Tröegs Independent Brewing is looking to summit the 100,000-barrel threshold for the first time in its two decades of operation this year, but the company says its latest expansion is as much about getting smaller as it is about getting bigger.
On Thursday, the brewery announced plans to install eight 1,000-barrel fermenters this week, commencing a sizable expansion meant to handle increased demand for its core lineup of beers. At the same time, Tröegs says the new fermenters will free up smaller tanks to give its experimental small-batch and barrel programs additional “room to roam.”
“We’ve been under construction for 20 years,” says John Trogner, Tröegs brewmaster and co-founder. “And this is the next step in our strong, steady growth.”
Specifically, the company tells GBH it will be afforded an additional 150,000-BBLs of fermentation capacity in light of the expansion to give it even more room to stretch its legs over the next 5-10 years. Driven by Perpetual IPA and Troegenator Double Bock, Tröegs, already the nation’s 38th largest craft brewery by volume, says it’s experiencing double-digit growth in 2017 without the added capacity.
On the smaller end, the company also plans to grow its Scratch series, comprised of experimental beers made through its research and development program, as well as its Splinter series, comprised of wood-aged beers from its year-old barrel room dubbed Splinter Cellar.
“We currently feature a Scratch beer as one of the four varieties in each of our seasonal Anthology sampler packs, and we are now doing concerted limited releases of Scratch beers on draft,” the company tells GBH. “The response has been amazing and has really helped us to grow awareness of what we’re doing.”
The series has produced beers that have graduated to the core line up, including Nimble Giant and the new First Cut Mango IPA. For broader context, the company says it has brewed more than 100 different Scratch recipes in the past year. In turn, additional room to experiment may yield more promotions.
Coinciding with that, the company has also begun selling wood-aged beers from its year-old barrel room—dubbed the Splinter Cellar—beyond its own premises. That program, too, is expected to grow. To that end, this fall and winter, the company plans to release a more tart version of Wild Elf and, on Black Friday, Impending Descent, described as a”velvety imperial stout brewed with vanilla bean and cocoa, aged in bourbon barrel.” Additionally, the company will bring another formerly taproom-only beer in Freaky Peach, a bourbon barrel-aged sour made with peaches, out to a wider audience. Room to roam, indeed.