From Roanoke Times reporter Katelyn Polantz. I write about Roanoke County.
This is a picture of my dog, wearing a Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. leash.
I bought that leash on a family vacation in Northern California three days before Sierra Nevada announced it wouldn’t locate its East Coast Brewery in Roanoke. And it was more than a week before I realized I’d be writing this dissection of Sierra Nevada’s search in Virginia for the Roanoke Times.
We took the Sierra Nevada brewery tour because, well, that’s what you do when you’re in Chico, Calif. While I was there as a tourist, a few tidbits from that visit informed my reporting for this Sunday. (That line about drinkers toasting to CEO Ken Grossman … yep, they do that at brewery tasting sessions. “Cheers to Ken!” That’s him, below.)
Throughout Sierra Nevada’s East Coast search, the Chico Enterprise-Record reported on the situation, and their reporting as well as the newspapers from western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee helped shape the questions I asked of both Roanoke Valley folk and in my 10-minute chat with Grossman. One recent column in the Chico paper, from the North Carolina legislator who helped orchestrate the change of policy there to help the large brewery, is particularly insightful on the second half of Sierra Nevada’s search.
And, for the money-watchers out there, here’s the Roanoke County document that describes the breakdown of its $12.76 million incentive offer.