Deschutes founder and CEO talk about expansion, future in Roanoke

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Monday, people are getting their first taste of Deschutes downtown. The tasting room is opening up to the public.

WDBJ7 talked with the founder and CEOs today.

Gary Fish has watched his company grow. For him, it's not as much about the destination.

Gary Fish, Deschutes Founder, said, “Well the journey is everything for me.”

He recalls those early discussions as the company was scouring the southeast for its new east coast facility.

“And my comment was, find the place we need to be,” he said.

Michael LaLonde, Deschutes Brewery President and CEO said, “It's the largest investment that the company’s ever made so it's a big deal for us.”

He says their goal is to make an impact wherever they do business. When the brewery facility is up and running, they expect to hire more than 100 people. With ground breaking in 2018 or 2019, he says everything's on track.

LaLonde said, “We just go slow, methodical, we've done that for the entire 29 years. We want to take a smart approach to the business.”

Fish said, “Roanoke is not joining us. We are joining Roanoke.”

Fish says he'd like Deschutes to grow with our region, and he believes the future is incredibly bright for both.

“Our journey is just beginning,” said Fish. “This is the first step.”

The brewery is expected to open around 2021.