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DC Brau Expands, Will Add New Brewhouse in 2017

The public is about to get a lot more of The Public. DC Brau Brewing Company announced Friday that it will double its production capacity in 2017 through an expansion into an adjacent space and the arrival of a new brewhouse, according to a press release.

On November 1, DC Brau took possession of nearly 14,000 additional square feet in the space formerly occupied by the Central Union Mission. The move makes way for the arrival of a “new 30 barrel, four vessel GEA Craft-Star brewhouse,” DC Brau President and Head Brewer Jeff Hancock said via press release. The old system, a 15 barrel, three vessel system, will operate concurrently with the new one. “This will allow us to increase overall production of our flagship and seasonal beers while providing us the flexibility to brew one-offs and collaborations that pop up throughout the year,” added Hancock.

The new system, which is scheduled to arrive from Germany in mid to late December, will double the brewery’s annual production capacity, and within the next 8-10 years, Hancock says, the annual production will increase by about 360 percent.

Although it has been less than three weeks since taking over the space, demolition has already commenced. A new cement pad has been poured in the parking lot to make room for two new silos, which will arrive in early December. One will hold malted barley for the brewing process, while the other will be dedicated to storing spent grain that will go to feed livestock on the Sierra Linda farm in Castleton, VA.

“2017 is going to be a huge year for the DC beer community,” said Hancock. “We hope to have the new brew house up and running by April when brewers from all over the country will be in town for the Brewers Association’s annual Craft Brewers Conference.”

Hancock and co-founder Brandon Skall previewed this development when DCBeer interviewed them for the brewery’s fifth anniversary:

JH: As far as expansion goes, come June and July, we're going to have the entire lower level occupied, which will bring us to a grand total of around 47,000 square feet. We briefly entertained the idea of building a brand new facility from the ground up off-site, but we determined that we can still max out a lot more space that we have here. We're going to continue putting as many tanks as we can inside. We're currently expanding the brewhouse. We're going to be expanding our canning line. We hope to have both of those respectively commissioned, brewhouse first quarter of 2017, and canning line towards the end of 2017, early 2018. Once we fill up inside, we're looking at, and this is a ways down the road, getting some big outdoor tanks. With our new brewhouse, if we can fully max it out, we'll be close to 250 BBLs in a day. We're hoping that before we have to pack up and leave and look for another spot that we can be here for at least another 10-15 years. God, by 2021, probably producing between 30,000-40,000 BBLs if things continue the way they've been trending.

BS: One of the things that is going to be cool is we'll be keeping our current brewhouse. We did the math on selling it or keeping it, and what we decided that we really want to do is to keep it and brew really fun one-off beers. Just slightly over a year from now, we'll be launching a pretty ambitious barrel-aging program. Most of those beers will be brewed on the 15 BBL system that we currently have. In addition to that, it allows us to brew some smaller batch beer once we get the bigger system going. We'll be using the big system for flagships and the smaller system will have more of a specialty focus. We want to bring back the days where every weekend you came here there were new and exciting beers on that you've never heard of. Not things we need to build a release around but just something on-premise here at the brewery.

Best wishes and congratulations to the entire DC Brau family on the big news!

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