RICHMOND (AP) - One of the nation's top 10 craft breweries is eyeing Norfolk, Richmond and Columbus, Ohio for its East Coast operations.
Escondido, California-based Stone Brewing Co. expects to invest $60 million in the project over five years and employ nearly 375 people when at full production capacity of nearly 500,000 barrels annually.
The facility is expected to include a bistro, gardens and company store similar to its California facility and recently announced overseas brewery in Berlin.
Officials anticipate making a final decision on the East Coast location within the next two months. If Stone decides to set up shop in Virginia, it would join a growing list of more than 80 craft breweries.
On its Facebook page, Stone Brewing said, "As reported in regional outlets and chatter on the Internet, we have narrowed the focus of our search for an Eastern U.S. brewery to Columbus, Ohio, Norfolk, Virginia and Richmond, Virginia, but won't be at a point where we can announce our final decision until at least several weeks from now. But we're excited and on our way."
There's a Facebook page called "Bring Stone Brewing Co. to Norfolk, VA to track developments in the effort.