Stone Brewing Company looks to expand, Grand Strand makes proposal

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The 10th largest craft brewery in the United States is looking to expand on the east coast, possibly in Myrtle Beach. The Grand Strand is one of several areas fighting to become the new home of part of Stone Brewing Company.

The California-based brewery put out a Request for Proposal asking any city east of the Mississippi River to come up with a pitch for why Stone Brewing should choose that city as a place to grow.

"We're competing with some of our neighbors like Charlotte, Greensboro, and some other areas in the southeast," said Brad Lofton with the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation.

Stone Brewing wants to put more than $20 million into a new facility where eventually 500,000 barrels of beer will be made annually.

"It has the potential for 300 new jobs so we're trying to get the community to rally behind this project," added Lofton.

In addition to a brewery, the new site would include an outdoor beer garden and dining area, a bar, plus a retail section. All of which Loft said makes Myrtle Beach the perfect place for expansion.

"They have a tourism component with tours of the brewery plus they'll have a beer garden and a restaurant," said Lofton.

One of the proposed sites for Stone Brewing's expansion is near Broadway at the Beach.

"You have the luxury of 14 million visitors a year that are already going into Broadway at the Beach and so having that right there at the front door of 14 million we think makes a lot of sense," added Lofton.

MBREDC representatives are going to California later this month the meet with Stone Brewing Company as the pitch process to land the expansion continues.

Copyright 2014 WMBF News. All rights reserved.