Fulton Beer buys a brewery
Since they started selling beer a little over a year ago, the guys at Fulton Beer have taken heat in the beer-nerd community for calling themselves a Minneapolis brewery while brewing their beer in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. Last August they took a first step toward answering this criticism when they signed a lease on a building in the Warehouse District of downtown Minneapolis. Just this morning on a newly re-vamped (and quite nice-looking) website, Fulton announced that brewing equipment has been ordered and should arrive sometime this summer.
This is a big step for the boys. When I spoke with them in November they were looking for financing in tough economic times and didn't expect to be ordering equipment until sometime in 2012. This announcement shows that the tide has obviously turned in the last two months. As reported on their website:
After what feels like an eternity, we've finally ordered equipment for our Minneapolis brewery. Shopping for commercial brewing equipment, as the Dude would say, has a lot of ins, a lot of outs, and a lot of what-have-you's.
Breweries are complicated and expensive, so we had to make sure we selected a manufacturer that would be with us for the long haul. We spoke with a number of vendors, and were impressed with more than one, but ultimately decided to purchase from DME of Prince Edward Island, Canada. We'll be getting a 20 barrel (bbl) brewhouse with four 40 bbl fermenters and one 40 bbl brite tank. Over the years, DME has built equipment for craft breweries all over the world-including one of our absolute favorite places to get a beer in Minneapolis, Town Hall Brewery. ...
Right now, the equipment is in the engineering phase. In a little over a month, DME will begin fabrication of the equipment, based on the specs and layout of our brewery. If everything stays on track, we should be taking delivery of the equipment in early-mid summer. That's when the fun will really begin.
For now the plan is to move production of kegged beer and small-batch, specialty beers to the Minneapolis brewery. They intend to start packaging their flagship beers and will continue to contract that production at Sand Creek Brewing Company where the beer is currently brewed.
A Perfect Pint