The third Stone Brewing Co. location will be Virginia.

After a long search, the company announced today it has signed a letter of intent with the city of Richmond, Va. to build a $74 million facility that will include a production brewery, restaurant, packaging hall, administrative offices and retail store.

According to a press release, the new facility in the city’s Greater Fulton Community will sit on 14 acres of land and will consist of a 200,000 square foot production brewery that will be constructed in two phases. The entire project is scheduled to be operational by late 2015 or early 2016, and is eventually expected to employ more than 288 people.

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“The search for our location east of the Mississippi River was no easy endeavor,” said Steve Wagner, Stone president and co-founder. “We received and reviewed hundreds of proposals, visited more than 40 sites, and received quite a bit of attention from communities and craft beer fans.”

“The three finalist cities each provided diverse offerings, however, we decided to begin next-step negotiations with Richmond because of their ability to meet our extensive site requirements, subject to the city’s approval. We also feel that Richmond’s vibrant energy and impressive craft beer culture, along with the uniqueness of the property, will allow us to create a truly memorable Stone experience for our fans.”

Richmond was given the nod over Norfolk, Va. and Columbus, Ohio.

The new facility will also be equipped with a 250-barrel brewhouse, which will allow the both year-round and special release beers to be bottled, legged and distributed all on site. In addition, a two-story, 30,000 square foot building sitting on four acres near the brewery will be renovated and transformed into a restaurant that will serve locally grown organic food.

This is the second expansion the Escondido, Calif.-based brewery has made this year. In July, the company announced the opening of Stone Brewing Co. – Berlin, which will make Stone the first American craft brewery to independently own and operate a brewery in Europe.

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