Last week I posted an article about Stone building a brewery in Europe and how Dogfish Head could benefit from building a second brewery on the west coast (here). Today it was announced that Sierra Nevada has been visiting various cities on the east coast to determine a location for them to build a second brewery.
Their reasons for doing so are very similar to both the reasons Stone mentioned as to why they are building a brewery in Europe, and the reasons I suggested that Dogfish Head should build a second brewery on the west coast. They are at the point where in the next couple of years, their current brewery will be working at capacity. They also currently distribute to all 50 states and need to continue to do so. They want to grow as a company and also reduce the costs of shipping all over the country. They have not decided where they will build a brewery, when they will build it or if it even will happen. Chances are though, that this will happen as it likely makes the most sense from a business perspective. Sierra Nevada is currently the second largest craft brewery, right behind the Boston Beer Company, makers of Sam Adams. Sam Adams being the largest American brewery (remember, Budweiser, Miller, Coors etc are not American anymore), they own multiple breweries as well as contract other breweries to make their beer for them. To put things in perspective, Sierra Nevada will brew about 800,000 barrels (1 barrel = 31 gallons) of beer this year. Boston Beer Company on the other hand, brews over 2 million barrels of beer a year. It will be interesting to see what happens with Sierra Nevada’s expansion in the next few years.
Another interesting aspect of this story is that Sierra Nevada also included as a factor in choosing a city: potential quality of life for its employees. Great to hear about breweries treating their employees well.