Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Beer Production in Oshkosh and Beyond

Takes a while for this stuff to become public, but the 2015 numbers have finally been released for beer production in Wisconsin. Let’s take a look at how the brewers in our area did last year.

Production is reported in barrels, with one Barrel of beer being equivalent to...
     • 31 U.S. gallons.
     • 13.6 cases of beer.
     • 330 bottles of beer.

Onto the numbers...

Fox River Brewing Company: 2011.5 barrels
A huge year for FRBC, with production up by more than 65%. The Oshkosh branch produced 894.62 bbls. The Appleton brewery made 1116.88 bbls. Most years, production is split evenly between the two breweries, but with the bottling line humming along in Appleton, that brewery now produces the majority of FRBC’s beer. This year will be interesting for Fox River. That rate of growth isn’t sustainable on the brewery’s current systems. If things keep charging along as they have been, Fox River will need to add capacity, perhaps this year.

Bare Bones Brewery: 131.5 Barrels
A good start when you consider that Bare Bones didn’t begin showing up in the Wisconsin production reports until October. The three final months of the year also tend to be among the slowest for brewers. At this pace, Bare Bones would be on track to produce just over 500 bbls a year; a solid number for a new brewery of this size. Here’s some perspective on that: Stillmank Brewing of Green Bay, a packaging brewery established in 2012, produced 1,220 bbls this past year. With a new brewer and packaging equipment coming to Bare Bones this year, I’m looking forward to seeing what this brewery does in its first full year of production.

A few breweries near to Oshkosh.

Stone Arch Brewery: 2852.76 Barrels
Also known as Stone Cellar Brewpub, this is biggest producer around here. Since the brewery began distributing its bottled beer in 2012, production at Stone Arch has been on the rise.

Appleton Beer Factory: 405 Barrels
This Appleton brewpub opened in 2012 and has been producing at about this same rate since its inception. Keep an eye out for ABF beers, the brewery will soon begin distributing its draught beer in Oshkosh.

Rowlands Calumet Brewing Company: 206 Barrels
Established in 1990, this is the longest running small brewer in our area. Chilton’s finest keeps rolling along.

Knuth Brewing Company: 30.3 Barrels
The only true “Nano-Brewery” in our midst, Knuth opened in Ripon last July. The brewery began appearing in Wisconsin production reports in September. Knuth has been averaging 7.575 bbls per months on it’s one-barrel brewing system.

Lion’s Tail Brewing: 0 Barrels
The Neenah brewery opened in November and has yet to be included in Wisconsin production reports. That will change soon.

The coming year will be especially telling. We now have a mix of new and established breweries in this area with more new breweries on the way. In most regions, that type of dynamic tends to favor all of the brewers. Will that happen here? We’ll see.

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