Norfolk officials hope to land Stone Brewing Co.

Stone Brewing Company


Norfolk has thrown its hat into the ring of cities hoping to land Stone Brewing Co.’s second brewery.

The Escondido, Calif.-based company has asked cities east of the Mississippi River to make a case for why Stone should expand there.

Norfolk economic development officials believe the city is well-positioned for breweries because it boasts the third-largest port on the East Coast; a transportation network that can deliver goods to 100 million consumers in one day; good water quality; and a craft beer culture that's growing in Hampton Roads, said Lori Crouch, the city's spokeswoman.

And West Coast brewers are familiar with the region. San Diego-based Green Flash Brewing Co. announced last year that it will locate its first East Coast brewery in Virginia Beach.

Stone is the 10th-largest craft brewery in the U.S., according to the company. Last year, it produced 213,000 barrels of beer.

It's known for its West Coast-flavored brewing style, which tends to prominently feature hops.

The new facility would produce at least 120,000 barrels a year, and production could grow to 500,000 barrels, according to the company.

At least $20 million would be invested in the first phase of the project.

The deadline to respond to Stone Brewing is today. Sabrina Lopiccolo, a spokeswoman for the company, said the proposals will be reviewed as early as next week with hopes of starting construction by the end of the year.

Norfolk hasn't identified the proposed site for a Stone brewery.

City officials have said they're interested in attracting other brewers as well. Norfolk is home to locally based O'Connor Brewing and Smartmouth Brewing.