Surly Brewing Co. plans to expand its Minneapolis facility to double its beer-making capacity.
Next month, Surly will begin extending its fermentation hall at its destination brewery in Prospect Park and bring in eight more fermentation tanks.
It’s the latest step for the company whose growth and influence changed state laws that restricted small beer companies, allowing Minnesota to join an explosion of craft beer and liquor making across the country.
Surly in late 2014 moved from its original site in Brooklyn Center to a $30 million brewery with two restaurants and an outdoor garden near the University of Minnesota. It has been one of the region’s most popular breweries ever since.
The expansion is driven in part by Surly’s success in distributing its beers beyond the Twin Cities and Minnesota.
“We are excited to dig in on this expansion a little sooner than we had projected, but with our new out-of-state markets doing so well, and Minnesota being stronger than ever for Surly, the time is now,” Surly founder Omar Ansari said in a prepared statement.
The space will have room for 14 more fermenters, but the company plans to start out with just the eight more tanks. The 600-barrel tanks, which the brewery is importing from a south German manufacturer, are big enough to hold 1,200 kegs or 150,000 cans during a brew. The fermenters would be slated for use by next year. Surly added two more fermenters last summer to bring its current total to eight.
During the weekslong fermentation process, yeast converts sugars to alcohol and carbon dioxide, which in effect gives beer its carbonation and alcohol content.
Surly’s website lists seven year-round beers, 12 seasonal varieties and a few dozen others it makes occasionally and with collaborators.
“We were able to make more beer and expand our distribution footprint,” Ansari said in the statement. “To be turning over dirt again, sooner than expected, is exciting and humbling. We can’t wait to get to work on it.”