(Athens, GA) – Terrapin Beer Co. finished 2014 with yet another year of unprecedented growth. Twenty-seven unique beers hit shelves along with a number of collaborative beers which were released by partnering breweries. New beers, new equipment, new markets, and a renovation of the tasting room bolstered an already-strong brewery and promise continued growth in the future.
Overall, the company reached a total sales volume of 46,207 BBL, a 41% increase over sales for 2013. Hopsecutioner IPA led the pack with 38% of total sales, while relative year-round newcomer RecreationAle has swept into second at 15%. Terrapin Rye, the brewery’s original beer released in 2002, still holds strong 13 years later being 9% of total sales.
Terrapin’s 2013 installation of a 100 BBL brew system continued to drive increases in production as the company ramped up the number of batches of beer brewed through 2014. This increase in production volume was supported by the addition of six new 200 BBL fermentation vessels, bringing the total fermentation capacity to 52,000 BBLs. The brewery also installed a brand-new canning line capable of churning out over 200 cans per minute, allowing both increased production of year-round beers RecreationAle and HI-5 and the ability to expand canned beer offerings in 2015.
With the increase in production, Terrapin Beer Co. was able to expand their total distribution network and open new markets in areas where Terrapin was not previously available. In January of 2014, Terrapin moved into the Baton Rouge and New Orleans regions of Louisiana and added distribution in Washington, D.C. Expanding in an unexpected direction, Terrapin began shipping to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in April. Distribution expansion will continue in 2015 with the opening of West Virginia markets and exploring possibilities in Kentucky and Ohio.
More beer produced and more distribution means that Terrapin needs more manpower. The company was able to grow their total employment by 20% by adding 19 new positions over the course of 2014. These included part-time positions in production and the brewery tour and both entry-level and skilled full-time professional positions.
Though Terrapin’s public tour was at a slight disadvantage for much of the year due to building renovations that kept tours limited to the outside space, over 48,000 guests crossed the threshold throughout 2014 in order to sample Terrapin’s beers at their source. The new indoor tasting room opened towards the end of the year to positive reviews; the company expects to be able to serve more visitors than ever before in 2015.
As part of Terrapin Beer Co.’s desire to give back, the company donated over $26,000 in funds, in-kind donations, and merchandise in 2014. A considerable benefit of big growth over the past few years has been the company’s increasing ability to work actively with other like-minded organizations and to focus on new philanthropic efforts within their community.
Two of our core company values are ‘Contribute to the Community’ and ‘Do the Right Thing Always’. Our fans are the reason we’re where we are today, and our fans and employees are who make up our community. Anything we can do that supports those who’ve supported us is the right thing to do.
– Terrapin Beer Co. president John Cochran
Terrapin is able to fulfill these values through a number of methods including special cask events, monthly percentage nights at the public tour, direct sponsorships, merchandise donations, and larger events like the Anniversary Carnival and Hop Harvest Festival.