STEVENS POINT, Wis. February 20, 2012 – For the third time in three years, Stevens Point Brewery is expanding its production capacity to keep up with demand.
The latest expansion — a $1.1 million project includes nine new fermentation tanks, two new bright beer tanks, a new 7,000-gallon hot water tank and a centrifuge for filtering finished beer. When all of the new equipment is up and running this spring, the brewery will be able to brew 120,000 barrels of beer annually, a 20% increase.
Since 2009 the Stevens Point Brewery has invested approximately $2.6 million in new equipment and additional storage space to increase capacity and improve efficiency, according to Joe Martino, Stevens Point Brewery Operating Partner.
“Last year we added 6,600 square feet of warehouse space, five aging tanks and three fermentation tanks to bring our brewing capacity up to 100,000 barrels per year,” Martino said. “In 2010, we built a 2,700-square-foot addition to expand our keg cooler room and add four aging tanks.
“We have our loyal customers to thank for our continued success, and as our sales continue to grow, we’ll continue to expand our capacity to keep up with the demand,” Martino added. “We’ve still got plenty of room to grow and we fully intend to do so.”
New equipment installations
The two new bright beer tanks for package release beer will allow Point Brewmasters Gabe Hopkins and John Zappa and their team of Brewing Operators to brew six days per week instead of five. The 120-barrel tanks, which hold finished beer ready for the bottle and can lines, will be installed by the end of February.
Traditional fermenters are horizontal and can be used for either fermenting or aging, but not both in the same tank.”
The centrifuge, which will arrive in April, will help improve beer quality and production efficiencies. “We will be able to filter beer faster and improve the quality of our product in the package,” Hopkins said.
The new hot water tank will be used to heat water at the beginning of the brewing process and will be the first piece of new equipment to be installed, in mid-February.
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, including flagship Point Special Lager, which won the gold medal in the American Premium Lager category at the 2003 Great American Beer Festival.
In addition to current seasonal Point Three Kings Ale, seasonal specialty brands include Point St. Benedict’s Winter Ale, a dark, abbey-style ale available from November through February; Point Nude Beach Summer Wheat, an award-winning unfiltered wheat ale; and Point Oktoberfest, a Bavarian-style MÃ¤rzen beer for the fall.
Point’s year-round specialty beers include Point 2012 Black Ale, a robust dark ale; Point Horizon Wheat, an unfiltered wheat 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; and Point Amber Classic, an American-style amber lager. The brewery’s year-round craft beers also include the Whole Hog Limited Edition Brewmaster’s Series of “big beers,” including year-round Whole Hog Six-Hop India Pale Ale and seasonal offerings, Whole Hog Raspberry Saison, Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout, Whole Hog Barley Wine Ale 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.