Saugatuck Brewing expands brew house, bottling operations as distribution market grows

For the past two years, Saugatuck Brewing (2948 Blue Star Hwy., Douglas, Mich.) has brought home Best In Show from Frankenmuth's World Expo of Beer where some 700 beers compete. But that grand accomplishment is just the tip of the iceberg for this growing company.

With the company's 2012 expansion into the Greater Chicago market, and a future expansion into Indiana, Saugatuck Brewing needs more brewing equipment and more office space. Construction begins in October to expand the brewing operations and offices into two-thirds of the space now occupied by the brewery's banquet area, The Singapore Room.

The expansion will enable the brewery to quadruple its brewing capacity from the 10-barrel system it has now to a 40-barrel system (1,200 gallons). While VP of Marketing Kerry O'Donohue expects a gradual increase in production over time, the point is that by the time the new equipment is in place in mid-spring 2014, the brewery will be ready to increase its output substantially.

"We produced 500 barrels in 2009," O'Donohue says. "In 2010, we doubled that and produced around 1,000 barrels and in January 2011, we expanded the equipment and increased capacity to 2,000 barrels. In 2012, we produced 4,000 barrels, and at this point will produce around 6,500 barrels in 2013."

Additional new equipment will allow Saugatuck Brewing to bottle, label, and package its beers in one process, something its existing equipment can't do.

O'Donohue says the brewery's most popular brews are Singapore IPA, Oval Beach Blonde Ale, Pathfinder Pale Ale, and ESB (extra special beer) Amber. Seasonal releases and the brewery's proprietary Brewers Reserve Series include a Serrano Pepper Ale, Double Black Ale, Hop Scotch Ale, Continuum IPA, and a Neapolitan Milk Stout that has vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry flavors.

Source: Kerry O'Donohue, Saugatuck Brewing; Dianna Stampfler, Promote Michigan
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Images courtesy of Saugatuck Brewing
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