Good news from Great Raft Brewing about their south Louisiana expansion.
Great Raft Brewing More Than Doubles Capacity with Two-Phase Expansion Plan
- New fermenters in first phase to add 55 percent more production capacity
- Second phase targets South Louisiana launch in First Quarter 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Lindsay Nations, Press Contact
August 7, 2014, SHREVEPORT, La. – Great Raft Brewing plans to increase production by more than 160 percent with its expansion in 2014. The expansion includes adding fermentation tanks that will increase capacity from 2,500 to 7,000 barrels (bbls) annually.
To better meet market demand and ultimately grow into new markets within the region, Great Raft Brewing will undergo a two-phase expansion over the next six months. The first phase is underway now, as the team is installing two new 60 bbl fermenters that will add 55 percent more production capacity. The additional capacity will help Great Raft Brewing better fulfill distributor orders and maximize its footprint within the North Louisiana markets it currently serves.
“We are excited for the opportunity to serve our existing customer base more consistently, as well as establish Great Raft Brewing within the state. We want to share our beer with as many people in the region as possible, without overextending ourselves or compromising quality,” said co-founder and vice president Lindsay Nations. “Making the jump to New Orleans and surrounding markets is the next logical step for us to be able to meet that goal.”
The second phase of production expansion lays the groundwork for distribution expansion into South Louisiana. Beginning in December and slated for completion in January 2015, four additional 60 bbl fermenters and one 60 bbl brite tank will be added to the cellar. This equipment will increase capacity by an additional 70 percent, leading to a 163 percent increase in total capacity within the brewery’s first year. The additional 240 bbls of fermentation space will be used to brew products that will be shipped to South Louisiana.
Great Raft Brewing will release specifics around its plans to enter South Louisiana later this year. Distributors and timelines have not been announced.
In addition to an upgrade of brewing operations, Great Raft Brewing will also work to launch a barrel aging program, expand in-house lab capabilities, and add a meeting space at its Dalzell facility. The company expects to create five new jobs as a result of the expansion.
Great Raft Brewing brewed its first beer in October 2013, becoming the first Shreveport brewery to operate and sell beer since prohibition. Since then, the brewery has produced beer as fast as possible to keep up with demand for its products. In late March 2014, Great Raft expanded distribution into Monroe and Ruston markets, but hasn’t been able to maximize the full potential of that market due to production limitations.
Great Raft Brewing’s location in Shreveport is on track to produce 2,500 bbls this year. The expansion will give them the ability to produce close to 7,000 bbls in 2015. The current cellar is taking up only a small footprint within the 27,000 square foot warehouse, allowing for plenty of room for growth. “We knew from the very early stages that we wanted to brew more beer than we would initially be able to produce. That’s why we picked a building with growth potential. But we wanted to take it slow, grow organically and be smart about it. Our growth in volume will be met with a continued focused on quality. The equipment upgrades to our lab and canning line give us invaluable insight into our beer. Additional volume is great, but it will always come second to quality,” said co-founder and president Andrew Nations.
More information about Great Raft Brewing can be found at
About Great Raft Brewing: Great Raft Brewing is a Shreveport, Louisiana based craft brewery dedicated to making creative, authentic beer and helping to build a great beer culture within communities it serves. Co-founders Andrew and Lindsay Nations are Shreveport natives with a passion for beer. Born from their desire to bring exciting, flavorful, fresh craft beer to their hometown, Great Raft Brewing is bringing the craft brewing tradition to Northern Louisiana.