STEVENS POINT, WI—After expanding annual brewing capacity by 25 percent to 150,000 barrels earlier this year, next year the Stevens Point Brewery will invest $1.5 million in equipment and infrastructure upgrades to enable it to meet the non-stop growth in consumer demand for its handcrafted beers.
Much of the investment is earmarked for electrical and cooling system upgrades. In addition, the brewery will install three more unitanks for fermenting and aging beer, upgrade its bottle filler, and purchase one thousand new kegs for the brewery’s expanding draft beer business, among other improvements. The investment is especially good news for the Stevens Point community because the brewery is adding eight new brewing, packaging, administration and sales jobs, according to Joe Martino, Stevens Point Brewery Operating Partner.
“Our business continues to grow across the board, from our Point craft beer brands to our new Ciderboys hard cider products launched in 2012,” said Martino. “Our strong sales mean we can keep investing in our brewery to continue to take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace. Being able to create some new jobs at the same time is icing on the cake. It’s an exciting time for the Stevens Point Brewery and our loyal customers.”
Fifth expansion in five years
The 2014 improvements represent the 157-year-old brewery’s fifth major expansion since 2010. Earlier this year the brewery completed a $2 million project that increased its annual production capacity to 150,000 barrels with the addition of a second brew kettle, 16 unitanks for fermenting and aging beer, and an automated grain handling system. The expansion also included a new can packer so the brewery can take full advantage of consumers’ increasing preference for craft beers in cans.
In 2012, the company installed nine unitanks, two bright beer tanks for package release beer, a new hot water tank and a centrifuge for filtering finished beer. In 2011, the brewery added warehouse space, and aging and fermentation tanks that boosted the brewery’s capacity to 100,000 barrels per year. The era of expansions began in 2010 when the brewery enlarged its keg cooler room and added aging tanks.
The Stevens Point Brewery
Stevens Point Brewery, founded in 1857, uses only the highest-grade barley malts, specialty malts, grains and the choicest hops to brew their handcrafted beers, including flagship Point Special Lager, which won the gold medal in the American Premium Lager category at the 2003 Great American Beer Festival. It brews with some of the world’s best water, too: in 2010 the City of Stevens Point won the American Water Works Association’s annual “Best of the Best” Water Taste Test.
The brewery’s year-round specialty beers include Point Special Lager; Point 2012 Black Ale, a robust dark ale; Point Beyond the Pale IPA, a West Coast-style IPA; Point Belgian White, a Belgian-style wheat ale; Point Burly Brown American Brown Ale, an American-style brown ale; Point Cascade Pale Ale, a hoppy American-style pale ale; Point Drop Dead Blonde Ale, a golden ale; and Point Amber Classic, an American-style amber lager. Point’s seasonal portfolio features St. Benedict’s Winter Ale, a hearty dark winter brew; Three Kings Ale, a Kölsch-style ale for the spring; Nude Beach Summer Wheat, a golden wheat ale; and Point Oktoberfest, a Märzen-style lager for the fall.
The brewery’s year-round craft portfolio also features the Whole Hog Limited Edition “big beers,” including Whole Hog Six-Hop India Pale Ale, Whole Hog Raspberry Saison, Whole Hog Wee Heavy Scotch Ale introduced just this year, Whole Hog Russian Imperial Stout, Whole Hog Barley Wine Ale. The Whole Hog series also includes Whole Hog Pumpkin Ale, a fall seasonal.
The Stevens Point Brewery also produces Ciderboys Hard Cider. Ciderboys Hard Cider is made from fresh Washington State apples. Year-round brands include First Press, a traditional hard cider, and Magic Apple, an apple-strawberry hard cider. Available seasonally, Ciderboys’ flavorful fruitful pairings include Mad Bark, an apple-cinnamon hard cider in the winter, Peach County, an apple-peach hard cider in the spring, Raspberry Smash, an apple-raspberry hard cider in the summer, and Cranberry Road, an apple-cranberry hard cider for the fall.
Point also brews the James Page specialty beers, including A Cappella Gluten-free Pale Ale, Casper White Stout, Yhaba Dhaba Chai Tea Porter and Ould Sod Irish Red Ale.
Gourmet soft drinks from the Stevens Point Brewery include Point Premium Root Beer, Point Premium Diet Root Beer, Point Premium Orange Cream, Point Premium Vanilla Cream and Point Premium Black Cherry Cream Soda. Point Premium Root Beer, made with pure cane sugar, natural vanilla and Wisconsin honey, was awarded a gold medal by the Beverage Testing Institute.