Two Roads Brewing Company today said it would spend $12 million to expand its operations with the addition of a new 25,000 sq. ft. brewery and barrel-aging facility adjacent to its existing location in Stratford, Connecticut.
Situated on 2.5 acres, the new facility — which the company said would be dedicated to the production of sour and barrel-aged beers — will feature a 50-barrel brewhouse, foeders, a coolship and space for 2,000 wooden barrels.
“With our sour beer program growing and gaining accolades, including the recent gold medal for our Hexotic brand in the Belgian Style Lambic or Sour category at the Great American Beer Festival, and with our existing brands growing rapidly, we felt this was the right time to expand into a new facility,” CEO Brad Hittle said via a release. “This will increase our overall capability to produce unique, rare and delicious beers while protecting our main brewery from any wild yeast cross-contamination.”
In a conversation with Brewbound, Hittle said the new facility could eventually produce as much as 25,000 barrels annually, but that initial plans call for more modest output.
“We don’t see this as a big volume play,” he said. “Our projections are somewhere around 5,000 barrels of beer around year four.”
A capital raise is currently underway, Hittle added, noting that the project would be financed primarily through a combination of investment from existing stakeholders as well as cash flow.
“As a company, we are debt-averse and we have resources to secure that strategy,” he said. “We have a great investor base — individuals not private equity — and as a result, they get excited about these things and they like to invest in them.”
A 120-person tasting room focused less on socializing and more on “specialized experiences,” including beer tastings and educational events, is also planned, Hittle said.
The company said it would break ground in early 2017, adding that construction would take about one year.
In the release, Two Roads also noted that partner and master brewer Phil Markowski would oversee brewing operations at both of the company’s facilities, and step back from day-to-day operations to focus on new product development and innovation.
“Having a first-class barrel aging and souring brewery at my hands is a dream come true,” Markowski added.
In addition to new product development, the new facility will be enable Two Roads to expand production of offerings like Hexotic, as well as Framboise Noir Black Raspberry Lambic, Urban Funk Wild Ale and Worker’s Stomp White Wine Barrel-Aged Saison.
Launched in 2012, Two Roads — which also produces beer under contract for more than a dozen craft brewers, including popular Northeastern brands like Lawson’s finest Liquids, Peak Organic Brewing and Notch — grew production of its own beer 92 percent (to 32,200 barrels) in 2015.
Sales are up 41 percent year-to-date and the company will produce about 100,000 barrels of beer in 2016, Hittle told Brewbound. About 45,000 barrels of that will come from its own brands, he added.
The company has expanded distribution of its own line into a number of new markets over the last 12 months, including the U.K., northeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Hampshire, Maine and New Jersey. Last year, Two Roads added four new fermentation tanks and, in 2014, it spent more than $2 million to grow capacity beyond 175,000 barrels.