Beer We Go Again - SBC Increases Craft Brew Capacity & Distribution
What is Saugatuck Brewing Company’s (SBC) idea of a balanced diet?
Answer: A fresh craft brew in each hand.
And now even more people can enjoy an SBC beer in each hand since the pub and beer maker at 2948 Blue Star Highway in Douglas brought in higher-capacity brewing equipment.
“There’s so much happening in our production,” said SBC Vice President Kerry O’Donohue. “We recently transitioned from a 10-barrel brewing system that we’ve been using since 2009. A month ago we ordered a 40-barrel system.”
The approximately $350,000 system from a Canadian beer maker in Vancouver, B.C. took time to install, but now it’s up and brewing some amazing SBC craft beers in very unique flavors for this season.
“We’re brewing 1,200 gallons at a time, instead of 300,” he explained.
The increased production capacity lets SBC reach out to more customers by distributing its craft brew products into more states – and countries.
“We’re expanding into additional geographic areas, particularly Northern Ohio, Northern Indiana and Minnesota starting next week,” said O’Donohue.
SBC also added a new bottling line that labels and bottles the tasty libations in the same process. It is faster and more efficient than the previous method because it runs more than 100 complete bottles per minute, where the previous bottle filler did 25 unlabeled bottles a minute.
The company also has ordered additional equipment including a 120-barrel fermenter and a 120-barrel bright tank.
SBC needed the larger capacity system to meet goals for growth. Simply, the company needed to brew more beer – quickly.
“The craft beer market in general has been phenomenal nationwide,” he said. “It has been in double-digit growth for many years and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.”
Making craft beers allows SBC to design custom flavors. Some flavors coming out now for fall and winter are in high demand – ready to test the capacity of the new machinery.
“We have a new style called Neopolitan Milk stout,” he said. “It is a vanilla-chocolate-strawberry-flavored tri-stout.”
The new seasonal brew just came out in four-packs for this fall and is about to be launched for the season.
“The demand from the distributors has been overwhelming,” he said. “We’ll be producing almost five times the quantity of Neopolitan cases that we produced last year. It’s such a unique style. It’s just like dessert in a glass.”
Another fall seasonal brew that will have a shorter production run is called Pumpkin Chai.
“That is what’s fun about craft beer - coming up with styles that are unusual and giving craft beer fans what they’re looking for,” he said. “Something new and different.”
This weekend’s seasonal brew launch event is free and open to the public.
For more information, visit www.saugatuckbrewing.com.