Santa Fe Brewing Co, is the proud new owner if a Krones 70-barrel brewhouse. On Monday Oct. 6, the New Mexico brewery brewed its first production batch of its flagship 7K IPA on the new system. With the addition of the new brewhouse and two 150 bbl fermenters, Santa Fe Brewing Co. is poised to meet their projected 2020 demand and will have to ability to scale to 200,000 barrels.
Inside the numbers
Over the past three years the brewery’s growth has led to the creation of seven full-time, salaried positions and several hourly positions. They expect their retail growth, and new taproom openings, to continue to create new jobs in the short term, both across the state and outside of New Mexico.
Per the Brewer’s Association’s annual statistics publication SFBC finished 2018 as the best performing top 10 brewery by volume in the Mountain West Region.
This means in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming, SFBC is shipping out 40 percent more beer than it did in 2017 and finishing the year as the number seven brewery in the region with sales of 32,742 barrels.
Keeping up with demand
With their January launch of Social Hour, a hazy, wit-inspired ale with tropical fruit, and continued growth of other core brands, their start to 2019 was just as hot, and without the new brewhouse online before the 4th of July, they would not be able to produce enough beer throughout the busy summer to satisfy demand across their eight-state sales area. The call was made to prioritize their home market and short ship contingent core markets. Extended out of stocks necessitated the decision to permanently pull from Missouri and Kansas.
Despite the hurdles, SFBC has maintained a 20% growth trend in 2019 and is looking forward to stretching their legs with the new capacity.
“The last three years we’ve been working our strategy. We’re New Mexico’s original craft brewery and we’re New Mexico’s brewery,” says Vice President of Sales and Marketing Jarrett Babincsak. “We’ve reorganized our sales, marketing and events teams, and our investment strategy to align with the prioritization of growing in our home market and contingent states where we’re highly relevant and have upside.
“We’ve continued to evolve our portfolio with drinkable, world class brands like 7K IPA, Social Hour and Pepe Loco, that are really resonating with our extended family of beer drinkers and driving our growth,” Babincsak continued.
Santa Fe Brewing is set to open doors on a destination, two-story beer hall atits headquarters this holiday season and two more taprooms in New Mexico in 2020.
“We were absolutely not going to run out of beer in New Mexico with the demand we’re experiencing, and we did our best to thread the needle in core out of state markets,” Babincsak says. “Luckily, we have a really talented team and outstanding distributor partners. Together we developed forecasting, production and fulfillment plans to make it work, and we’re out the other side ready to rock and roll with no future capacity concerns we can’t easily address.”