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Deschutes Brewery’s Roanoke Tasting Room closes its doors for final time

Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 9:27 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Regulars piled into the Deschutes Brewery Tasting Room in downtown Roanoke right as it opened its doors at 2 p.m. Friday, for one last time. Deschutes announced in October it would not renew its Tasting Room’s lease at the end of 2021.

”After four years of operating our Roanoke, Virginia tasting room, we have made the tough decision not to renew our lease and will cease operations at the end of the year,” said Michael LaLonde, President and CEO of Deschutes Brewery, in an October press conference.

Deschutes Leaders said the pandemic was a major force behind the decision to close.

“It’s true across all of our food and beverage outlets, but it was disproportionately higher at the Roanoke location,” said Chief Financial Officer Peter Skrbek in October.

Roanoke County resident Michael Galliher was an advocate for Deschutes to come to Roanoke, even before the Tasting Room opened its doors, saying it was surreal when the announcement was made years ago.

“I’ve been to a few of these business announcements before and it was standing room only, you could not fit any more people in that room with the announcement. It was just a joyous occasion and there was a lot of excitement in the air.”

Galliher, like many, made plenty of memories at the Tasting Room.

“They created a space where you could get together with friends, relax and just have a few beers and unwind.”

He said it’s sad to see the brewery go, but appreciates the impact Deschutes has had in the Roanoke community.

“Today is definitely a sad day. But I don’t think we should focus on the loss, even though that this is a loss. Personally I truly believe that Deschutes, in their hearts, Roanoke is their East Coast home and I think it always will be.”

Deschutes said it will still remain present in the Roanoke community and Galliher hopes this chapter of Deschutes in Roanoke isn’t goodbye, just see you later.

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