Last month, Stone Brewing Company announced they were looking into building a brewery “East of the Mississippi.” They issued a request for proposals that outlines exactly what they want and need from a new city, and invited proposals from targeted communities that could accommodate their requests, which include potential building size, proximity to interstates, water quality, food sources, cost of electricity, a biology report on native vegetation and much more.
It all boils down to one question found in Stone’s request for proposal: ”Why are you worthy of us and our investment?”
The Charlotte Chamber plans to answer that question. The chamber and other agencies in North Carolina were invited to send in proposals, which must be submitted by March 15. Until then, a “Bring Stone Brewing Co. to Charlotte” Facebook page has been set up so that people can comment and express their support in bringing Stone to Charlotte. Andrea Ware, director of economic development marketing at the Charlotte Chamber, says the page will be shared with Stone so that they can read these comments, and that it could give the city an edge if there is a good deal of support.
More than just a brewery, the next Stone location would include a distribution center, Stone Company Store, and Stone World Bistro & Gardens, much like their Escondido location. The investment in building these would be substantial, said Ware, and Stone could continue to benefit the city by providing jobs and supporting local suppliers.
Every year, Stone Brewing anoints the title of “Most Arrogant Bar in America” to the bar that sells the most Stone beer in a month’s time. The Tilted Kilt in Charlotte won that title in 2010, thanks in large part to a push by the Charlotte Beer Club. Mac’s Speed Shop on South Blvd. took the title the very next year. Greg Koch, the brewery’s founder and CEO, visited Charlotte to congratulate those two establishments after they won. He also visited Duckworth’s Grill and Taphouse in 2010 for the Stone Total Tap Takeover, which was one of only seven such events in the country.
So Charlotte is arrogant enough a city in which to sell and drink a lot of Stone beer, but can the city present a compelling enough argument that they should build here, too? Ultimately that will be a decision Stone has to make based on the Charlotte Chamber’s proposal. But if you are in favor, you can tell Stone why Charlotte is worthy on the “Bring Stone Brewing Co. to Charlotte” Facebook page.