But growing demand and a host of new brands and packages compelled the company to accelerate its timetable.
This time, instead of breaking ground on a new building, Boulevard will literally rip the roof off its first cellar, removing six 105-barrel fermenters and replacing them with eight specially designed 300-barrel vessels.
The project will increase the brewery’s fermentation capacity by about 20%, to well over 200,000 barrels per year.
“This is different than anything we’ve done before,” said Mike Utz, Director of Engineering. “Instead of building from the ground up, or plugging new equipment into pre-designated locations, we’ve decided to retrofit an existing structure.”
The project will also require relocation of hot water tanks and a spent grain silo.
“It’s an extremely tight area for such a significant set of changes, but it’s an effective solution to our current problem, and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
The six-month, $3 million project is slated to begin in October. Kansas City-based El Dorado Inc. has been selected to design the expansion, which will feature a 35-foot tall, glass-enclosed structure to house the new tanks, rising from within the original brewery building.
The fermenters are to be built by Paul Mueller Company of Springfield, Missouri.
As reported by the Brewers Association earlier this year, Boulevard Brewing Company is currently the tenth largest craft brewer in the country, with 2010 sales of nearly 150,000 barrels.