The state of Virginia became the new hot spot for craft breweries on the East Coast basically by wanting to become the new hot spot. When Stone Brewing was looking for an East Coast home, the state made a solid pitch and did what it could to woo them and win the bid. Deschutes was similiarly wooed.
Virginia is home to more than 120 craft breweries with a ton more on the way. The city of Radford, Va., home to Radford University, believes it should be a bigger player. Breweries are allowed in industrial zones but not business districts. Amending those rules could be a huge win for both prospective breweries and the surrounding businesses and restaurants.
From The Roanoke Times:
[Melissa Skelton, director of planning and zoning] said the idea to change the zoning ordinance came about a year ago when Radford’s economic development office was in talks to bring a brewery to the city. The plan didn’t work out, but “it kind of led us to that realization,” she said.