Oskar Blues announced plans to double barrel production in 2017 and hire about 15 more employees at its Brevard facility, following the acquisition of Tampa, Florida’s Cigar City Brewing and a recent site expansion. According to Aaron Baker, a brewery spokesman, the expansion is long overdue.
The site expansion at the brewery’s existing facility in the Jennings Business Park on Mountain Industrial Drive began in December 2015. Rain delays and bad weather delayed completion.
This week, the team is packing up and moving into new offices on-site.
The site expansion resulted in the addition of 14,000 square feet, which will house 24 new fermentation tanks and enable the brewery to double barrel production to 180,000 barrels next year.
Baker described the expansion – both in production and hiring – as one that will occur organically over the next year. The decision to expand in Brevard, Baker said, was made to maximize potential capacity at the existing facility and invest in the brewery’s local team.
“We’ve made some great hires locally,” he said.
“We have a partnership with Blue Ridge Community College that we want to continue to foster, and we’ve found success hiring people locally with no brewing experience, but who want to be a part of what we’re doing here.”
Every member of the current management team was hired in Brevard – not relocated from Oskar Blues’ brewery in Longmont, Colorado or its newest facility in Austin, Texas, Baker said.
“Brevard really is the second home of Oskar Blues,” he said.
This fall, Oskar Blues will collaborate with Cigar City to replicate and brew popular Cigar City pours at its Brevard location. According to Baker, Transylvania County residents and visitors might be able to drink pints of Jai Alai, Cigar City’s flagship IPA, at the Tasty Weasel taproom as early as mid-November.