The company, which is the only all-lager brewery in Massachusetts, produced approximately 2,500 bbls in 2012, and according to a press release, expects to increase capacity from 3,500 to 5,500 bbls with the installation of new fermentation tanks.
Jack Hendler, owner and brewmaster at Jack’s Abby, said that the expansion plans stem from a recently signed lease for a 6,000 square-foot space available in July or August. Hendler said that he couldn’t yet disclose the space’s location, however he said that the space will enable him to relocate glass, packaging material, kegs, finished products and other brewery components.
“The brewery and the tanks are probably only a third of our square [feet] here. The rest is storage space,” Hendler said. “Being able to move all of that out of here will clear up a lot of room for further brewing equipment.”
The release said that the extra space will help expand the brewery’s barrel-aging program and allow for installation of a grain silo.
If expansion goes as planned, Hendler said that he wouldn’t dismiss distributing to states that border Massachusetts, which could help sell excess draught inventory, however he currently has no plans to do so.
“Our biggest concern is on our draught side,” he said. “We may look to other states that may be able to help us.”
While the expansion will serve as a key catalyst for growth in 2013, Jack’s Abby was able to garner national recognition in 2012 by winning medals at the Great American Beer Festival and the Great International Beer Festival. The company also progressed by introducing various seasonals and specialty lagers and hiring two full-time brewers, Matt Cohen and Mike Gleason, as well as three retail employees, including Abby Hendler, Jack’s wife and the inspiration for the brewery’s moniker.
The release also noted that the brewery is working on special releases for the next few months.
“We’ll soon be introducing 4-packs of ‘Private Rye’ Bière de Garde, a warmish, fermented lager with Valley Malt rye and Belgian Candy sugar,” Hendler said. “We’ll also be releasing our Framinghammer Baltic Porter, as well as an entire 40 bbl batch of a bourbon barrel-aged version in March. Look out for a new Double IPL in the early spring.”
The Double IPL is titled “The ABCs, a celebration of hops,” and is part of a collaboration with the Drink Craft Beer Springfest, a Boston-based celebration of New England craft brewers and hops. While he was approached to brew something for the event, Hendler said that the interest was mutual.
“They really wanted to brew a beer that would highlight hops in a unique way,” he said.
The beer, which will be brewed in two or three weeks, gets its name from the four different kinds of hops used; apollo, bravo, calypso and simcoe. Hendler said it will pack 80 to 100 IBUs and an ABV around 7.5 percent.