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Summit Brewery to double its capacity with $6 million expansion

St. Paul’s Summit Brewing Company, which pioneered the local craft beer scene when it started in 1986, announced this week that it’s embarking on a $6 million project to expand its brewery.

It’ll likely begin the six-to-eight-month construction process in 2014, according to Carey Matthews, a company spokesperson.

Last year the brewery hit near capacity, producing just over 100,000 beer barrels, she says, adding that it was a milestone for the company.

The expansion will allow Summit, which grows 10 percent annually, to double its capacity. “It’s a necessity,” she says. “We’ll run out of space to make beer in the next few years.”

It’s something that the company planned for when it built its current home in 1998; it set aside space on the premises for future growth.

This follows $3 million in capital investments that the company has made in the brewery over the last couple of years, according to the Star Tribune.

The current project will include expansion in various areas, including the cellar, office, and warehouse. “The cellar is where we hit capacity issues,” Matthews says, adding that it’s where the fermentation processes take place.

Beer sits for weeks at a time in stainless steel vessels that are multiple stories high. “Right now we can’t add any more tanks,” she says.

Naturally, with more beer comes a need for additional space to package the product and do many other things. The company also plans to add to its quality assurance lab.

Matthews says that the project will also benefit the local economy by providing additional jobs at the brewery.  

In general, the expansion “is a response to our consumers and deepening our relationships with existing customers,” she says.

Source: Carey Matthews, spokesperson, Summit
Writer: Anna Pratt

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