Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery released news about its 2012 growth in the craft brewing world, noting a 52 percent increase in sales/depletions and 49 percent increase in revenue. These numbers outpace industry growth by nearly 40 percent.
Oskar Blues’ continued growth is a result of $4 million-plus worth of improvements to its Longmont, Colo., facility in 2012. The expansion included 14 additional 200-barrel (bbl) fermenters and two 400-bbl bright beer tanks. These upgrades allowed the Oskar Blues brewery to go from 59,000 barrels (bbls) of beer in 2011 to 85,750 bbls in 2012.
The increased capacity allowed Oskar Blues to expand distribution to new markets for the first time in four years — Chicago, Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Alabama, which is the home state of founder Dale Katechis.
The Colorado brewery also installed a new canning line capable of filling 300 cans per minute. This allowed the company to introduce 16oz cans of Deviant Dale’s IPA and G’Knight Imperial Red IPA and offer a 19.2 ounce (oz.) Imperial Pint can. Oskar Blues became the first craft brewer to introduce Ball Corporation’s 16-oz. Alumi-tek resealable can this year at the Craft Brewers Conference.
In addition, the Oskar Blues taproom, the Tasty Weasel, underwent extensive renovations earlier in 2012 resulting in a new patio and additional production space.
In December, Oskar Blues began brewing at its new brewery and taproom in Brevard, N.C. The brewery plans to include a separate restaurant and live music venue in the small town as well. The addition of the 30,000 square foot Brevard brewery will expand overall brewing capacity to nearly 130,000 bbls in 2013 and allow the brewery to enter additional markets.