Stevens Point Brewery sure doesn’t know how to sit still. Citing the need to keep pace with an ever-growing demand for its handcrafted beers, the Wisconsin-based Stevens Point will undergo its fourth expansion in the last four years.
Scheduled for completion in May, the $2 million project will increase the brewery’s annual production capacity to 150,000 barrels (bbls) and add in some new toys:
- A second brew kettle;
- 16 more unitanks for fermenting and aging beer;
- A new automated grain handling system; and
- A new can packer that will allow the brewery to package four-pack and six-pack 12-oz can packages for the first time.
“Our sales growth shows no signs of slowing down, so it’s just good business to capitalize on our momentum in the marketplace and continue to invest in our brewery,” said Joe Martino, Stevens Point brewery operating partner. “The key feature of this expansion is the increase in our annual production capacity from 120,000 bbls to 150,000 bbls. We’ll achieve that milestone when the new 200-bbl brew kettle and additional unitanks become operational in April.”
The new 100- and 200-barrel vertical unitanks will be housed in a 5,600-sq-ft addition to the front of the brewery. The new grain handling system will allow bulk deliveries of barley and other grains to the brewery, providing process efficiencies necessary to support the increased brewing capacity.
The new state-of-the-art can packer line will significantly increase the speed of its can packaging operations as well as add four- and six-pack production capability to the packaging department.
“Beer in cans, particularly craft beers, is enjoying solid growth, so when the new can packer is operational we’ll be ready to offer all can-package configurations, from four- and six-packs to 12- and 24-packs,” he said.
Last year, the brewery completed an expansion featuring nine unitanks, two bright beer tanks for package release beer, a new 7,000-gal hot water tank and a centrifuge for filtering finished beer.
In 2011, the brewery added 6,600 sq ft of warehouse space, five aging tanks and three fermentation tanks to bring its brewing capacity up to 100,000 bbl per year.
In 2010, four aging tanks were installed and the keg cooler room was expanded by 2,700 sq ft.