Forget the fiscal cliff and debt ceilings, all SweetWater Brewery knows is the beer business was good to them in 2012. The company announced a 15 percent increase in sales year over year — roughly 110,000 barrels in total.
In its 15 year of operation, SweetWater noted that most of that growth came from its existing sales footprint despite a fourth quarter expansion into seven new Southeastern markets: Tampa, Orlando, Sarasota and Ft. Myers, Fla.; Rock Hill, S.C.; and Cookeville and Clarksville, Tenn. The positivity for SweetWater doesn’t stop there. With the help of its recent brewery expansion, SweetWater hopes to continue developing its distribution footprint in 2013 to bring its unpasteurized ales further into Southeast Florida, westward into Tennessee, as well into the state of Virginia for the first time.
The brewery is adding the finishing touches on the final stage of a $19 million expansion. This final project has been in the works for nearly two years and includes a new 250-barrel (bbl) brew house (an upgrade from the company’s original 50-barrel facility), 10 new 1,000-bbl fermentation tanks, four new 1,000-bbl brite tanks and a slew of new brew house equipment. SweetWater completed initial tests of the new system in late December and are close to firing on all cylinders.
SweetWater announced that the first beer to christen the new brew house will be a fresh label introduced from the brewery’s notorious Dank Tank series, called Some Strange. This black IPA comes in at 10 percent ABV and is expected to hit shelves in the first quarter of 2013. SweetWater encourages drinkers to stay tuned for a future announcement outlining the story behind the beer and official launch details.
SweetWater Brewing Co. is an Atlanta‐based craft brewery living by the motto “Don’t Float the Mainstream!” SweetWater’s brews are unpasteurized and designed to be consumed fresh so distribution is limited to the Southeast. The award‐winning lineup of year‐round brews includes SweetWater 420, IPA, Exodus Porter, Blue, LowRYEder and Georgia Brown. SweetWater also features a Catch and Release series of beers available on a limited basis throughout the year, and an experimental, one‐time‐only Dank Tank series. .