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Northern Colorado Breweries Expanding


Northern Colorado Breweries Expanding

From The Coloradoan:

Image Above: (Workers from GH Phipps Construction work Friday on a foundation for four new fermenting tanks that will be installed at the expanding Odell Brewing Co. in Fort Collins. / V. Richard Haro/The Coloradoan)


Fresh out of the fermenter, two new Northern Colorado breweries are expanding their capacity less than six months after opening.

Black Bottle Brewery, which opened in November, and High Hops Brewery, which opened in October, are in the midst of adding new fermenters to satisfy the demand for their new brews.

High Hops co-owner Zach Weakland said they are getting two new 30-barrel fermenters this weekend. The brewery, which started producing around 20 barrels a week with a capacity of 1,000 barrels a year will double its capacity to 2,000 barrels a year.

Some of the beer produced with the new equipment will eventually make its way into bottles as High Hops plans to install a bottling line in the next month, Weakland said.

“Onsite, the tasting room has just exploded because we have expanded out to the greenhouse, and the music is a huge success,” Weakland said.

High Hops has hand bottled 25 cases and sold them at one local liquor store. Weakland said they plan to add a filling and capping line capable of doing 100 bottles a minute. At this time, Weakland said they don’t know how much they will bottle, but the new equipment will exceed their needs.

Following the filling and capping line, Weakland said they plan to get labeling and sanitizing machines.

Black Bottle, Fort Collins’ largest combination beer bar and brewery, came out of the gate at 1605 S. College Ave., next to El Monte Grill & Lounge, with five seven-barrel fermenters, two brite tanks, a kettle and a burner.

To begin, Black Bottle offered four of its own beers on its 40-tap draft system. Owner Sean Nook has had trouble keeping his own brews on tap due to demand, which is why he had to order two 15-barrel fermenters, which will almost double the brewery’s capacity.

“Within three weeks of opening, we figured out real fast that we can’t keep up … . This will help us brew some of our bill payers,” Nook said. “It will help us turn around some of the beers people learned to like.”

In his first week open, Nook said he sold around 217 gallons of his Hipster IPA. Other popular beers the expansion will help keep on tap include Floozie and Panty Dropper Ale, he said.

The new fermenters also will provide Nook the ability to supply beer bars in town, such as at The Forge Publick House, Mayor of Old Town and Choice City Butcher & Deli.

Odell Brewing Co. also is expanding.

Just two years after its last expansion, Odell Brewing Co. has broken ground on another yearlong expansion, this time building a new brewhouse and expanding its current taproom.

Odell Brewing plans to add a new 100-barrel brewhouse. For phase one of the expansion, the brewery broke ground on the west side of the facility with four new 400-barrel fermenters and room for four additional ones in the future.

The expansion will enlarge the brewery to 64,000 square feet thus doubling production capacity.

Fort Collins-based Funkwerks recently installed new tanks to meet demand.

The brewery installed a 30-barrel fermenter, 30-barrel brite tank and 15-barrel brite tank. The new brewing equipment increased production to about 1,000 barrels this year. By 2013, the brewery expects to brew about 1,500 barrels, at which point Funkwerks would need to expand again due to limitations with bottles and keg storage.