Just entering it's seventh month of operation, Drastic Measures Brewing is set to expand brewing capacity to help the business become more profitable, while adding staff.
Wadena City Council members approved a $60,000 Minnesota Investment Fund loan to the brewery during a Tuesday, Oct. 1 special meeting.
In a letter presented to council members it was explained that the brewery has come to a point where production capacity is limiting sales. The loan will allow the brewery to add two new 20 barrel fermentation tanks, an automation upgrade to the canning line to increase efficiency and additional working capital.
This expansion is expected to add two new jobs while retaining four full-time equivalent positions. This extra production will be canned and sold in larger metro areas as well as out state off sale stores. Brewery owner Brett Doebbeling said the brewery currently sells out its product in the off sale sites quickly once a store indicates a delivery on social media. He indicated that their product is likely only reaching a fraction of those looking to purchase, leaving many potential buyers high and dry.
Doebbeling said the honeymoon period is ending at the brewery, slowing sales slightly, so to pick up the pace, they need to keep up on those off site sales. That product is ever changing. He said, it must be to keep up with the culture of those buying.
"It's hard to be continually innovative, but in the same sense it's very crucial," Doebbeling said. He shared that a great looking, inviting space is nice, award winning beer is a goal, but the culture is always looking for something new to try. The brewery crew cranks out new recipes each week while keeping a few crowd favorites.
Doebbeling hopes that by mid December the new tanks will be here and installed. The loan funding for this project comes from the revolving loan fund 211, which has a current balance of about $154,000.
What's it all mean?
The 20 barrel tanks add about 542.5 gallons of beer per week, yielding about 4,340 cans of beer a week, yielding about $13,000 - $17,000 of extra weekly sales.
Currently the brewery has five 10 barrel tanks, which equals 50 barrels of fermentation (each barrel is 31 gallons.) So the expansion increases production by 40 barrels, not quite twice the current amount.