You don’t want to run out of beer — it tends to make both patrons and proprietors unhappy. Since The Mitten Brewing Co.’s soft opening in October 2012, the taproom has consistently run low on beer on a weekly basis.
“Although the problem is a good problem to have, it’s still a problem,” said owner Max Trierweiler in a press release. “As we continue to grow, we have undoubtedly turned away patrons due to our lack of product. This upgrade will help us meet that demand.”
What upgrade you ask? To help alleviate the stress on the current 3-barrel (bbl) brewpub system, Mitten Brewing has leased 10,000 square feet of industrial space at 540 Leonard Street, kitty-corner from the firehouse taproom. To fill the space, owners Trierweiler and Chris Andrus purchased a new 20-bbl brew system from JV Northwest in Oregon. The old 3-bbl system brewed almost to full capacity in 2013 — 512 barrels — so keeping up with current demand wasn’t going to be possible.
The initial annual capacity of the new brewhouse will be 1,000 bbls, with a cap of 10,000 bbls. The Mitten Brewing Co. will produce mostly its two flagship beers, Country Strong IPA and Triple Crown Brown, at the facility. Other staples like Vanilla Milk Stout, Black Betsy Coffee Stout, “The Stretch” Cream Ale and RyeBaby DIPA will rotate as well.
“Our new facility will allow us to have our two flagships on tap at all times,” Andrus said in a press release. “It also opens up fermenters in the taproom brewhouse which will allow us to experiment more.”
The new facility also will allow the brewery to expand into the upstairs — and outside — of the firehouse, which is set to open in late spring. The new capacity should also allow the brewery to begin its distribution into the Michigan market.