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Stone Brewing layoffs won’t have big impact locally; future plans still on track

RICHMOND, Va. – California-based Stone Brewing Company has announced they're laying off five percent of their employees around the country after a slowdown in domestic growth, but Richmond staff will only feel a minimal impact.

The company also emphasized that they are still seeing growth, but more modest growth.

“We are focused on the long-term development of our business in North America and Europe, including the Eastern seaboard anchored from our new Richmond facility,” the company said in a statement. “There are no changes to our plans or our confidence in our Virginia facility. Stone continues to grow, outpacing the market as in the past.”

The company recently opened their East Coast headquarters at 4300 Williamsburg Ave, near Rocketts Landing. The City of Richmond issued $23 million in bonds to help pay for the facility.

Richmond also pledged $8 million more to build a destination restaurant near the facility in the Fulton neighborhood.

Stone Brewing (Kieran McQuilkin)

Stone Brewing (Kieran McQuilkin)

In a statement to CBS 6, Stone Brewing Co. co-founders Greg Koch and Steve Wagner, said that these plans are still on track “to open as scheduled before the end of 2019.”

The rest of the statement read:

“The Richmond staff has been minimally impacted by Stone’s recent restructuring. We provided 60 days of paid salary and career transition services to the few people who were affected, all of which held roles responsible for getting the project up and running. We still employ 61 team members and we will fulfill our 88 total planned brewery positions within our first year of operations. We also plan to hire an additional 200 people with the opening of Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens - Richmond, still on track to open as scheduled before the end of 2019.  Our projected barrelage for 2016 remains on track at our Richmond and Escondido breweries.”

The company said the decline in domestic growth for craft beers and for the company they were forced to restructure to “preserve our independence in an increasingly competitive category:"

The company addressed the layoffs in a statement that read in part:

“Due to an unforeseen slowdown in our consistent growth and changes in the craft beer landscape, we have had to make the difficult decision to restructure our staff. It is crucial to recognize that this decision was made after much careful consideration. Approximately 5% of all team members were affected, and they were offered a substantial notice period and career transition services. No additional layoffs are expected within Stone’s foreseeable future.”

In 2014, Stone chose Richmond over other finalists Norfolk and Columbus, Ohio as the location for their new East Coast brewery. Stone is one of the largest craft breweries in the United States.