Arbor Brewing Co spent much of 2012 setting the stage for some significant growth both at home and abroad. This is the year the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti-based craft brewery begins to reap some of those gains.
The Ann Arbor-based company completed a $1 million eco-friendly expansion to its sister brewery, Corner Brewery
in Ypsilanti, last year. That gave the firm the room to double its capacity. Last year it sold 3,500 barrels of beer and is on pace to sell 5,000 barrels this year. Next year's target is 7,000 barrels.
Helping drive that growing demand is sales of its new award-winning IPA (Buzz Saw American IPA
) and its takeoff of its strawberry blonde beer, Bollywood Blonde
. Arbor Brewing Co is also doing a quarterly release of its Imperial Series, which includes a double IPA and an imperial pilsner. The brewery is also increasing production of its four-packs of barrel-aged sour beers.
"Some of our brands are really starting to take off," says Rene Greff, who co-founded Arbor Brewing Co
with her husband, Matt Greff, in 1995.
Arbor Brewing Co's new India franchise is also gaining traction. The firm recently decided to open a franchise in Bangalore to fill the void in the practically non-existent craft brewing scene in India. After a year of trying to get the brewery off the ground, it is now up and running and gaining speed.
"It's doing fantastic," Matt Greff says. "We started serving beers in February and it's blowing away our expectations of sales and beers sold. It's absolutely nuts."
Arbor Brewing Co currently employs about 50 people in India and expects to begin searching for an American master brewer to work there full-time later this year. It is also exploring the idea of expanding to a few more locations in India in the next few years.
The company has a staff of 70 full-time employees and two interns between its downtown Ann Arbor brewpub and the Corner Brewery. It has hired five people between those two breweries over the last year, both for its kitchens and the breweries.
Source: Matt & Rene Greff, co-owners of Arbor Brewing Co and Corner Brewery
Writer: Jon Zemke
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