(Milton, DE) – Considering its gigantic stature in the craft beer world, Dogfish Head has been relatively quiet regarding its plans to grow the brewery well beyond its current output.
Brewing TV (Northern Brewer is a sponsor) just visited Dogfish Head and among the interesting things we learned in the 30-minute video were some details regarding the expansion from Director of Brewery Operations, Patrick Staggs.
The brewery is currently operating on a 100-barrel brewhouse and will max out on capacity during the middle of next year. They plan to add a 200-barrel brewhouse though Staggs doesn’t indicate a timeframe. Once that is in place, the 100-barrel system will be used for specialty beers.
The company is adding ten more 600-barrel tanks next month. They will install those outside of the brewery walls, after which, they would need to tear the roof off of the building in order to add anymore tanks.
Packaging and warehousing will be the biggest constraint during the first quarter of next year. They are in the final stages of ordering a new packaging line that will take them from 240 (12 oz.) bottles per minute to 650 bottles per minute.
Staggs doesn’t go into detail on the new 102k square-foot warehouse that they will build on the property. The town of Milton approved the plan in May. Staggs indicates that packaging and warehouse operations will move into the new space once it is completed.
They have eight strains of yeast for 36 brands of beer and will put in a new yeast handling system by the end of the year.
Staggs also alludes to the challenges of managing 20% growth in terms of hiring and maintaining company culture. Dogfish Head hired 40 people in 2011 and will have hired 30 new people by the end of 2012.