July 27--City insiders have been excited for some time about the possibility of luring Stone Brewing Co. to Norfolk. Although their negotiations are secret, the Buzz gleaned some details in recent days that we thought were worth passing on.
Word in city circles is that Stone really likes the idea of coming to Norfolk, and executives from the Escondido, Calif.-based Stone -- the 10th-largest craft brewery in the nation -- have made several visits.
But Richmond and Columbus, Ohio, have remained high on the list of possible sites. Officials in Richmond have pitched the possibility of building a brewery and leasing it to Stone.
But Norfolk has better water, a key to good brewing.
Stone likes the idea of building a brewery on long-vacant land adjacent to Harbor Park. It would need a large parking deck and could employ 350 people. Imagine a beer garden on the Elizabeth River near the crack of baseball bats and the bells of The Tide.
It's unclear when Stone Brewing might announce its finalists or chosen site. The company created a stir a week ago by posting on
But Stone announced it would build a $25 million brewery and restaurant in Berlin, making Stone the first American craft brewer to independently own and operate a brewery in Europe, according to the company.
In Norfolk, the wait continues.