Stevens Point Brewery Announces 2M Expansion
Stevens Point, WI – Keeping pace with ever-growing demand for its handcrafted beers, Stevens Point Brewery will launch another expansion this month, its fourth major expansion project in as many years.
Scheduled for completion in May, the $2 million project will increase the brewery’s annual production capacity to 150,000 barrels with the addition of a second brew kettle, 16 more unitanks for fermenting and aging beer, and a new automated grain handling system. The expansion also includes a new can packer that will allow the brewery to package four-pack and six-pack 12-ounce 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 barrels to 150,000 barrels. We’ll achieve that milestone when the new 200-barrel brew kettle and additional unitanks become operational in April.”
The new 100- and 200-barrel vertical unitanks will be housed in a 5,600-square-foot 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-pack and six-pack production capability to the packaging department, Martino explained. “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-packs and six-packs to 12-packs and 24-packs,” he said.
Fourth expansion since 2010
This latest project is the fourth major expansion undertaken by the 155-year-old brewery since 2010. Last year, the brewery completed an expansion featuring nine unitanks, two bright beer tanks for package release beer, a new 7,000-gallon hot water tank and a centrifuge for filtering finished beer.
In 2011, the brewery added 6,600 square feet of warehouse space, five aging tanks and three fermentation tanks to bring its brewing capacity up to 100,000 barrels per year.
In 2010, four aging tanks were installed and the keg cooler room was expanded by 2,700 square feet. Success in the marketplace means new jobs, too: Martino said the brewery anticipates additional workers will be needed once the expansion is completed.
The Stevens Point Brewery
Stevens Point Brewery, founded in 1857, uses only the highest-grade barley malts, specialty malts, grains and the choicest hops to brew their handcrafted beers. In addition to Point Special Lager, the brewery’s year-round specialty beers include Point 2012 Black Ale, a robust dark ale; Point Belgian White, a Belgian-style wheat ale; Point Burly Brown American Brown Ale; Point Cascade Pale Ale, a hoppy American-style pale ale; Point Drop Dead Blonde Ale, a golden ale; and Point Amber Classic, an American-style amber lager.
Seasonal specialty brands include Point St. Benedict’s Winter Ale, a dark, abbey-style ale available from November through February; Three Kings Ale, a Kölsch-style beer; Point Nude Beach Summer Wheat, an award-winning unfiltered wheat ale; and Point Oktoberfest, a Bavarian-style Märzen beer for the fall.
Point’s specialty beers also include the Whole Hog Limited Edition Brewmaster’s Series, “big beers” that represent the epitome of the brewmaster’s art, including year-round Whole Hog Six-Hop India Pale Ale, and seasonal offerings, Whole Hog Barley Wine-Style Ale, Whole Hog Raspberry Saison, Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout and Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale.
Gourmet soft drinks from the Stevens Point Brewery include Point Premium Root Beer, Point Premium Diet Root Beer, Point Premium Orange Cream, Point Premium Vanilla Cream and Point Premium Black Cherry Cream Soda. Point Premium Root Beer, made with pure cane sugar, natural vanilla and Wisconsin honey, was awarded a gold medal by the Beverage Testing Institute.
For more information about the Stevens Point Brewery, visit www.pointbeer.com or call 1-800-369-4911. Tours of the brewery are available, with schedules listed on the web site.