One year after taking over the lease of a warehouse next door, Austin Beerworks has opened a new taproom and is just about ready to use a larger brewing space that will expand its production capacity.
Having grown far faster than expected since opening in 2011, expansion was necessary, said Michael Graham, one of brewery's four co-owners.
“We just underestimated how thirsty of a town Austin was,” he said.
Graham said Austin Beerworks will soon be able to produce close to 40,000 barrels annually, which is about double its current capacity. If it expands to a full build-out, Austin Beerworks would be able to make close to 75,000 barrels annually, he said.
The brewery will use a brewing system it bought from the Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado, Graham said.
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The expansion doesn't just mean more beer—added space will allow the brewery to offer a greater variety of beers in cans and make some seasonal options available year-round, including the popular Bloodwork Orange IPA.
The brewery also has room to operate a quality control laboratory, something that Graham said is uncommon among craft producers.
Austin Beerworks' new taproom, which includes an outdoor area, can seat up to 250 people, and, much like its predecessor, has rotating beers on draft.
Graham said the brewery plans to hire more staff, expand operating hours and hopefully be open seven days a week.
A grand opening event is scheduled from 1–7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4. For $15, attendees can receive three beer tickets and an Austin Beerworks glass to use and take home.
The event will include live music and food trucks from East Side King and Quality Seafood, according to a news release.
The brewery's previous space will still be used for overflow seating and production storage, he added.
Austin Beerworks will continue to host a rotating array of food trucks and sell brewery merchandise such as stickers, clothing and other apparel.