The Kansas City Bier Company has announced plans to more than double its production capacity and begin bottling beer as part of a $1.5 million expansion.
The 18-month-old German-style brewery, based in Kansas City, Mo., expects to complete the project next spring. Debt financing for the expansion was provided by Missouri Bank, the company said.
Steve Holle, the brewery’s founder, said demand in the Kansas City metro area, which extends into neighboring Kansas, has outgrown the company’s production capabilities.
“Sales have been climbing steadily, and we are nearing our production capacity for [draft] beer,” said Holle. “Stores are asking to add packaged beer to their retail shelves. It just seems like the right time to grow.”
Current capacity constraints limit the brewery to producing 6,000 barrels of draft-only beer. KC Bier, which launched in early 2014, sold just 1,450 barrels during its first 12 months and the company is on pace to make 5,000 barrels in 2015. The expansion is expected to double capacity to 12,000 barrels annually.
To spearhead its bottling initiative, KC Bier plans to house its new packaging operation, comprised of a semi-automated keg line and bottle filler, in a property adjacent to the brewery, doubling its footprint to 16,500 sq. ft.
The company’s beer is available at nearly 400 bars and restaurants in the area, but the only way consumers are currently able to drink KC Bier at home is by purchasing growlers at the brewery’s 80-seat German-themed beer garden.
The brewery said it would start by bottling its three year-round beers, Dunkel, Helles, and Hefeweizen. For packaging design, the brewery tapped ‘The Brandit,’ a design firm out of North Carolina that specializes in beer.
Looking forward, James Stutsman, KC Bier’s marketing director, said that with the added capacity, the company also hopes to cover more territories in Missouri and Kansas by the second quarter of 2016.
“We want to make sure we saturate our home market before we expand to cover territories,” he added. “From there, we hope to have a more regional presence by year five of the business.”