Summit rushes to expand as thirst for beer grows

  • Article by: Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 5, 2012 - 7:23 PM
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Scott Alewine checked quality along the bottling line of Hefe Weizen beer at Summit Brewing Co. of St. Paul.

Photo: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

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With sales brisk and production capacity tight, Summit Brewing Co. said Monday that it is accelerating a major expansion by about eight months.

The $6 million expansion of Summit's St. Paul brewery had been slated to commence next June. Instead, Minnesota's largest craft brewer will break ground Friday on the project, with a planned completion date in June.

"The truth of the matter is that we've hit the wall on capacity," Summit's CEO and founder Mark Stutrud said. "We had to cut 12 brews this year due to capacity issues."

Summit's expansion will double its production capacity to 240,000 barrels and add 7,632 square feet of cellar space.

Summit has invested an average of $1.7 million annually into its plant over the past decade. But the new project "is the most ambitious expansion since the new brewery was built in 1998," Stutrud said.

Founded in 1986, Summit spearheaded commercial craft brewing in Minnesota. Its brewery is near Interstate 35E and W. 7th. Street.

MIKE HUGHLETT

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