The new 51,000 square foot facility will allow the four-year-old brewery to more than double the amount of beer produced currently at Fulton’s Minneapolis taproom, which will stay open, said Fulton co-owner Brian Hoffman.
“We were really looking at proximity to our current brewery,” Hoffman said. “We were just looking for a building that is big enough that we could just get right in and start brewing and growing for some years to come.”
The new facility means the brewery will be able to keep feeding the hungry local market with more options, including 6-packs of Fulton’s The Ringer, with up to 20,000 more barrels of beer every year.
“We want to take care of the Twin Cities before we reach out,” Hoffman said. “But with this new brewery we’re really looking forward to being able to open up, in the next year or so maybe a little longer, a few more markets slowly in Minnesota.”
The taproom location will be used mostly to brew one offs and run test batches, while most production will shift to the new brewery.
Hoffman said the company approached the decision to expand cautiously.
>“As long as you don’t grow at expense of quality, people will continue to drink your beer and appreciate what you’re doing,” Hoffman said. “That’s our thing we’ve been doing — just making sure that we keep the quality of the beer first and foremost.
Hoffman said the brewery will be able to add 15-20 new full-time jobs over the next two years, mostly on the production and business side. It also means that Fulton will be able to do all their bottling themselves; a big change for a company that contracted out all its brewing when it first started.
Fulton opened Minneapolis’ first legal taproom last year. But just because Fulton’s opening a new brewery doesn’t mean it will include a taproom. State law allows only one taproom per brewery. Hoffman said Fulton isn’t currently interested in lifting the restriction.
The new brewery will be located at 2540 2nd Street Northeast in Minneapolis. Hoffman said financing is already in place, and that they’re working with contractors to ensure the building meets city standards. It’s expected to be up and running by late 2014.