“Dear Columbus, Ohio & Norfolk, Virginia –
Our good friends at Scotland’s BrewDog are potentially looking for a U.S. spot to locate a production facility, tasting room…and perhaps even a restaurant. I told them that I’d be more than happy to make an introduction to the good folks at the other two “Top 3” locations we considered (ultimately we chose Richmond, Virginia, as you all know). Of course, we’ll make direct introductions between James Watt at BrewDog and the governmental officials of your two fine cities, and let you take any possible discussions from there. We really value the relationships we have built, and are more than happy to help connect some dots with our friends at BrewDog.
Cheers | Greg Koch, CEO & Co-founder, Stone Brewing Co.”
Looking into it, perhaps BrewDog was the brewery we were looking for all along, and here is why.
1. Norfolk has always had a history of brewing, dating back to the start of the new world. By 1916 Norfolk had 10 breweries, including Pabst, Schlitz, and Glasgow brewing (Foreshadowing? I think not). While Prohibition might have thrown Glasgow Brewing for a loss, it is about time Norfolk had some traditional Scottish beer flowing out of its ports.
2. The water in Norfolk is something else. Some of the best in the nation and definitely suited for brewing. Ask the local breweries and they’ll no doubt praise the quality of the water.
3. The Birch. Where better to showcase such an upscale beer than one of the top beer bars in the USA. Full of local, exclusives, and imports, there isn’t a better place to let your clientele experience a limited release firkin or six-tel.
4. Where better to showcase quirky designs than a city with the character of Norfolk:
Beer surrounded with the fluffy bodies of previous roadkill? I don’t think PETA can even be upset about that. What better a way to get your dose of cuteness and alcohol all in one sitting.
5. Norfolk is the second drunkest city in the US. (I don’t see Richmond or Columbus in the top five). Seems like a logical choice for Sink the Bismarck with its 41% ABV. Any city other than Norfolk just can’t handle that kind of a drink.
6. NATO Headquarters is located in Norfolk. We’re used to accents and people from all over, but we don’t nearly have enough Scottish accents. Help us solve this problem.
7. Employee satisfaction is a big thing in Hampton Roads. Employees love to live here and the numbers show it. There aren’t many places with such a rich history and combination of outdoor and urban activities. The NorVa is one of the best national music venues and Hampton Roads has some awesome beaches.
8. Cruise ships and cruisers, Norfolk has both of them. There isn’t a better way to market your beer than letting the military transients and foreign tourists have a good taste of it. This is something that commercials and magazines just can’t match.
9. Get some waterfront property while it’s cheap. Norfolk is definitely on the upswing between hotels, downtown apartments, and premium outlets; there is plenty to do in Norfolk and plenty to attract people from other parts of Hampton Roads to Norfolk to do some shopping and drinking. What Norfolk is lacking is a national brewery, and is definitely looking for a serious contender to fill the spot.
10. The local brewing and drinking scene is strong. On any given night you can expect some limited release events, pint night, homebrewing and tasting meetings, or just spectacular happy hour specials.
image | 80/20 Burger Bar
Stone may have chosen Richmond, but who really cares about that when we can have a international brewery that is interested in brewing unique Scottish beer instead of the same old west coast iterations. Norfolk is the right place for BrewDog; all they need is a nudge from the Norfolk residents. For those that are solely drinkers of local craft beers, just think of all the experience in European beer styles they
will bring to Norfolk. Wouldn’t you like to be able to drink a Scottish ale and boast that it came from your own backyard?