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February 27, 2012 - Weyerbacher 7500 Sq. Ft. Addition Scheduled To Complete is September; Tasting Room Planned For Early 2013
Weyerbacher Brewing Co. will add a 7500 sq. ft. addition to its Easton brewery, a $1.1 Million expansion which is expected to be completed next September. A pub will be added in January 2013 according to current plans.

"This will triple our capacity to 30,000 barrels," Dan Weirback told The Beer Yard in an exclusive interview this morning. "We have to make this move to keep up with demand. We grew by 34% in 2011 in both barrelage and dollars, amounting to $3.6 million in sales. And in the first two months of 2012 sales are up 51%."

Fermentation, bottling and kegging operations will be moved into the new space. Four 80-barrel fermenters are already on order and should arrive in late March. "We will have to cram them into the existing area to start," Weirback said, "because we need that capacity online as soon as we can get it, the long-range plan is to phase out all the existing 20 and 40 barrel tanks and replace them with more 80-barrel ones. That's how we will get to 30,000 barrels."

Weyerbacher has steadily been adding to the three vessel, 25-barrel brewhouse it bought from Victory Brewing Co. They added a 40-barrel batch kettle with an internal calandria a few years back, upgraded to a 45-barrel whirlpool two years ago and will be purchasing a new mash tun and lauter tuns to handle the 40-barrel batches in the next year or two.

The proposed pub will be built in the current part of the building once all the fermenters have been relocated into the new space. "It will be more of a tasting room that a true pub," Weirback said. "It won't be a restaurant but there will be one snack item of some sort to comply with the law. It will probably only be open from 11 to 6 Tuesday through Saturday. We don't want to take business away from the restaurants in the ares which have supported us by putting our beers on draft."

A significant part of Weyerbacher's growth has come in its home market, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, "but we have about five states in which we are seeing dynamic growth of 20-30%. The good news is that we don't have some increase we must meet to make this expansion feasible. Our 2011 sales already reached a level of profitability to cover the rent on the space."--JACK CURTIN