Summit Brewing Adds Beers, Plans $6M Expansion

Summit Brewing, which last year celebrated a quarter century of beer making, is reportedly adding a new summer ale and India pale ale, and it plans to break ground on a $6 million brewery expansion in late 2013 or early 2014.

Summit Brewing Company is reportedly adding to its portfolio of craft beers and gearing up for a $6 million expansion of its St. Paul brewery.

The blog MNBeer recently reported that Summit plans to add two new brews: Summit Summer Ale, a Kolsch-inspired beer to be released in late April, and Summit Saga IPA, a West-coast style India pale ale to hit shelves in May. Summit Saga will reportedly be a year-round beer, while the summer ale will be seasonal. (Summit also continues to release limited-edition beers under its “Unchained Series,” which features experimental recipes developed by individual brewers.)

And as demand continues to increase for Summit's beers, the brewery is looking to grow.

Summit, which last year celebrated a quarter century of beer making, plans to break ground on a $6 million expansion of its brewery in late 2013 or early 2014, according to a report by the Star Tribune. The expansion will increase Summit's space for fermentation, capacity, and storage.

The Minneapolis newspaper reported that the brewery experienced an 8 percent jump in production last year to 105,000 barrels, and it expects to expand its 50-employee work force by about 20 percent this year. Summit also invested about $3 million in brewery upgrades during the past two years, adding a cask washer for cask-conditioned beer and a new “pilot brewery system” that will help it more efficiently develop new beers, according to the Star Tribune.

Summit is Minnesota's second-largest brewery based on barrels produced in the state, behind New Ulm-based August Schell Brewing Company.

The brewery, often credited for introducing craft brewing to Minnesota, is expanding at a time when the local craft beer scene is growing fast. Among many other indicators, Finnegans reported record revenue last year, new breweries like Indeed Brewing Company are springing up all over the Twin Cities, and the so-called “Surly Bill” has altered long-standing liquor laws and paved the way for Surly Brewing Company's planned $20 million “destination brewery.”

Those represent just a few examples of the growing industry.