Posted: Friday, 21 June 2013 6:13AM
Abita to double its brewing capacity
Abita beer is getting too big for its brewery.
"We're very fortunate that the great people of Louisiana love our brand and that people around the country are learning more about it and liking it, too," says Abita's president, David Blossman.
The Northshore beer maker has broken ground on a $12-million project to expand its brewery office space and double its production of suds.
The project includes a new 11,200-square-foot brew house.
"Basically, it's a 200-barrel brew house, which means every batch that comes out is 200 barrels," says Blossman. "And, it's capable of doing twelve batches, or brews, a day."
He says that'll make Abita the most efficient brew house in all of North America.
The same German company that designed the brewery's existing brew house, Ashley Krones, is designing the new facility.
Blossman says Abita has pretty much reached capacity with its existing 100-barrel facility and needs to expand to meet the anticipated future demand.
"We can handle it right now, but when we're looking into the future, we think that could be a concern. We're just trying to stay well ahead of it, to make sure that we have beer for generations to come."
He says that future does include any change in ownership. He has no interest in selling out.
"We have feelers, weekly, from people. I tend not to pay attention to 'em," Blossman says. "I'm born and raised here and I'm only 45 years old and I love what I'm doing. We're real excited that we have the support of Louisiana and we love being Louisiana's favorite brew."
The $12-million dollar project also includes a 5,800-square-foot expansion to its visitor center and offices, and new cellar space with room for a dozen 800-barrel tanks.
"The brewing side of it will, hopefully, be completed in December, at least the initial stages of it," says Blossman. "We'll fine tune it from that point on and probably be in full production on it in March. The visitor's Center and office will probably be completed about this time next year.