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Seizing Oppys Seen in Lower Hudson Valley Beer Scene, Industrial Arts Starts Big Expansion (excerpt)

Ahead of plan and propelled by popular hazy New England-style IPA Wrench, New York’s Industrial Arts Brewing never stopped expanding and will now turn to nearby Beacon to build a second site and scale up further. Just over 2 yrs in biz, IA has plans to be anchor tenant of new 150K sq-ft building on 10 acres, using just over a third of that space to build a production facility with plenty of room for many more years, founder Jeff O’Neil explained to Craft Brew News. But first phase of Beacon project will be a taproom/retail location, expected to open next yr, followed by large event space and broader production by 2020.

5+ Yrs Ahead of Schedule: 9,500 Bbls in 2018, Including Three’s Volume, Half Wrench  But how’d the 2-yr old co get to place where it’s even considering these moves? In a word: Wrench. The co’s NE IPA is already “two-thirds of what we sell of our own,” Jeff told CBN, and “exactly half of our mix this year.” It wasn’t part of the co’s initial offerings when it opened brewery in Rockland County just northwest of NYC. Recall, Industrial Arts’ original site was never the typical startup brewery, outfitted with 25-bbl high-end Braukon brewhouse and scalable to to 20+K bbls. IA always used “big brewery tools to do small brewery stuff,” Jeff quipped. But “we thought maxing this place out would take 7 or 8 years,” he told CBN. Now it expects to get there by 2020, “at least 5 years ahead of plan.”

Last yr, co brewed about 3,200 bbls, Jeff shared. This yr it’ll be about 9,500 bbls, including a few thousand bbls that Three’s Brewing produces under alternating proprietorship (which we previously mischaracterized as a contract brewing relationship; co just canned 1st batch of its Logical Conclusion IPA at IA last wk). Jeff sees room for Wrench alone to basically double to 10K bbls next yr, when IA’s total production should also “roughly double” to around 19K bbls. From there, Jeff expects co to slow down to single-digit growth. But then it’s 2020 and Wrench will have run out of room to run in Rockland.

Enter Beacon, where “functionally,” co will “move Wrench production,” Jeff explained. (Indeed, LLC co formed to take “small minority” stake in acquisition of Beacon building playfully named “Wrench Factory.”) By the time IA ramps up production at original site to about 2,000 bbls/mo, “moving Wrench [to Beacon] will free up half of our capacity.” Eventually, large building on sizeable plot of land affords lots of space to expand production for Wrench or other beers. Planned 50-bbl brewhouse will make “beers that we know we can sell two- or three-hundred barrels of” at a time, Jeff said. He sees potential for 50K bbls of capacity and it “could be a hundred or greater” if needed. So Beacon project provides a “more solid foundation for the long-term,” he said. …

Publishing Info

  • Year: 2018
  • Volume: 9
  • Issue #: 108
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