Quietly this summer, Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewing Co. purchased equipment from Pyramid Brewery, which was closing its Berkeley, Calif., brewhouse. It snagged a fully automated, four-vessel, 130-barrel (bbl) brewhouse, three silos and over 31 fermentation and brite beer tanks (consisting of various sizes from 310- to 125-bbl tanks). According to a recent press release, the acquired equipment will give SweetWater the ability to brew up to 420,000 bbls at a second brewery — somewhere out West.
But why stop there? SweetWater Brewing announced in that same release that it is also exploring options for a third location in the Central United States.
“Our focus on making a quality liquid and building a strong brand has created an incredible inertia. And while we’re continuing to develop the East Coast, it’s time for us to simultaneously start looking to the West,” said SweetWater founder and Big Kahuna Freddy Bensch.
While the company is exploring location options in all western states, the discovery process for the potential third brewery in the central United States is just beginning.
“It’s an exciting next step in the growth of our company — the brewery is hitting on all cylinders, and the response to SweetWater in new markets has been incredible,” Bensch said. “For us, this growth is about getting the freshest beer into more hands and building real relationships with consumers and communities. We have phenomenal quality liquid and a great brand with great folks behind it – we’re all about spreading that.”
Currently, SweetWater is poured as far West as Colorado, but only in Telluride, where the brewery has a new partnership with Telluride Ski Resort as mountain co-sponsors with Telluride Brewing Co. through the 2017 ski season.
“SweetWater has been so well received in Telluride — both the liquid itself and the culture of our brand. We like to make and drink fantastic beer, contribute in meaningful ways in the communities we’re in, and have a good time doing it all. That fits in well with the West Coast vibe,” Bensch said.