Cincinnati’s Rhinegeist Brewery continued its impressive growth in 2016, increasing production more than 80 percent, to 56,500 barrels.
In a recent year-in-review, shared with Brewbound, co-founder Bryant Goulding said his company released 96 different offerings last year, including 24 pale ales and 17 IPAs.
More than half of the company’s volume came from its popular Truth IPA, while eight percent came from cider and another eight percent came from a rotating pale ale series that launched midway through last year.
“We are strong believers in Pale Ale and the growth we’ve seen here has affirmed our faith,” Goulding wrote.
Sixty percent of the company’s portfolio was self-distributed, Goulding said, even as the company filled out its Ohio footprint and added distribution throughout Massachusetts.
“The connection with our accounts and our ability to deliver customer service is tested each year and we have a great team that goes the extra mile to deliver our beer with a smile,” he wrote.
Those relationships, coupled with the addition of nearly 150 new employees — some of whom were hired to staff a new event space and rooftop bar — helped Rhinegeist stave off stiff competition from an influx of new brands in 2016.
“We’ve spent a lot of time looking for talented and impassioned people to join our team as well as investing in growing our people from within,” Goulding wrote. “We’ve learned that growth can come at the expense of support and communication and we’re aiming to enrich the lives of our employees by staying grounded and finding that level of growth that provides opportunity but doesn’t threaten quality of life or sanity.”
Looking ahead, Rhinegeist expects to produce 80,000 barrels in 2017 and will launch its first year-round imperial IPA, Knowledge, in 12 oz. canned four-packs in early March. The company is also releasing its rose cider, Bubbles, under the Cidergeist label, in canned six-packs in March.
“We have a long-term view on what growth and success look like and aren’t interested in grabbing quick or easy sales at the expense of brand strength,” Goulding said. “Penetration, relationship building, and investment in our people and quality is what we expect in 2017.”