Coors beer is known as the Rocky Mountain beer, but soon, people may start knowing it as the Blue Ridge Mountain beer.
The new Coors plant in Elkton started brewing beer in March, and now the facility is up to full speed, producing 50 million containers of beer in the last week.
Until this spring, the plant in Elkton packaged beer that was brought in from Golden, Colorado for distribution to the East coast. After two years of building the facilities needed to brew beer on site including bringing huge steel tanks that closed parts of local roads earlier this year, Elkton Coors Plant Manager Tim Williams says economically, this change to brew beer locally made sense.
"There are around $30 million of cost-savings to the company, for brewing out here. It's a lot cheaper to ship bulk cars of malt rather than bulk cars of beer," says Williams.
Water is another large part of why Coors is able to flourish in the Valley. Williams says water is critical, since it makes up 95% of beer.
"We draw from the very, very deep aquifer that gets replenished very rapidly from the rainfall in the Blue Ridge, and it is the largest aquifer in this part of North America, if not the largest aquifer in volume of flow terms in North America," says Williams.
With plenty of room for possible expansion on the two-thousand acres of land Coors owns, Williams says this is a good opportunity for Valley residents.
He says, "It would be great to bring more investment and more jobs into the Valley, and we have the potential perhaps on the side to take this to a 10-million barrel brewery to it's current seven."
At the moment, Williams says the company doesn't have any future expansion plans. He says workers are just happy to finally be brewing some beer.
"If you're going to work somewhere, a beer company is a great place to work," comment Williams.
Last year, the Coors Brewing Company closed its Memphis brewery. With Elkton's facility brewing, Coors as a company is still brewing the same amount of beer.