Saint Archer Expansion Nearly Doubles Capacity

Having just celebrated its first anniversary in May, Saint Archer Brewing Co. is proving there’s still room to grow in a crowded San Diego craft beer market.

The company today announced it’s in the midst of an expansion that will increase production by 45 percent monthly.

With the addition of five fermentation tanks, a centrifuge, two grain silos and a spent grain silo, the brewery will be able to produce approximately 2,500 barrels per month upon completion (or 30,000 barrels projected over a year), up from 1,400.

“This new equipment puts us on par with some pretty heavy hitters in the beer world,” head brewer Kim Lutz said in a press statement. “Plus, the new expansion should buy us even more time for experimental brews, collaborations and one-offs.”

Josh Landan, company founder and president, said he wasn’t sure off hand exactly how much the expansion will cost — opting instead for a vague “a lot” — but it’s being financed by loans from California Bank & Trust.

But even with the expanded production capabilities, the brewery is trying to catch up with demand where they already are, rather than entering new territories, added Landan.

“Right now, the demand is just so nuts in California,” he said. “Let’s put it this way: I put in those five tanks and we haven’t expanded our reach at all. A 45 percent increase [in capacity], and my footprint did not change.”

It’s bound to, however, as the brewery plans to expand distribution to San Francisco in early October with DBI Beverage Inc.

“We still feel like there’s a lot of room to grow in California,” added Landan.

And since demand is currently so high, Saint Archer is already planning its next “major” facility expansion, construction of which Landan said will likely begin in early 2015. By adding nine 250-barrel fermenters, he said, the company will again be able to expand capacity to 55,000 barrels annually.

Even before today’s announcement, it had already been a busy summer for the brewery: After celebrating one year in business, the company landed a partnership with Live Nation in June to operate a custom bar that sells its beers at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre, an outdoor concert venue in Chula, Vista, Calif. Additionally, the brewery is launching its Blonde and Pale Ale in 16-oz. cans this week.

Nevertheless, amidst all of the expansion projects and new retail partnerships, Landan still made time to appear on the Adam Carolla Show, where he left beer for the podcast’s host to enjoy.

“All his employees took it home,” Landan said. “He was pissed.”