Drastic measures to develop beer production – Wadena Pioneer Journal

Just entering its seventh month of operation, Drastic Measures Brewing is set to increase its 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 at a special meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

In a letter presented to board members, it was explained that the brewery has reached a point where production capacity is limiting sales. The loan will allow the brewery to add two new 20-barrel fermentation tanks, a canning line automation upgrade to increase efficiency and additional working capital.

This expansion should create two new jobs while maintaining four full-time equivalent positions. This additional production will be canned and sold in major metropolitan areas as well as out-of-state stores. Brewery owner Brett Doebbeling said the brewery currently quickly sells its product on off-sale sites once a store indicates delivery on social media. He said their product likely only reaches a fraction of those looking to buy, leaving many potential buyers dry.

Doebbeling said the honeymoon period is ending at the brewery, slowing sales slightly, so to pick up the pace they need to track those offsite sales. This product is constantly evolving. He said, it must be to follow the culture of those who buy.

“It’s hard to be continuously innovative, but in the same sense, it’s very crucial,” Doebbeling said. He shared that an attractive and inviting space is nice, award-winning beer is a goal, but the culture is always looking for something new to try. The brewery team comes up with new recipes every week while keeping a few crowd favourites.

Doebbeling hopes that by mid-December the new tanks will be there and installed. Loan funding for this project comes from Revolving Loan Fund 211, which has a current balance of approximately $154,000.

The 20-barrel tanks add about 542.5 gallons of beer per week, yielding about 4,340 cans of beer per week, bringing in about $13,000-17,000 in additional weekly sales.

Currently, the brewery has five 10-barrel tanks, which is equivalent to 50 fermentation barrels (each barrel is 31 gallons). Thus, the expansion increases production by 40 barrels, not quite double the current amount.

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