Stone Brewing Co. officials stopped by the Executive Mansion last week during a visit to Richmond, where they drank pints of the company’s Go To IPA out of a newly installed gubernatorial Kegerator.
The trip comes as Stone considers Richmond a finalist for a $31 million East Coast brewery. McAuliffe says he’s actively joined attempts to woo the company.
“I just had them at the mansion the other night,” McAuliffe said during his monthly call-in radio show this morning. “I had to sit and drink beer with them at the mansion the other night, so I’m working on it. It’s between us and Ohio. This is where Stone ought to be.”
McAuliffe also said he traveled to the company’s headquarters in San Diego to meet with company executives.
“I have worked this like a dog,” McAuliffe said, joking with host Jimmy Barrett about all the beer he’s had to drink.
Richmond has declined to detail the incentive package it’s offered to Stone, but it’s been described as generous. Sources say Stone officials are working with economic development officials in Ohio to see if they can get a better offer.
A Stone spokeswoman said earlier this month that it was taking the company longer than expected to make a decision. The brewery would create 100 jobs.
City Hall sources, who have been tightlipped about attempts to lure the company, say Stone seems to have eliminated Norfolk as a contender.
On air, McAuliffe seemed to confirm that as he responded to questions from WRVA’s Barrett, who specifically asked him about efforts to bring the brewery to Richmond. McAuliffe’s press secretary, Brian Coy, later clarified by email that McAuliffe didn’t intend to suggest Norfolk was out of the running. (This article has been updated to reflect that, see note below.)
Coy declined to comment when asked if Norfolk was part of the governor’s discussions with Stone last week.
Editor's note: An earlier version of this article cited McAuliffe as one of the sources who said Norfolk is out of the running for Stone's East Coast expansion. The remark was attributed to the governor based on his on-air interview and a subsequent email exchange with the his press secretary, Brian Coy. Coy has since said neither he nor the governor meant to suggest Norfolk is out of the running. This article has been updated throughout to reflect that.