Stone Brewing Co. Taps Richmond, Virginia, as Location for New Brewery

North San Diego’s Stone Brewing Co. has tapped Richmond, Virginia, as the future home for a new brewery and restaurant location, the company announced Thursday.

The Escondido-based company confirmed it has signed a formal letter of intent with the City of Richmond outlining Stone’s interest in building its first-ever East Coast facility in the city’s greater Fulton community.

If approved, Stone plans to invest $74 million to construct a brewery, packaging hall, restaurant, retail store and administrative offices.

The company said the construction of the East Coast facility will occur in phases, with the brewery up and running by late 2015 or early 2016 and the Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens portion opening a year or two after that.

The 200,000-square-foot brewery and distribution facility will likely be built on 14 acres of land and will be equipped with a 250-barrel brewhouse that produces year-round and special-release beers to be bottled, kegged and distributed.

A two-story, 30,000-square-foot building will be transformed into a destination restaurant spanning four acres and boasting landscaped gardens where patrons can enjoy craft beer and bites in a relaxing atmosphere. The restaurant menu will highlight locally-grown, organic food.

The company plans to employ approximately 288 people or more at the Virginia business.

Stone president and co-founder Steve Wagner said narrowing down the location of the East Coast facility was tough, as the company received hundreds of proposals and visited more than 40 sites before making their big decision.

“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,” Wagner said in a press release Thursday.

Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones said the city was thrilled to welcome Stone Brewing Co. to Virginia.

The North County brewing company first announced plans to expand its IPA empire to the East Coast this past March.

In July, the company announced another expansion, this time hopping international borders with plans to open a brewery in Berlin, Germany. With that big move, the company will become the first American craft brewer to independently own and operate a brewery in Europe.

With plans to invest $25 million, Stone will transform a two-acre historic gasworks complex in the Berlin suburb of Marienpark into a brewhouse, World & Bistro Gardens restaurant and retail store by late 2015 or early 2016.

Stone is Southern California’s largest brewery and the nation’s 10th largest craft beer producer. It operates its flagship brewing facility and bistro out of Escondido on Citracado Parkway and a second location in Point Loma’s Liberty Station, which opened in 2013.

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