New Glarus to boost capacity

But popular Wisconsin brewery won't expand beyond state

Oct 24, 2005 - Wisconsin's New Glarus Brewing Co. needs a new brewery that would triple it's capacity.


"We just can't keep up with our sales," said Deb Carey, the brewery's co-founder and president. "Our sales have grown about 40% for three or four consecutive years. And by the end of this year they're going to be up over 60 to 70%."

New Glarus plans an expansion that will nearly triple the company's capacity, from 44,000 barrels to about 120,000 barrels annually.

New Glarus sales have surged despite the fact the brewery hasn't added any new wholesalers and continues to distribute beer only in its home state. The brewery briefly distributed beer in the Chicago area, but pulled that in 2003 because it couldn't keep up with demand in Wisconsin.

"We have to have a new location," Carey said, "because there's just not enough space to expand where we are now. We've got the Sugar River running right in front of us and there's a road behind us and so we'd run into all kinds of problems with utilities and the setbacks required by the village if we tried to expand on the building now."

Carey hopes to have the new brewery operational by 2007.

New Glarus village administrator Jim Mielke said he's excited about the proposed expansion.

"There are many positive impacts on the village from having the brewery expand its production and build a new facility," Mielke said. "Economically it will create new jobs and with tourism it's already well known throughout the Midwest and in the state. I think this is a huge win for the brewery, the village and Green County to have such a successful business like this expanding here."

However, even with the expansion, Carey said the company has no plans to expand its sales territory or line of beers.