they invest in the community, create jobs, and put Roanoke on the map as a major beer tourism destination.”

Governor Terry McAuliffe approved a $3 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Roanoke with the project. The company is eligible to receive funding from the Economic Development Access Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Transportation, as well as state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. 

The city will contribute the land at the Roanoke Centre for Industry and Technology (RCIT) valued at $2,750,000, provided that Deschutes meets certain investment and job creation performance criteria over a five-year period. The company will be eligible for grants under the city's Enterprise Zone Program estimated to be approximately $140,000. The city, through the Economic Development Authority, will provide a performance grant with an anticipated value of approximately $1.4 million based on the expected generation of machinery and tools taxes from the project over a four-year period.

The Economic Development Authority will provide two performance grants totaling $225,000.  In addition, the city will make infrastructure improvements for the project at RCIT to include extending Blue Hills Drive to the site, installing water and sewer lines ($2,404,180), and extending the proposed Tinker Creek Greenway to the site ($1,000,000).

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