California-based El Segundo Brewing Co. sent its ﬁrst production beers out to initial accounts in May 2011. In 2012, El Segundo brewed more than 1,000 barrels (bbls) and now have more than 150 accounts between Santa Barbara, Calif., and San Diego, Calif. The bottles officially started selling Feb. 1
Craft Brewing Business asked owner Rob Croxall about the move to bottles. He told us that the brewery used a mobile bottling company called Microbeer Source that has a Pacific Northwest footprint.
Microbeer Source “makes it easy – it’s a one-stop shop,” Croxall said. “You send your label art, and Ron [the owner] shows up, you provide a few hands of labor, and he leaves you with your beer, labeled and packaged.”
Was it a leap of faith to take this next step in the expansion of El Segundo? Definitely not, according to Croxall.
“‘When will you be in bottles?’ is a question we have been getting several times a week for a long time now, so we had an idea that the demand was out there,” Croxall said.
Tom Kelley, El Segundo sales director, has already started a dialog with several outlets in the area, including Whole Foods. Croxall reports that the company is in the middle of a second expansion, which will double capacity yet again, making the timing all the more perfect for some bottled brews.
“Before, we really didn’t have the beer to spare. We could barely address our full time accounts,” Croxall said. “This decision was easy when we didn’t have the massive capital outlay as part of the equation.
El Segundo has a 15-bbl brewhouse and started with two 30-bbl fermenters and a 30-bbl brite tank in May 2011. In August 2012, it added two more 30-bbl fermenters. In March of this year, the brewery will add two 60-bbl fermenters.
“We did just over 1,000 bbls last year and we should be two-and-a-half times that this year,” Croxall said. “During this expansion, we will make it so we are able to double two more times by only dropping new tanks and not having to do any more major cutting, plumbing, etc.”
El Segundo is also in talks with a distributor, with more news to come on that soon.
This first line of bottles will be its White Dog IPA and Standard Crude American Imperial Stout. White Dog IPA has been El Segundo’s best selling hoppy beer of the past year. It uses 50 percent wheat in the malt bill, and the Nelson Sauvin hop from New Zealand. Standard Crude is all malted barley with just a sprinkling of oats for texture.