(Michael) LaLonde (company president at Deschutes) and brewery founder and CEO Gary Fish were in North Carolina and Virginia last week, on the hunt for a brewery site. The company has reportedly scouted locations in Greenville, South Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina, and Asheville, North Carolina. Fish was silent on which location, if any, has the edge.
“We are still fully engaged in the process,” he said Tuesday. “We’ve given ourselves to the end of the year to make a decision. It’s an exciting process to be part of, but there’s nothing to announce at this point.”
The note about the expansion came as part of a story about Karl Ockert, who was recently hired as director of brewing operations at Deschutes. Ockert will be part of the design and planning of the new brewery, according to the Bulletin. Ockert’s history with the craft beer industry in Oregan dates back to its beginnings, as he helped start BridgePort Brewing Co. in Portland in 1984, the site reports.
Deschutes Brewery, the sixth-largest craft brewer in the U.S. with distribution in 28 states, confirmed to the Asheville Citizen-Times in April that it was looking at potential sites around Asheville, including a 137-acre site that Buncombe County commissioners bought from Henderson County officials for $6.8 million for an economic development project. The property is in Bent Creek and sits along the French Broad River.
We need this company in Asheville.
Love Deschutes. Visited there last summer and really enjoyed it. Good food as well.