It’s official: Stone will build new brewery, restaurant in RVA

The brewery will create 288 jobs located in the Greater Fulton area.

Stone Brewing Co. president and co-founder Steve Wagner joined Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Mayor Dwight Jones this afternoon to announce the San Diego brewery has named Richmond the home of its first east coast brewery.

Wagner said Richmond was among hundreds of proposals sent by east coast cities and one of over 40 cities Stone visited during its consideration.

Stone will invest $74 million for construction of a 200,000 square-foot brewery in the Greater Fulton area, as well as a destination restaurant, retail store, and administrative offices. Stone expects to create 288 new jobs.

The brewery should open in late 2015 or early 2016.

Full release below.

— ∮∮∮ —

Today, San Diego-based Stone Brewing Co. announced it has signed a formal letter of intent with the City of Richmond, Virginia, signifying the company’s interest in building its East Coast facility in the city’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.

“The search for our location east of the Mississippi River was no easy endeavor,” said Stone President and Co-founder Steve Wagner. “We 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 city’s approval. We also feel that Richmond’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.”

Adds Stone CEO and Co-founder Greg Koch, “A 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.”

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 location’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.

“Today’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,” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. “The 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 Stone’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 Commonwealth’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.”

“We are thrilled about Stone’s decision to choose Richmond as its East Coast production and distribution facility location,” said Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “After 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.”

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.

— ∮∮∮ —

Update #1 — October 8, 2014; 4:39 PM

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports Stone Brewing Co. will open a Richmond facility in the Greater Fulton neighborhood in the East End based on word from multiple sources close to the deal. It also reports that state and local leaders will formally announce the decision tomorrow.

From the Times-Dispatch:

Landing the brewery’s first facility east of the Mississippi River is a significant economic development win for Richmond and the state. Cities in several Eastern states were competing for the facility.

Richmond won out over two other finalists: Norfolk and Columbus, Ohio.

The City Planning Commission recently approved special permits for Stone to construct a brewery at two possible sites (see below).

— ∮∮∮ —

Original — October 07, 2014

The city wants to make it abundantly clear to Stone Brewing that Richmond is ready to and willing to work with the California based brewery to lure an east coast operation. Recently Stone Brewing announced that they’re pushing back the timeline on making a decision on the site for a new east coast facility. So for now Richmond, Norfolk, and Columbus OH, remain in the running although there are questions about the Columbus bid due to limitations on abv amounts.

To make it easier for Stone to settle in Richmond the city planning commission recently gave the green light to special permits that would allow work on either of the two proposed sites in town.

Richmond has the details.

The two sites will go in front of city council for final approval at an Oct. 13 meeting.

The East End location takes up 12 acres at Williamsburg Avenue and Nicholson Street. Most of that land is owned by the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority and is largely undeveloped.

Developer Thalhimer Realty Partners owns the Manchester site, which covers 17 acres on the south shore of the James River. The company’s special use permit application covers about six acres of the development running along Bainbridge Street, a stretch covered almost entirely by a trio of former warehouses that Thalhimer was planning to convert into apartments.

While Stone’s name doesn’t appear on either permit request, the brewery specs line up with numbers included in a request for proposals Stone released for its planned East Coast hub. The development would include a brewery, restaurant and retail facility.

  • error

    Report an error

Richard Hayes

When Richard isn’t rounding up neighborhood news, he’s likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest craft beer.

There are 8 reader comments. Read them.