I usually take little note of brewery press releases that tout the opening of new bottling lines or the addition of fermenters, but from time to time I receive a legitimately newsworthy notice of a brewery’s expansion. Like this one.
No-longer-so-tiny New Glarus Brewing, famed for their fruit beers but also purveyors of a variety of beers from the accessible Spotted Cow to the outrageous “Unplugged” series of way out there ales, has opened a new brewery, thus increasing their brewing capacity to around 130,000 barrels!
Read that again: 130,000 barrels. That’s a lot of beer, folks, over 150,000 hectolitres worth, or about 18,600 cases. And what’s more, the Careys, who own New Glarus, are projecting sales of well over half that amount, some 80,000 barrels, in 2009.
Now comes the newsworthy part: 100% of those sales will take place in Wisconsin, a state with the population of about 5.3 million people. That, my friends, makes the success of New Glarus all that more impressive, and puts to lie all of the arguments I’ve heard over the years about how difficult it is to operate a craft brewery in a “small market.”