Last year, Short’s Brewing Co. announced plans to partner with Lagunitas Brewing Co. based in Petaluma, Calif., which is 100 percent owned by Heineken. This year, Short’s Brewing is announcing expansion on many fronts — especially at its Elk Rapids, Mich., production facility. This expansion includes installation of a new canning line, more fermentation tanks, upgrades to brewing systems, new office space and a growing effervescence moving forward. Short’s is also expanding its workforce, while continuing to distribute to Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin.
According to Short’s’ Project Manager/Marketing Coordinator Emily Torrence, the expansion has been on the horizon for awhile, and the Lagunitas partnership was not involved in the transaction.
On the machine side, Short’s is going with a new KHS canner, which will have the capacity to fill 225 cans per minute alongside additional equipment manufactured by Design Machine Mfg., Mumm Products, Arrowhead Conveyance and Ska Fabricating. The new can filling line will actually double the current packaging capacity of the Short’s production facility. That’s paired with a 30 percent increase in fermentation tank capacity which will be commissioned simultaneously with the new canning line startup. From the press release:
According to the Director of Quality, Tyler Glaze: “The BFT cellar and this new state-of-the-art can filling line will increase the quality and integrity of our canned products as well as the efficiency of our overall operation. We are currently packaging as fast as we can and this canner will boost our ability to get beer to thirsty people. It’s also a huge point of pride to be able to source an awesome can filling line using machines manufactured in the United States.”
Short’s growth also includes sales growth (especially popular brands like Soft Parade Shandy and its Starcut Ciders). In fact, Short’s is in the process of adding at least eight new positions including two new members its packaging team, one new cellar worker, an additional brewer and an additional quality team member. Short’s is also adding three new salespeople focused on its Great Lakes distribution. In even more news, Short’s has also announced it will be transitioning its Illinois distribution partnerships to Windy City, RJ Distributing, Koerner Distributor, Hayes Beer Distributing and Euclid Beverage. Woo. That’s a lot. Back the press release:
When asked about distribution and sales, Scott Newman-Bale, partner, said “We are delighted at the position and growth throughout our current territory. We are grateful that natural growth is allowing us to focus on making existing markets better rather than having to add a large amount of new territories.”
Financing for the expansion, approximately $2 million, was provided by Traverse City State Bank.