Upland Brewery, a Bloomington-based brewery, announced plans for a $3 million expansion of its brewing facilities after much growth during the past few years.
Upland will be moving its brewing operations to a new, 47,000 square foot building located on West Grimes Lane.
The move will allow Upland to increase its brewing capacity from 11,000 to 25,000 barrels per year.
The current 11th Street facility will still house Upland’s restaurant and bar, the Tap Room.
However, Upland will switch its brewing operations there to a smaller pilot program to focus on the development of new specialty beers.
The new facility will be located immediately adjacent to the B-Line Trail and a former rail switchyard that Mayor Mark Kruzan said he wants to turn into “our community’s Central Park.”
The move comes during a time of growth for the brewery.
Upland’s president, Doug Dayhoff, said their sales have tripled in the past five years.
“This rate of growth has been possible because we have reinvested all profits back into the business, maintained modest salaries — thanks to a staff that is more passionate about quality beer than big paychecks — and squeezed capacity out of our original facilities and equipment in a ‘scrappy’ fashion,” Dayhoff said in a statement.
Dayhoff said Indiana is still far behind Wisconsin and Michigan in craft beer sales and hopes the growth in local breweries in Indiana continues to climb.
Caleb Staton, Upland’s head brewer, also thought the move was necessary because of Upland’s growth.
“We have experienced steady growth over the past five years, and the writing was on the wall when the last tank we installed stuck out of the roof by 4 feet,” Staton said.
He said he expected that growth to continue at the new facility, and the new facility will enable a tripling of Upland’s current size over the next decade.
Big Red Liquors was the first wholesale business to start selling Upland, and Upland beers have grown in sales ever since they started.
“We are excited that they are making a further significant investment in the Bloomington facilities, which will benefit the community for many years to come,” Wade Shanower, president of Big Red Liquors, said in a statement.
Upland also said it was prepared to increase its $3 million investment to beautify the building and the surrounding area. The brewery is seeking the city’s financial assistance to do so, and most city funds used would go to improving the aesthetics of the building.
Mayor Kruzan said he is excited about Upland’s plans and how they could accelerate the city’s vision for a new park in the area.
“It’s never easy for the trailblazer, but their success will be the community’s success and so I am thrilled to be working with this homegrown local business to see how the city can help in its growth,” Kruzan said.