Blue Point Brewing Company has announced plans to build a 60,000 barrel, multi-million dollar brewery in Patchogue, New York.
“Long Island is a 5 million person population small town,” said president Todd Ahsmann, who was named Blue Point’s president one year ago and had previously held brand managing, marketing and consumer experience positions with Goose Island. “Word spreads quickly.”
The new brewery, located in a 53,000 sq. ft. brick building at 225 West Main Street formerly occupied by Briarcliffe College, is slated to break ground in early June with a target of opening in early 2018.
“If everything went perfect, we would expect production to begin at the end of December,” Ahsmann said. “I don’t think any project goes perfectly though.”
The new brewery is the latest evolution for Blue Point, which founders Mark Burford and Peter Cotter launched in 1998 and sold to Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2014.
ABI, which is still finalizing the design of the building’s interior, would not disclose official investment figures. Ahsmann, however, described plans for a small first-floor tasting room and second-floor taproom — with views of the brewery operations and Lake Patchogue — that should fit “a couple of hundred people.”
“We will knock out 70 percent of second floor to accommodate tanks and equipment,” Ahsmann said. “Part of the second floor will be used for office space and a taproom.”
The new brewery will also feature an outdoor biergarten and a restaurant.
“The only thing I can tell you for sure is we will serve Blue Point oysters,” Ahsmann said.
Additional work will include reinforcing the floors to support its new brewhouse and fermentation tanks, which will push the brewery’s annual capacity from 14,000 to 60,000 barrels, with a potential to scale up to 120,000 barrels.
All of that capacity will be needed to service Blue Point’s now-national distribution footprint.
“We’re expecting a 17 percent growth this year,” Ahsmann said.
Blue Point’s main focus in 2017 will be on growing its most popular brand, Toasted Lager, which already accounts for 60 percent of the company’s business, Ahsmann added, noting that the company hopes to grow sales in “legacy markets” along the East Coast.
“The growth potential there is unlimited essentially,” Ahsmann said. “A lot of growth is to come from expansion.”
Prior to the ABI transaction, Blue Point partnered with a contract breweries to brew its beer. While Blue Point prepares for its 2018 opening, the company’s beer is being brewed at ABI breweries in Baldwinsville, New York, and Merrimack, New Hampshire. Working with those breweries has brought more control over quality consistency to Blue Point’s beer, Ahsmann said.
The current facility in Patchogue has become a pilot brewery and will be retired when the new facility opens. Last year, the brewery served 104 different beers in its tasting room, Ahsmann said.
“We unleashed the brewers,” he said. “We were doing that in anticipation of needing to fill 60,000 barrels in 2018.”
For 2017, Blue Point will brew and package 30 different releases, including 17 new brands and its first barrel-aged series of beers. Also on tap are a kettle-soured Gose, a Mexican lager, Seaweed IPA and cans of a New England-style IPA called Hazy Bastard that is being sold directly to consumers.