Suzanne Roig
The Bulletin

Deschutes Brewery will not be breaking ground on its Roanoke, Virginia, brewing facility in June — as previously planned.

In April, the brewery told officials in Roanoke it would need to put the brakes on its plans to build a second brewery with capacity to produce 190,000 barrels a year after experiencing its first sales decline in its 30-year history.

“At this time, we continue to watch trends in the craft beer market for the right time to build a facility that is high quality and economically sustainable,” said Michael LaLonde, Deschutes Brewery president and CEO. “We don’t foresee breaking ground in 2019 as originally planned, but we will meet a commitment next spring to let the city of Roanoke know our updated plans.”

The Roanoke Times first reported the delay Friday.

According to Roanoke City Council documents, the brewery must come up with a performance schedule by March 31 and submit plans by Aug. 31, 2020. Construction must begin no later than June 30, 2021, according to public documents.

Deschutes had planned to break ground by June, start brewing test batches in 2020 and begin shipping from the facility by 2021. In April, Deschutes gave up government incentives in exchange for flexibility on the timeline. The brewery also went ahead with the $3.2 million purchase of a parcel in Roanoke.

“We are sorry to hear this news, but wish to remain supportive of the company’s continuing efforts to bring its east coast brewery to Roanoke,” wrote Scott Pearson, vice president of incentives at the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

Deschutes Brewery distributes its beer in 29 states and Washington, D.C. The Brewers Association ranked Deschutes 10th in terms of sales volume. Deschutes has more than 550 employees among the Bend brewery, pubs in Bend and Portland, and sales divisions across the country.

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