Drake’s Brewing – News on Growth, Aroma Prieta, Barrel Aged Beers, Collaborations and More
We just caught up with Drake’s Brewing to find out how they are doing. Items of discussion include their continued growth, Barrel Aged Beers, Aroma Prieta and more. Cheers!
Growth and Expansion
How did Drakes do in 2012 compared to 2011?
- Increased the brewhouse size with a brand new boil kettle and brew deck.
- Added multiple new tanks including 3 more 60bbl fermenters, 3 80bbl fermenters, an 80 bbl bright tank. (In 2013 added 3 more 120bbl tanks and a 120 bbl bright).
- Installed a brand spanking new 16-head bottling line that can crank out 5000 bottles/hour with a date code stamped on the neck.
- Introduced 4 new seasonal bottles (Hopocalypse Black Label, Alpha Session, Aroma Prieta, and Exxpedition).
- Increased staff and began a 24hour brewing schedule 5 days/week.
- Increased production from ~8000 bbls in 2011 to ~12000 in 2012, and on track to hit at least 20,000 this year.
Is Drakes targeting any new markets?
At this point we are not targeting new markets but looking to dig deeper to serve the whole state of CA better.
Is Drakes considering canning or have their even been talks or pilots?
We’ve considered it on a casual level a couple times, but having just invested in a brand new bottling line in 2012 that provides excellent quality and shelf-life to our beers we’re pretty happy working with glass.
I believe some of your brew house is dedicated to contract brewing Is Drakes growth going to get to a point where all production will be dedicated to the Drakes label?
Actually it’s not anymore. For a while we did have some contracts, but our last contract, High Water, removed their tanks from the brewery early this year. So, yeah, our brewhouse is dedicated all to Drake’s.
Any plans for a restaurant/brewpub?
Nothing particularly Drake’s based. The Drake’s owners, John Martin and Roy Kirkorian are planning to open a beer garden in uptown Oakland called “Briar” that will have Drake’s on tap, but also include a good amount of guest taps and wood-fired pizza. Looking to open in February 2014.
Will Drakes bottle any barrel aged beers and or sours this year or next?
Seriously working on it. Hoping to get some Barrel-Aged Drakonic out in bottles this year, and we want to eventually have a handful of seasonal barrel-aged bottles to release each year (including a sour).
Will Aroma Prieta come back this year, and will their be a larger yield and subsequent distribution?
Aroma Prieta will be back this year. Batch size and distribution info is pending.
Any collaborations in the works?
Yep. LA Beer Week.. The brewers are still chatting at this point, but I can promise the hops will not be lacking.
Also, the Blue Bottle Coffee Imperial Stout is in the tanks, and should be coming out in early May on draft only in the Bay Area.
Thirdly, we are going to be participating in Ales for ALS this year, a fundraising brewing initiative that involves multiple brewers making a beer with a new proprietary hop. The proceeds will go to fund ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) research.